New revelations are presented in an unauthorized biography by journalist Charles Leerhsen, titled “Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain.
Leerhsen accessed and included Bourdain’s text messages in his book to note the chef’s state of mind in his final days.
An excerpt of the book was published in The New York Times.
Bourdain reportedly struggled with depression. Illustrating this, Leerhsen cited a text message Bourdain wrote to his ex-wife, Ottavia Busia-Bourdain: “I hate my fans, too. I hate being famous. I hate my job.”
Bourdain added: “I am lonely and living in constant uncertainty.”
Leerhsen asserts that Bourdain was prone to “fits of jealousy.” This was reportedly particularly destructive to his two-year relationship with girlfriend Asia Argento.
Five days before Bourdain’s death in June 2018, the chef and CNN host saw photos of Argento, 47, dancing with French reporter Hugo Clément at a restaurant. According to Leerhsen, Bourdain was “incensed” at seeing the photos and stalked Argento’s online accounts “hundreds of times.”
This led to multiple arguments via phone and text.
One day before his death, Bourdain wrote:
“I am okay. I am not spiteful. I am not jealous that you have been with another man. I do not own you. You are free. As I said. As I promised. As I truly meant.”
Bourdain added: “But you were careless. You were reckless with my heart. My life.”
In the same conversation, Bourdain noted he was devastated when he learned that the “Italian actress’ alleged tryst took place at a hotel in Rome that they loved,” according to Leerhsen.
Argento then reportedly wrote back to Leerhsen, “I can’t take this.”
The “XXX” star then formally ended her relationship with Bourdain — citing his “possessiveness,” according to the book.
Reportedly, the next day, after a restless and sleepless night “of drinking,” Bourdain reached out to Argento again.
“Is there anything I can do?” Bourdain wrote.
Argento responded curtly: “Stop busting my balls.”
According to Leerhsen, Bourdain replied, “OK” and then committed suicide by hanging himself.
Argento told The New York Times she has not read the book and that she told Leerhsen he “could not publish anything I said to [Bourdain].”
Argento maintains that her behavior was not to blame for Bourdain’s death, telling the DailyMailTV:
“People say I murdered him. They say I killed him. I understand that the world needs to find a reason. I would like to find a reason too. People need to think that he killed himself for something like this. He cheated on me, too. It wasn’t a problem for us.”
Argento added, “He was a man who traveled 265 days a year. When we saw each other, we took really great pleasure in each other’s presence, but we are not children. We are grown-ups.”
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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