News of Anthony Bourdain’s death at age 61 shocked the world on Friday. Celebrities took to social media all weekend long to share their heartbreak and beg people who are suffering from mental illness to seek help.
The news of his death also came on the heels of Kate Spade’s suicide, making the loss seem especially stark and dramatic, observers pointed out.
- The chef-turned-author-and-TV-host was reportedly discovered by fellow chef Eric Ripert in his five-star room at Le Chambard, a converted 18thcentury mansion in Strasberg, France.
- He reportedly committed suicide, using the belt of his bathrobe to hang himself. Spade also committed suicide by hanging, and many news reports of their deaths noted that the rate of suicide has spiked by 25% since 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
- Ripert and Bourdain, longtime friends, were filming an upcoming episode of Anthony Bourdain: Part’s Unknown. Friends were first alerted to trouble when Bourdain failed to show up for a dinner reservation at the bistro Winstub, known for its foie gras and charcuterie, Thursday night.
- When he didn’t show up for breakfast either, Ripert went to investigate. Reports indicate that the suicide appeared to have been an “impulsive act.” Toxicology reports are pending.
- The title of his show—Parts Unknown—perfectly summarizes the world’s response to his death; as a man who toiled from obscurity to the height of fame and regard, many were stunned by the depths of his (to many) secret depression.
ASIA ARGENTO REACTS
- In a statement, girlfriend Asia Argento, who has been one the most prominent and outspoken actresses accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, hailed Bourdain’s unflagging support and love throughout the process. As many fellow mourners noted, he was steadfast in his support of both Argento, other accusers and the #MeToo movement in general.
- “Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did,” her statement read. “His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bound.”
- They met in 2016, when Argento appeared on CNN’s Parts Unknown. “He was my love, my rock, my protector,” she continued. “I am beyond devastated. My thoughts are with his family. I would ask that you respect their privacy and mine.”
- Her most recent Instagram story, posted three hours before his death was reported, was a photo of herself wearing a ripped t-shirt that read: “F— EVERYONE.” She captioned the post, which has since been deleted: “You know who you are.”
- Rose McGowan, a close friend of Argento’s, and a fierce ally in her public fight against Weinstein specifically and sexual assault in general, reportedly flew to be with her.
CONDOLENCES POUR FORTH
- President Donald Trump shared his condolences when asked about Bourdain’s death as he departed for the G-7 summit. “I want to extend to his family my heartfelt condolences,” he said. “I enjoyed his show; he was quite a character.”
- In a statement issued to USA TODAY, director Darren Aronofsky said he felt “Devastated. I don’t feel much else.”
- “Tony was a loyal friend and an inspiration. Always sensitive, always connected, always inquisitive, always fun,” his statement continued. “We had great times exploring Madagascar and Bhutan together. I will never forget his spirit, his conviction, his professionalism, his passion, his love for his daughter, his love for Asia and her kids, his vision, his stories, his drive for justice, and his wicked sense of humor. Thank you Tony.”
- Other condolences and tributes from stars and politicians—including President Barack Obama, Chrissy Teigen and Bryan Cranston—poured in on social media.
- Bourdain shares an 11-year-old daughter Ariane, with ex-wife Ottavia Busia. On his show, in interviews and reportedly in person, he has long spoke warmly of his love for Ariane.
- “I want to spend as much time with her as I can,” he recently told People, explaining that he reserved about five days a month to spend with her.
- “She’s been in this circus since she was nine,” he told People. “She knows so much more about so many of the things that are important to me — music, books, film, the technical aspects of film, and just the weird state of celebrity, being somebody that people come up to. That’s something she’s dealt with a lot longer than me. I was 44 before that started happening. Whereas, it’s been like that for her since she was a kid.”
- His mother, Gladys, 83, a longtime editor at The New York Times, could barely speak when reached for comment by reporters, saying: “He is the last person in the world I’d imagine to do something like that.”