EXCLUSIVE: Mother Of 'Zombie Boy' Rick Genest Shares Her Grief


It has been only two weeks since Rick Genest – best known as tattoo-covered "Zombie Boy" – died tragically in Montreal. His family is still coming to terms with their loss.

“It’s really a hard time for us right now,” Genest’s mother Catheryne Chappelle told iHeartRadio.ca in an exclusive interview Wednesday. “How can a parent be at this time?”

Genest, a model and musician who famously appeared in Lady Gaga’s video for “Born This Way,” died Aug. 1, just one week shy of his 33rd birthday.

Initial reports, based on police sources, were that Genest had jumped to his death from the fire escape of an apartment building in the Plateau-Mont Royal neighbourhood of Montreal. But, no official cause of death had been determined.

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Chappelle said the family believes Genest’s death was a terrible accident.

“Yes we do. ‘Cuz we know his mind at the time and all the different things that were coming up in his career,” she said. “And just texting him the day before and everything… just…nope.”

The grieving mother said the family continues to wait for answers.

“It takes time. We’re patient,” said Chappelle. “And it’s not going to change anything, right, when you’ve lost your child? That doesn’t change anything.”

Still, Chappelle is upset that police sources told the media it was a suicide. “Even the coroner said the police have no right to make a judgment.”

The family’s heartbreak, she said, is compounded by public speculation about Genest’s death. “We’re still really taken aback. It hurt us a lot for people to judge him,” Chappelle admitted.

“When everything comes out, it comes out, and that’s fine but for now, have respect for him, for us.”

Chappelle said she understands there is global curiosity about Genest, but when asked if there is anything she wants the world to know about him, she replied: “I think everybody who met him knows how he was so unless you personally knew him, I don’t think it makes a difference.

"Rick was who he was and everybody loved him."

Chappelle wants people to keep in mind that the man they know as "Zombie Boy" was someone’s son, someone’s brother – and his family is hurting.

“Our hearts will never be better.”