Anthony Bourdain and Asia Argento's relationship was entering a rocky phase when he took his life in France
Bourdain started dating Asia Argento in 2017 after meeting her on the sets of 'Parts Unknown.' Their social media suggest they were tight but there was a cryptic Story by Asia
There is more than a handful of reasons on why we need to thank Anthony Bourdain. First of all, he introduced us to the art of exploring the known and the unknown cultures through cuisines around the world. He took us on a thrilling gastronomical adventure with 'No Reservations' and 'Parts Unknown' and moreover surprised fans with his witty ways with words and stellar storytelling ability. To his colleagues at the CNN Network, the 61-year-old celebrity chef was a great friend and to his girlfriend, Asia Argento, he was "love" "rock" and "protector."
Fans around the world know Argento as the woman who ushered Anthony Bourdain and the whole culinary industry into the #MeToo movement. The couple were public about their relationship and would often post about each other on social media. So this is the reason why before Bourdain was found dead in his hotel room in France, his girlfriend's cryptic message on Instagram hinted that there was trouble in paradise.
The 42-year-old Italian actress had posted a photo of herself wearing a shirt that read, “F**k everyone.” She captioned the now-deleted Instagram Story, “You know who you are.”
Three hours later, the world learned that the legendary television personality had killed himself by hanging.
Speculations have emerged if Asia had any role to play in his final decision since Bourdain had time and again said he wanted to live longer for his 11-year-old daughter, Ariane Bourdain.
On Thursday, Asia Argento was rather active on her Instagram sharing a couple of Stories, including one with the Rome geotag, that proved she was not in the same country as Bourdain at the time of his death.
After the news of Bourdain's suicide shook the world, Argento released a statement on her social media. “Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did,” she said. “His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds. He was my love, my rock, my protector. I am beyond devastated. My thoughts are with his family. I would ask that you respect their privacy and mine.”
Rewind to less than a week ago.
IndieWire published an interview with Bourdain where he talked highly about his girlfriend and how she inspired him in the later stages of his life. Asia had recently directed one of the episodes for Bourdain's 'Parts Unknown CNN.'
"Look, anytime I can get work out of Asia — even random suggestions, like when she calls me mid-show to make me aware of a Nigerian psychedelic rock scene of the mid-to-late-’70s — that’s a huge help to the show," he said. "I’d love to have her a continuing director. I just don’t think we can afford her. But, my god, I’d love nothing more than to repeat the experience. She made it incredible."
Anthony and Asia both posted on the social media that they had in fact, worked together and the experience was surreal.
When on May 30, Argento posted a photo of Bourdain on Instagram announcing that the June 3rd episode was directed by her, he commented saying that it was a "masterpiece."
The couple also spent some quality time in Italy in May after wrapping up the shooting.
The Emmy-winning television host started dating the daughter of renowned Italian filmmaker Dario Argento in 2017. The couple met in 2016 when she appeared on the Rome episode of 'Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.'
Said to have met sometime around September 2016, Bourdain had by then separated from his wife of nine years, Ottavia Busia. Ottavia's and Bourdain's marriage came to an end because of Bourdain's "insane schedule" that turned their relationship into an "unconventional" one.
Prior to Ottavia, Bourdain was married to his high school sweetheart Nancy Putkoski for 20 years. In one of his old interviews, Bourdain confessed about having suicidal thoughts as his marriage fell apart.
“To cope, I went to the Caribbean where I behaved in a completely irresponsible and suicidal way. I didn’t value my own life and acted accordingly. I had put myself in a very dark place and behaved recklessly in the not-too-subconscious hope that something terrible would happen. I was doing everything possible — smoking pot, drink-driving — to invite that," he said in the interview.
But in February's interview with People, Bourdain described himself to as being “happy in ways that I have not been in memory” and “happy in ways I didn’t think I ever would be, for sure,” thanking Asia Argento for his contentment.
The two had been an extremely tight couple since the beginning of their relationship and he was her ardent supporter. Argento was one of the Harvey Weinstein's accusers, so when the #MeToo movement was raging, Bourdain became an outspoken advocate.
In another interview, Bourdain praised Argento's much-lauded speech at Cannes last month, which was a rousing proclamation against Weinstein and others of his ilk.
"From the second she said she’d been invited to present an award, I knew it would be a nuclear bomb," Bourdain revealed. "I was so proud of her. It was absolutely fearless to walk right into the lion’s den and say what she said, the way she said it. It was an incredibly powerful moment, I thought. I am honored to know someone who has the strength and fearlessness to do something like that."
Just last December, Bourdain penned an essay on Medium stating how Asia inspired him to speak out.
"In these current circumstances, one must pick a side. I stand unhesitatingly and unwaveringly with the women. Not out of virtue, or integrity, or high moral outrage — as much as I’d like to say so — but because late in life, I met one extraordinary woman with a particularly awful story to tell, who introduced me to other extraordinary women with equally awful stories," he wrote.
"I am grateful to them for their courage, and inspired by them. That doesn’t make me any more enlightened than any other man who has begun listening and paying attention. It does make me, I hope, slightly less stupid," he added.
Scrolling through Asia's and Bourdain's posts, anyone would be assured that their love was tight for one another.
And everything looked perfect.
Up until this week, when Bourdain was shooting in France for 'Parts Unknown.' Asia was in Rome and was spotted strolling around with a French reporter named Hugo Clément. There were photos of them holding hands and hugging, but the Italian photographer who shot the pics, has reportedly pulled them off after the news of Anthony's suicide.
It is not clear if the couple had broken up since there was no public announcement. Their last public appearance together was in April at an event in New York.
Bourdain's suicide comes just days after the suicide of American designer, Kate Spade, who left behind a suicide note to her daughter, telling her to ask her father, Andy Spade, on why she did it.
What Kate Spade's bag meant to '90s American women, Anthon Bourdain's vast knowledge and travelogue made a deep impact to viewers around the world. As Barack Obama puts it he made us “a little less afraid of the unknown.”
“Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer.” This is how I’ll remember Tony. He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him. pic.twitter.com/orEXIaEMZM— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 8, 2018
Life, in Bourdain's own words, were summarized, “As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”