Lady Gaga has paid tribute to her Born This Way video co-star Rick Genest in an emotional series of tweets following his death on Wednesday (01Aug18).
The heavily-tattooed model and artist, also known as Zombie Boy, was found dead in his apartment in Montreal, Canada from an apparent suicide at the age of 32 on Wednesday.
On Thursday night, Lady Gaga, who recruited Genest for the video to her 2011 song, paid tribute to her co-star on Twitter by sharing a series of pictures and called on those suffering with mental health issues to reach out to somebody.
"The suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy is beyond devastating," she wrote. "We have to work harder to change the culture, bring Mental Health to the forefront and erase the stigma that we can’t talk about it. If you are suffering, call a friend or family today. We must save each other.
"Science tells us that it takes 21 days to form a habit, if you are suffering from Mental Health issue I beckon for today to be your first day or a continuation of the work you’ve been doing. Reach out if you’re in pain, and if you know someone who is, reach out to them too."
The 32-year-old also encouraged her followers to sign up to her charity, the Born This Way Foundation, before the autumn, when she will "explore the power of habits to build cultures of kindness and wellness."
Genest, who would have been 33 next week, was called Zombie Boy or Rico Zombie due to the "corpse" body art covering the majority of his body, such as the skeleton design on his face and neck.
He started out working in sideshows as an illustrated man before he was discovered by Gaga’s stylist Nicola Formichetti, which led to modeling work for Thierry Mugler and JAY-Z's Roc-A-Wear and appearances in shoots for GQ and Vanity Fair.
"Absolutely heartbroken. Rest in Power, Zombie Boy. Sending all my condolences and love to Rico’s family and friends," Formichetti tweeted. "If you ever need help, reach out. 1-800-273-8255 is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You’re not alone."