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Who is Ottavia Busia-Bourdain? Anthony Bourdain's ex-wife supports book about chef's hellish last days

Anthony Bourdain and Ottavia Busia-Bourdain had been married from 2007 to 2016 and share a daughter together
Ottavia Busia-Bourdain and Anthony Bourdain were married for almost a decade before they separated (Getty Images)
Ottavia Busia-Bourdain and Anthony Bourdain were married for almost a decade before they separated (Getty Images)

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MANHATTAN, NEW YORK: A new biography on celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain is about to be released, apparently revealing quite disturbing details about his final days. Bourdain reportedly ended his life in June 2018 inside a French hotel room. It was reportedly said that he chose to take this dire step after seeing his former girlfriend, Asia Argento, with another man.

The author of the new book — ‘Down And Out In Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain’ — set to be out in public on October 11, is Charles Leerhsen. He told  The Guardian, “He became someone that he hated. By the time he realized that, he was too physically exhausted to straighten things out. He thought it simpler to seek what is famously called 'a permanent solution to a temporary problem.'”


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“Recovery, you might say, was one of the few things he couldn’t go all the way with. If he did something, he did it all out, whether it was comic books as a kid or fascination with the JFK assassination. But he pulled up short with recovery; he never stopped drinking,” the writer asserted.

However, Bourdain's family does not share the same joy over the release of the book. Bourdain’s brother Christopher told The New York Times, “Every single thing he [the author] writes about relationships and interactions within our family as kids and as adults, he fabricated or got totally wrong.”

The New York Times, citing Leerhsen, said, “Bourdain’s inner circle and even some of his international fixers and former line cooks refused to speak with him for the biography,” but Bourdain’s former wife – Ottavia Busia-Bourdain — has supported the book. The publication added that she “controls his estate” and “the book’s most revealing material comes from files and messages pulled from Mr. Bourdain’s phone and laptop, both of which are part of the estate."

Who is Ottavia Busia-Bourdain?

Ottavia is an Italian who came to the US in 2000. Eventually, she came in contact with Bourdain and the two began dating. She had once reportedly said, “Working in the restaurant business was definitely what brought us together. We used to meet after my shift was over and we would stay up for hours drinking beers, talking about my day at work.”

In 2007, they became parents of a baby girl and soon after that they exchanged vows. However, they went their separate ways in 2016. Ottavia mentioned it in the movie ‘Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain.’ According to People, She said, “It always seemed like what he wanted was this idyllic picture of family and ordinary life but then when he got it, I don't know if he was ... I don't know. After a while maybe that wasn't enough anymore.”

Ottavia spoke about how Bourdain changed after they separated. She said, “He was not the same person. Something changed and became really heavy but he started going to therapy at a certain point and I thought, 'I can take a step back, I don't have to be like you know always so worried about him.’ I feel like that is something that I will always ... I should have kept an eye on him more.”