Producer David Gest found dead in hotel

FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007 file photo, U.S. music producer David Gest poses with some of his collection of entertainment memorabilia at an auction house in London.(AP Photo/Sang Tan, file)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007 file photo, U.S. music producer David Gest poses with some of his collection of entertainment memorabilia at an auction house in London.(AP Photo/Sang Tan, file)

David Gest, a music producer, reality TV star and former husband of Liza Minnelli, was found dead Tuesday at a London hotel. He was 62.

Gest's friend Imad Handi confirmed his death, remembering Gest as "a natural star and a genuine celebrity."

"David was truly larger than life. He was not just a huge talent and a dear friend but a showbiz icon," Handi said.

The Metropolitan Police force said officers were called to "reports of an unexplained death of a man in his 60s" at the Four Seasons Hotel in London's Canary Wharf on Tuesday morning.

"A post-mortem will be held in due course. Next of kin are in the process of being informed," said police to Sky News.

Gest and Minnelli married in 2002, at a celebrity-studded ceremony with Michael Jackson as best man and Elizabeth Taylor as maid of honor. They separated in 2003, with Gest accusing his wife of beating him. After a lengthy legal battle, they were divorced in 2007.

Gest remained a friend of Jackson and produced a 2011 documentary about the King of Pop, "Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon."

Gest gained a following in Britain with appearances on reality TV shows including "Celebrity Big Brother."

He was due to tour the U.K. this summer in a musical show called David Gest Is Not Dead, But Alive With Soul.

With the Associated Press

 

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