Anthony Bourdain Said He Was ‘Regularly Suicidal’ After His First Marriage Ended

Bourdain admitted to being  ‘aimless and regularly suicidal,’ after the end of his first marriage in 2005.

Evan AgostiniAP Images

Known for his award-winning series, No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain, a world-famous chef, traveler, gifted storyteller, and one of CNN‘s most familiar faces, died on June 8. As the Inquisitr reported, Bourdain was found dead on Friday of an apparent suicide.

Quoting Bourdain’s bestseller, Medium Raw, Page Six reported today how the chef admitted to being “aimless and regularly suicidal,” after the end of his first marriage in 2005. In his book, chef Bourdain recounted drinking and taking drugs in order to cope with what had happened.

This was nothing new for Bourdain, who was hooked on a host of illicit substances by his early 20s. At the very beginning of his career, Anthony wrote in Medium Raw, he would cook meals while on speed, cocaine, and heroin. In the 1980s, Bourdain got sober, with the help of methadone.

In a 2016 episode of Parts Unknown, Bourdain traveled to Argentina for psychotherapy. Open about battling demons, Bourdain told Eater the following.

“Well, things have been happening. I will find myself in an airport, for instance, and I’ll order an airport hamburger. It’s an insignificant thing, it’s a small thing, it’s a hamburger, but it’s not a good one. Suddenly I look at the hamburger and I find myself in a spiral of depression that can last for days.”

Writing about Bourdain for Psychology Today, Stanton Peele, Ph.D, psychologist, attorney, psychotherapist and the author of books and articles on addiction, described Anthony as a “a highly energized and thoughtful person with a tendency to get off track.”

Anthony’s intelligence and honesty is what had made him good at his job, Peele wrote, praising chef Bourdain for managing to stay on track, while still drinking occasionally, which is something most former drug addicts find difficult to achieve without slipping back into their old habits. But, that was in 2014.

anthony bourdain suicidal before
Featured image credit: Mary AltafferAP Images

A lot may have changed for Bourdain since then, but if it has, Bourdain had, so it seems, chosen to stay silent about it. Karen Reynolds, director of CNN public relations and Bourdain’s longtime publicist, told People that Bourdain was “giddy” just a week before his death, excited about the Hong Kong episode of his famous television show.

The Parts Unknown host reportedly used the belt of his hotel bathrobe to hang himself. News of his death shook people around the world. CNN issued a statement on Twitter, Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, Scott Kelly, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and other prominent figures from politics, entertainment, sports and media, mourned Bourdain’s death on Friday, as the Huffington Post noted.

According to the Washington Post, Suicide rates rose in all but one American state between 1999 and 2016. In more than half of all deaths, the people had no known mental health condition when they ended their lives.


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.