In a heartfelt tribute to his late co-star, 'The Young and the Restless' actor describes the 52-year-old as 'the closest thing to a brother and a brother's love' that he has ever known.

AceShowbiz - Shemar Moore has paid tribute to his "brother" Kristoff St. John following the actor's death on Sunday, February 03.

The two stars played siblings on U.S. soap "The Young and the Restless", and Shemar insists Kristoff was the closest thing he had to a real-life brother.

In a statement to People, Moore writes, "I'm raised an only child, but Kristoff is truly the closest thing to a brother and a brother's love and a brother's mentorship that I've ever known."

"He didn't have to embrace me the way he did. When I came in and was trying to find my way and he saw how scared I was, he saw how nervous I was. He saw my six pack and all that, but he just saw me and he embraced me like a brother. If he hadn't embraced me, I would have never got my sure footing in the beginning days."

He adds, "Without Kristoff St. John, there's no Neil Winters. Without Neil Winters, there's no opportunity for Malcolm Winters. And without Malcolm Winters, there's no Shemar Moore. And if Shemar Moore didn't get my chance to try on 'The Young & the Restless', then I don't sit here today with let alone this career or this life (sic). Not in this way...."

"I told him in the beginning because he embraced me the way he embraced me is the only reason that I have the life and career that I have. I would have life, but it would have been on a very different tangent and a very different lane. I will always give Kristoff that credit... Kristoff, day to day to day, he rooted for me. He didn't have to.... but he rooted for me; he helped me; he held my hand; he said, 'Stick with me, bruh, I'm going to show you the way and then you do what you're doing (sic).' "

St. John was found dead at his home in the San Fernando Valley, California on Sunday. A cause of death has been deferred following an autopsy.

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