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Liza Minnelli's ex-husband David Gest found dead in London


David Gest, the US television personality and ex-husband of actress Liza Minnelli, was found dead in a five-star London hotel Tuesday in unexplained circumstances, police and a friend said.

Gest's body was found at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Canary Wharf district of the British capital.

The 62-year-old had been due to tour Britain in an autobiographical musical show, "David Gest Is Not Dead But Alive With Soul", later this year.

"It is with great sadness that I can confirm that David Gest has died today," his friend Imad Handi said in a statement released to media.

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

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said police officers were called to the hotel just after 10:00 am "to 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."

Gest was married to Minnelli from 2002-2007 but they had a bitter divorce, with him accusing her of beating him while she was drunk.

He was a close friend of Michael Jackson, producing a documentary about the late singer in 2011, and had appeared on a string of reality television shows in Britain.