In the days leading up to his death, American celebrity chef Anthony Bourdainwas grappling with the challenges of fame and heartbreak.
Journalist Charles Leerhsen’s upcoming unauthorised biography Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain includes text messages sent by the late television personality that show his mindset before he died by suicide in France in June 2018.
“I hate my fans, too. I hate being famous. I hate my job,” a text message sent by Bourdain to ex-wife Ottavia Busia-Bourdain, one of his close confidants, reads according to an excerpt in the New York Times. “I am lonely and living in constant uncertainty.”
Leerhsen’s book also includes claims Bourdain and his then-girlfriend, Italian actress Asia Argento, often struggled with jealousy.
Per the book, Bourdain, 61, saw photos of Argento, now 47, dancing with French journalist Hugo Clément, now 32, in Rome five days before his death.
Bourdain, according to Leerhsen, was “incensed” about the photos and searched Argento’s name online “hundreds of times”, which sparked arguments over the phone and text message.
“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, according to the book, sent in a text message to Argento one day before he died.
“But you were careless. You were reckless with my heart. My life,” the message reportedly concluded.
In that same conversation, the celebrity chef noted to his girlfriend of two years that he was mostly hurt by the fact the alleged tryst happened at a hotel in Rome they loved to go to together.
Argento reportedly responded to Bourdain, “I can’t take this” and broke up with him over his “possessiveness,” per Leerhsen’s book.
One day later, Bourdain, who had spent the day filming and the night drinking, contacted Argento again, reportedly writing, “Is there anything I can do?”
Argento reportedly responded, “Stop busting my balls” and to that, according to the book, the chef wrote back, “OK.”
Shortly after, he died.
For a daily dose of 9Honey, subscribe to our newsletter here.
When the New York Times reached out to Argento for comment, she said she had not read the book but told the publication of its author: “I wrote clearly to this man that he could not publish anything I said to him.”
In the past, Argento has said her alleged infidelity was not to blame for her ex-partner’s death.
”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,” she told the Daily Mail three months after his death, in September 2018.
“People need to think that he killed himself for something like this. He cheated on me, too. It wasn’t a problem for us.
“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 needs immediate or mental health-related support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via lifeline.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.