Lady Gaga calls for compassion after co-star's death

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Model Rick Genest, better known as the Zombie Boy, is dead, according to reports his agency Dulcedo Management.

Rick Genest had appeared in the music video for Lady Gaga's song "Born This Way".

Lady Gaga, Genest's friend, confirmed the news on her Twitter handle on 2 August.

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The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) all offer ways for getting help if you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues. "We must save each other", continued Lady Gaga.

She followed this by sharing a photo of herself and Rick - and urging fans who might be struggling with their mental health to "reach out". "They aren't just to-do list items".

At the age of 15, the model discovered that he had a brain tumour, and that the surgery to remove it could kill him or leave him disfigured.

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The Guardian notes that Genest, whose body was 90% covered in tattoos, likened the zombie theme to rebelling against consumerism in a 2012 interview. In one of his first public interviews in 2006 with BME's ModBlog, Ganest admitted that he preferred to be called "Zombie" instead of "Skullboy", to which BME had been referring to him.

He said: "I was then nicknamed Zombie by my friends. Zombie came from my love of punk and skulls".

Rick modelled for French fashion designer Thierry Mugler, appeared in Vogue Japan and was once the face of Jay-Z's Rock-A-Wear fashion label.

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The singer also posted to announce a new partnership with her Born This Way Foundation to "explore the power of habits to build cultures of kindness and wellness".

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