Friends and fans of Anthony Bourdain are still reeling at the news of his death, but his girlfriend, actor and director Asia Argento played a big role in his life in the last year. Argento publicly announced in the fall that she had been an alleged victim of Harvey Weinstein.
People Magazine said that Bourdain had tweeted his support and admiration for Argento, praising her strength.
“I am proud and honored to know you. You just did the hardest thing in the world.”
Later, Bourdain pondered on Twitter whether the public can start using the word “rape” in reference to the accusations against Weinstein. Argento opened up to Ronan Farrow who wrote the now award-winning New Yorker article that she had been invited to a Miramax party at a hotel in France only to find out that she was the only “guest” of Weinstein in his hotel suite.
“He asks me to give a massage. I was, like, ‘Look man, I am no f—–g fool.’ But, looking back, I am a f—–g fool. And I am still trying to come to grips with what happened. It wouldn’t stop. It was a nightmare.”
Bourdain was one of the men out there doing work of reexamination & personal reflection & of truly listening to women, perhaps spurred by, but not limited to, Asia Argento. In addition to loving his writing & his show, I deeply appreciated this effort. https://t.co/PjsBKTtco5— Rebecca Traister (@rtraister) June 8, 2018
Anthony Bourdain didn’t mince words when it came to speaking out about Weinstein’s alleged misdeeds since Argento went public with her own personal story. At the premiere of his documentary, Wasted, about food waste around the world, Bourdain toasted the downfall of Weinstein and people like him.
“[To] the end of Weinstein’s reign of terror,” adding, “F**k him.”
And Anthony didn’t stop at Harvey Weinstein, calling others out who either came to the aid of Weinstein and his actions or staying conspicuously silent on the matter, like actor Matt Damon and designer Donna Karan.
But more than anything, Anthony Bourdain wanted to publicly sing the praises of Argento, personally and professionally. The couple went public with their relationship in February.
“[Asia] has spent a lifetime in film since she was 9 years old. She comes from generations of filmmakers on both sides of the family. She’s a really accomplished director and writer along with being a longtime actress and a real sponge for culture, music, literature. So she’s enormously helpful and inspiring.”
After publicly praising Argento and admonishing Weinstein, Bourdain turned inward to think about what he could have done to be a better friend to those in his life who suffered similar fates.
“I came out of a brutal, oppressive business that was historically unfriendly to women. I knew a lot of women, it turned out, who had stories about their experiences—about people I knew—who did not feel I was the sort of person they could confide in.”
Anthony Bourdain was in Strasbourg, Alsace, France at the time of his death, filming his CNN show Parts Unknown with friend and chef Eric Ripert, who found Bourdain “unresponsive,” reports People.
At the time of his death, Argento was in Rome based on the geotag on her Instagram story, now deleted. In the story, she was wearing a t-shirt that read, “F**k Everyone,” followed by a post that said, “You know who you are.”
That particular story on Argento’s Instagram page was deleted soon after the death of Bourdain was announced on CNN.
French authorities suggest that there was no third party in the death of Bourdain.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.