David Gest, a music producer who was thrust to tabloid attention for his tempestuous marriage in the 2000s to Liza Minnelli, died April 12 in London. He was 62.
Mr. Gest’s friend Imad Handi confirmed the death, which occurred at the Four Seasons Hotel in London’s Canary Wharf. The Metropolitan Police force said an autopsy would take place to determine the cause.
Mr. Gest married Minnelli in 2002, at a celebrity-studded ceremony with Michael Jackson as best man and Elizabeth Taylor as matron of honor.
It was an acrimonious union. They were frequently in the tabloids, each trading accusations about the other. He called her an alcoholic who beat him. She said he was a gold digger who attempted to poison her. They separated in 2003 and, after a lengthy legal battle, divorced in 2007.
Settling in England, Mr. Gest gained a following with appearances on reality TV shows including “Celebrity Big Brother.” He also spoke out about his many plastic surgeries, saying he felt compelled to go under the knife when he was a younger man because he was overweight, balding and insecure amid the Los Angeles entertainment scene.
“I always thought I looked terrible and have never liked my looks,” he later told a reporter. “I was probably an idiot for having plastic surgery but went ahead because I was incredibly unhappy. But if I could live my life again I wouldn’t do it.”
He said he was encouraged by Jackson, a friend since childhood, to have the operations. He produced a 2011 documentary about the King of Pop, “Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon.”
David Alan Gest was born in Los Angeles on May 11, 1953. His entrepreneurial spirit took hold at a young age, when he hung out at music studios and asked for free singles to review for a student newspaper. He then sold the records, reaping a profit.
He wrote a memoir, “Simply the Gest,” and was scheduled to tour the United Kingdom this summer in a musical show called “David Gest Is Not Dead, But Alive With Soul.”
Read more Washington Post obituaries