Model Rick Genest plunged to this death from the fourth floor balcony at the back of his home in Plateau-Mont-Royal after telling his girlfriend he was "going for a cigarette".

According to TMZ, Montreal Police told them that Genest had jumped and that paramedics rushed to the scene and performed CPR, but could not revive him.

But US based celeb news site said it spoke to Genest's manager, Karim Leduc, who tells us Rick's family believes his death was a horrible accident.

He said Genest would often smoke on his balcony and lean back on a railing while doing so.

Relatives think this habit caused him to topple over.

Yet as reported, just before he died, the 32 year-old posted a chilling piece, in which he wrote: "Each breath cuts ice as flesh is weighed."

Sadly, the poem spoke of "dire straights" and a "soul being cast down".

One poignant line says: "In front of deaths old narrow gates, where bold and brazen last rites crate."

And the last line reads: "Release by moonlight glow."

Just months ago Genest also uploaded an image of himself on a hospital bed along with a joke exchange between a patient and a doctor.

In the picture Genest is seen sitting on a hospital bed brooding into the camera wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "KILL ME".

Genest's death was confirmed on Facebook by his agency Dulcedo Management, who paid tribute to the "icon of the artistic scene".

It said: "The whole dulcedo family is shocked and pained by this tragedy. Zombie Boy, Rico, was loved by all those who had the chance to meet him and know him.

"Icon of the artistic scene and the fashion world, this innovator, against popular culture, has been able to charm all hearts.

"We received the unfortunate news at the beginning of the afternoon and members of the team have come to support his family and relatives in this dark and difficult moment.

"We want to present our deepest condolences and the legend will survive human. Thank you zb for these beautiful moments in your company and for your radiant smile."

Lady Gaga urged those with mental health issues to seek help.

Writing on Twitter, she said: "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."

Genest developed his love of the macabre after being diagnosed with a brain tumour at 15 and told he was unlikely to survive surgery.

But he did, and speaking to the Sun back in 2016, he said: “Even the doctors told me I got lucky.

“I blurred the lines between life and death and I’m still doing that now. My friends called me Zombie because of my past.”

A year later he began living on the streets, washing cars to get by and had his first tattoo – a skull and crossbones on his arm.

As his inkings grew so did his fame and he started working in freak shows – eating worms and pig intestines to go with his rotting corpse look.

Then in 2011 he caught the eye of Lady Gaga’s stylist, who got him to model in Paris, and he later starred in her music video before becoming the face of Jay Z’s Rocawear label.

He previously spoke about working with Lady Gaga, described her as "really fun and really professional".

Rick said: "She gave me a big hug when I met her and she laughed at my jokes.

"A lot of people ask me about when I got my first tattoo but she asked me: 'At what age did you first think about getting your first tattoo?'.

"My response was when I was about five or six years old. I liked that question."

In Genest's hospital bed post in May, he hinted at depression.

In the photo he's wearing the Kill Me shirt that he often wore for interviews and photos with a tongue depressor hanging from his mouth.

The post echoed a 2012 interview with the UK’s Evening Standard,in which they pointed out that Genest did not like to speak about his private life.

Zombie Boy's final poem


O Damballa

Lo we howl upon stars hung above

We soul cast down the well of stone

As fire laid betwixt two fates

Of most drear less dire straights

Each breath cuts ice as flesh is weighed

In front of deaths old narrow gates

Where bold and brazen last rites crate

Lo heed our wish of madness

Deep from os

Our prayers we kissed

So stern and cold

On metal shells

Release by moonlight glow

-Zombie Boy

After Genest mentioned: “Depression is a strong thing…” he refused to elaborate when pressed by the reporter.

The model was so addicted to tattoos that almost his entire body, excluding his private parts, were inked as well as a full facial tattoo of a skeleton and a zombie brain on his head.

His 176 insect tattoos earned him a Guinness World Record.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans on (free) 116123

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