Rose McGowan writes about Asia Argento's 'free relationship' with Anthony Bourdain in open letter

Tributes and notes to the late chef are being left on the windows of his former New York City restaurant, Les Halles

Chelsea Ritschel
in New York
Tuesday 12 June 2018 00:49
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Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain dies aged 61

Following the death of celebrity chef and beloved TV personality Anthony Bourdain at the age of 61, his girlfriend Asia Argento has revealed new details of their relationship - which was “without borders” - through a letter from a friend.

In an open letter, fellow Harvey Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan shared aspects of the love that existed between Bourdain and Argento - and the depression that “won.”

She wrote: “Dear Fellow Humans, Sitting across from me is the remarkable human and brave survivor, Asia Argento, who has been through more than most could stand, and yet stand she does.

“She stood up to her monster rapist and now she has to stand up to yet another monster, suicide. The suicide of her beloved lover and ally, Anthony Bourdain.”

According to McGowan, she shared the “truths” because she was asked to, and knows that “when a friend dies, it hurts.”

“Many are of these people who lost their ‘friend’ are wanting to lash out and blame. You must not sink to that level suicide is a horrible choice, but it is that person’s choice,” she wrote. “Anthony was open with his demons, he even wrote a book about them.”

McGowan then acknowledged the relationship between Argento and Bourdain, who dated for more than two years, and Argento’s knowledge of her boyfriend’s demons - as well as Argento’s own battle with depression.

“And through a lot of this last year, Asia did want the pain to stop. But here’s the thing, over their time together, thankfully, she did the work to get help, so she could stay alive and live another day for her and her children.

“Anthony’s depression didn’t let him, he put down his armour, and that was very much his choice. His decision, not hers. His depression won,” McGowan wrote.

The actress then shared details that added some insight into the relationship between Bourdain and Argento - including that they had a “free relationship” which they established the parameters of “early on.”

The 44-year-old concluded her letter asking that people “be better” and “look deeper” and "NOT do the sexist thing and burn a woman on the pyre of misplaced blame,” before adding that “Anthony would never have wanted Asia to be hurt.”

In the days after his death by suicide in France, another important woman in Bourdain’s life paid her respects - his 11-year-old daughter Ariane who acknowledged the passing of her celebrity chef father with a touching concert performed while wearing the boots he bought for her.

Bourdain's ex-wife Ottavia Busia shared the emotional tribute on Instagram, where she wrote in a post dedicated to her late husband: "Our little girl had her concert today. She was amazing. So strong and brave. She wore the boots you bought her. I hope you are having a good trip, where you are."

The picture shows Ariane, Bourdain's only child, singing on stage in knee-high studded black boots.

Busia, who remained close to Bourdain despite separating after nine years of marriage, was just one of hundreds of people to share a heartfelt tribute to the chef, who passed away on June 8.

Also among those sharing their condolences are New York City chefs and admirers, who have created a memorial to the late chef at the last restaurant he worked.

Before he was a TV personality and author, Bourdain was the executive chef at the famed Manhattan restaurant Brasserie Les Halles - a position he was granted in 1998.

Despite the restaurant’s closure in March 2016, people have flocked to the makeshift memorial at the restaurant to leave their condolences, flowers, and tributes to the chef, who impacted the lives of thousands with his open and accepting attitude towards food and life.

Proof of the lasting impact Bourdain had on the food industry, New York City chefs are among those paying their respects - and sharing their fond memories of the Parts Unknown host.

The team of Eleven Madison Park Summer House, having paid their respects, left a Sharpie marker taped to the doors so others could do the same.

“Chef, you may need these! Love, Eleven Madison Park Summer House,” their note reads.

Other chefs shared their tributes to Bourdain on social media.

French chef and owner of NYC’s Le Bernardin Eric Ripert, a close friend of Bourdain’s and the one who found the 61-year-old unresponsive in his France hotel room, said of his friend’s passing: “Anthony was my best friend. He was an exceptional human being, so inspiring and generous. One of the great storytellers of our time who connected with so many around the world an a level rarely seen.

“He brought us all on some incredible journeys. I pray he is at peace from the bottom of my heart. My love and prayers are also with his family, friends, loved ones and everyone that knew him.”

Chef Deuki Hong wrote that he will always remember Bourdain’s “genuine humility” but what he’ll miss most about the chef are “his words,” which he shared alongside one of the first conversations the two chefs had.

Famed pastry chef Dominique Ansel, whose bakery shares the same name, wrote on Instagram that Bourdain was partly the reason behind his success: “Tony once asked me in an interview how I would feel about ‘Creator of the Cronut’ being on my tombstone.

“Years later, I admitted to him that question haunted me and led me to push myself to create more.”

Xi’an Famous Foods co-owner Jason Wang also paid his respects to the late chef, who Wang attributed with helping “bring our family out from living in one room in Flushing to living the American dream.”

According to Wang, Xi’an Famous Food wouldn’t be where it is today without Anthony Bourdain and No Reservations - which is something he told the chef he’d “always be thankful for.”

Chefs David Chang, David Burke, George Mendes, Danny Meyer, Daniel Boulud, and Angela Dimayuga are also among those to pay their respects to Bourdain.

With flowers, notes, and beer, chefs, restaurants, and admirers alike have continued to express their condolences to the chef who made the restaurant industry, and the world, a better place.

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