David Gest was one of the creepiest people I ever wrote about. And I wrote about him a lot during the height of Michael Jackson’s infamy. They were best pals. Gest produced Michael’s 30th anniversary solo shows and wound up marrying Liza Minnelli. Then it all came crashing down.
Gest’s funeral yesterday was attended by people you and I have never heard of– British reality stars from cheesy TV shows. Gest moved there several years ago and became a celebrity weirdo in the UK tabloid press. They liked the fact that he looked like Mr. Potato Head.
But in the US, Gest’s calling card for years was being buddies with aging Hollywood stars and retired R&B singers. He’d been the publicist in its latter days for Hi Records, where he represented Al Green and Ann Peebles. He was like a tour master for State Fairs later. At the Minnelli wedding, he brought in a slew of them.
None of them showed for the funeral, however. According to reports, even his sister didn’t come. It’s an ignominious ending for David Gest, who ran a charity here called the American Cinema Awards and listed dead people as officers to grab tax free salaries. He was a great character to write about because he had no conscience but he always had a scheme.
The British papers say he spoke at his own funeral. How appropriate. Who better to eulogize David Gest than David Gest?
Good characters are good copy. He will be missed.