Saturday, April 13, 2024

David Gest: No Hollywood Stars or Famous Musicians Attend London Funeral of Michael Jackson’s Best Friend


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.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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