David Gest, Liza Minnelli's Ex-Husband, Dead at 62

David Gest
David Gest enters the Celebrity Big Brother house in Borehamwood, England, January 5, 2016. The entertainer has died at the age of 62. Jeff Spicer/Getty

David Gest, best known for his marriage to Liza Minnelli, has died at the age of 62.

The American reality TV personality and music producer, who was a close friend of the late musician Michael Jackson, passed away at a hotel in Canary Wharf, London, according to his friend and former bodyguard Imad Handi.

In a statement obtained by BBC News, Handi said: "It is with great sadness that I can confirm that David Gest has died today."

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

"I know he will be missed by millions of fans around the world, and particularly in Britain, who came to love his charm and blistering one-liners."

Gest famously married actor Minnelli in a lavish ceremony in 2002, with Jackson as his best man. The marriage ended a year later in July 2003 and the couple were divorced in 2007.

He is perhaps best known for his appearances on U.K. reality television shows including I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! , on which he finished in sixth place. In January 2016, he also took part on Celebrity Big Brother but left the show due to an undisclosed medical condition midway through the series.

London's Metropolitan Police said it responded to a call from the Four Seasons hotel in Canary Wharf at 10:17am on Tuesday morning, following "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. A post-mortem will be held in due course. Next of kin are in the process of being informed," a spokesperson for the police department said.

Tributes poured in on social media as news of his death broke. British actor Darren Day, who appeared with him on Celebrity Big Brother , said he was "devastated" by the news.

I'm devastated to hear about my dear friend David Gest. I love and miss you mate. Heaven will be a brighter place x pic.twitter.com/A3WP70hC4v

— Darren Day (@DarrenDOfficial) April 12, 2016

More tributes continue to be shared by other U.K. personalities:

Can’t believe David Gest has died at the age of 62 R.I.P.

— Tony Blackburn (@tonyblackburn) April 12, 2016

So sad to hear the news about David Gest, I was lucky enough to get to know you, a wonderful fun and generous human being, RIP my friend X

— Jamie Lomas (@jamielomas1) April 12, 2016

Can't believe your gone RIP David Gest. What a beautiful human xxxx

— Scotty T MBE (@ScottGShore) April 12, 2016

So shocked and sad to hear that our friend David Gest has died. Hasn't quite sunk in xxx

— Denise Welch (@RealDeniseWelch) April 12, 2016

RIP David Gest...

— John Partridge (@mustbejp) April 12, 2016

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