Liza Minnelli’s ex-husband David Gest found dead in London

Singer Liza Minnelli and her husband David Gest pose for photographers backstage of the "Miracle on 34th Street" concert hosted by radio station WKTU in New York City, in this file photograph dated Dec 18, 2002.
Singer Liza Minnelli and her husband David Gest pose for photographers backstage of the "Miracle on 34th Street" concert hosted by radio station WKTU in New York City, in this file photograph dated Dec 18, 2002.PHOTO: REUTERS
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Southern California, David Gest was close friends with Michael Jackson.
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Southern California, David Gest was close friends with Michael Jackson.PHOTO: TWITTER

LONDON (AFP) – David Gest, the US television personality and ex-husband of actress Liza Minnelli, was found dead in a five-star London hotel on Tuesday (April 12) in unexplained circumstances, police and a friend said.  

Gest’s body was found at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Canary Wharf district of the British capital.  The 62-year-old had been due to tour Britain in an autobiographical musical show, “David Gest Is Not Dead But Alive With Soul”, later this year. 

“It is with great sadness that I can confirm that David Gest has died today,” his friend Imad Handi said in a statement released to media. 

“David was truly larger than life. He was not just a huge talent and a dear friend but a showbiz icon.”

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said police officers were called to the hotel just after 10.00 am “to reports of an unexplained death of a man in his 60s.  “London Ambulance Service were called to the scene. Life was pronounced extinct at the hotel.”

Gest was married to Minnelli from 2002 to 2007 but they had a bitter divorce, with him accusing her of beating him while she was drunk.  He was a close friend of Michael Jackson, producing a documentary about the late singer in 2011, and had appeared on a string of reality television shows in Britain.