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David Alan Gest (May 11, 1953 – April 12, 2016) was an American producer and television personality. Gest produced the television special Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration in 2001, which was the last reunion of Michael Jackson and the Jacksons coming 17 years after their previous reunion. Gest appeared on the 2006 series of the British reality television show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! Gest appeared in Celebrity Big Brother in the UK in 2016 but due to illness had to leave after 13 days. He frequently made tabloid headlines during his marriage with Liza Minnelli.[1][2] He is the founder of the American Cinema Awards Foundation in 1983.[3]

David Gest
David Guest.JPG
Gest in 2007
David Alan Gest

(1953-05-11)May 11, 1953
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedApril 12, 2016(2016-04-12) (aged 62)
OccupationProducer, television personality, entertainer
Liza Minnelli
(m. 2002; div. 2007)


Gest finished in fourth place on the 2006 series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, a day before the show finished. Two days later, Gest appeared on the Royal Variety Show in London in front of Prince Charles, for which he received a standing ovation. Another two days later, a controversy arose on the cover of 2 major UK papers stating that more than 30,000 text votes were unjustly not counted in Gest's favor when the network ITV had a voting glitch which would have changed the outcome of the show but Gest declined a recount.[4]

In January 2007, Gest appeared as a judge on ITV1's Soapstar Superstar, for one night replacing Michael Ball who was coaching the singers. Later that month it was announced that Gest had signed a one-year deal by ITV to appear in his own reality series entitled This Is David Gest, which began on April 22, 2007. He also took cameras for a rare glimpse of the Jackson family house in Encino, California, where he met Tito Jackson and his children as well as matriarch Katherine Jackson. He was one of the four judges on ITV1's entertainment series Grease Is the Word and also starred on "Greased Lightnin'".

Gest paid ITV to be released from his contract in July and ITV came back saying they had no idea what to do with him. Gest was quick to come out and say that he wanted to be released: "My lawyers negotiated an early release so I could host The Friday Night Project on Channel 4", Gest told The Sun.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Gest was born to a Jewish family[6] in Los Angeles[7] and grew up in Southern California.

Gest and Liza Minnelli were married on March 16, 2002, and separated in July 2003.[8] In October 2003 he sued her for $10 million claiming that she had been violent and physically abusive during their marriage, behavior the affidavit blamed on Minnelli's persistent alcoholism.[8] Minnelli denied the accusations, claiming Gest was simply after her money. The suit was dismissed in September 2006 for lack of triable issue of fact.[9]

Gest was a close friend of Michael Jackson and after Jackson's death, he produced and starred in a documentary film about Jackson's life called, Michael Jackson: The Life of an Icon.

In 2009 Gest sold his mansion in Memphis, Tennessee and auctioned his rock memorabilia to put in an offer on a five-bedroom Victorian townhouse in Cambridge, England. The owners, however, took the house off the market and Gest rented a three-bedroom house in St John's Wood, North London. The same year he was the guest on Celebrity Fantasy Homes with Gaby Roslin.[10]


On April 12, 2016, Gest was found dead in his room at the Four Seasons Hotel in East London's Canary Wharf district, at the age of 62. His death was described by police as involving no suspicious circumstances.[11] It was later reported that he had died from a stroke.[12]

After his death, it was revealed that Gest had been addicted to gambling; friends reportedly said that he had accumulated debts of up to £500,000 in the months before his death.[13]

Gest's funeral service was held at Golders Green Crematorium on April 29, 2016.[14] His ashes were scattered in York.[15]


  • Simply the Gest (Headline, 2007) ISBN 9780755316960


  1. ^ "Minnelli/Gest Divorce To Be Finalised This Week". April 19, 2007. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  2. ^ "The David Gest and Liza Minnelli Divorce". Archived from the original on November 27, 2010. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  3. ^ Easton, Nina J. (January 6, 1989). "From the Archives: David Gest's American Cinema Awards honors big names and the Golden Age of Hollywood". The Los Angeles Times (published April 12, 2016). Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  4. ^ "Channel 4 admits new phone error". BBC. March 13, 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Latest World News & UK News Headlines". April 20, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Jewish Chronicle: "American entertainer and producer David Gest found dead in London hotel" April 12, 2016
  7. ^ "David Alan Gest".
  8. ^ a b Maull, Samual (January 17, 2007). "Minnelli, Gest End Lawsuits, to Divorce". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  9. ^ "Hubby Claims Liza Minnelli Beat Him". October 21, 2003. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  10. ^ "Fantasy lifestyles of the rich and famous". 26 April 2009.
  11. ^ "Music producer David Gest 'found dead'". BBC News Online. April 12, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  12. ^ The London Evening Standard
  13. ^ Chris Graham (14 April 2016). "David Gest 'splashed £10,000 a day on slot machines' in months before death". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  14. ^ "Stars turn out for David Gest's funeral". BBC News. 29 April 2016. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  15. ^ Liptrot, Kate (27 May 2016). "David Gest's ashes have been scattered in York". York Press. Retrieved 28 May 2016.

External linksEdit