The tattooed model and actor - real name Rick Genest - was found dead at his Montreal home last Wednesday at the age of 32, and it was widely reported he had completed suicide.
Gaga subsequently called for improved awareness around mental health as she spoke out about Rick’s death on social media.
With Rick’s management now issuing a statement to say that “contrary to reports”, his cause of death is still to be determined.
Gaga has since deleted her original tweets and insisted she had not meant to “draw an unjust conclusion”.
She posted on Twitter: “Out of respect for Rick’s family, Rick & his legacy I apologize if I spoke too soon as there was no witnesses or evidence to support any conclusion for the cause of his death. I in no way meant to draw an unjust conclusion. My deepest condolences to his entire family and friends.
“The art we made was sacred to me and I was emotional, he was an incredible artist and his art and heart will live on. Rest In Peace. You beautiful soul.”
She had previously written: “The suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy is beyond devastating. 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.”
Rick was famous for his head-to-toe tattoos and living skeleton appearance, and featured heavily in the video for Lady Gaga’s worldwide hit ‘Born This Way’ in 2011.
He forged a successful career in the modeling industry after being first cast in a Thierry Mugler campaign. He went on to appear in Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair. He also became L’Oreal’s first male spokesperson.
Useful websites and helplines:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
- The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org