Anthony Bourdain, the travel documentarian who committed suicide in 2018, struggled with fame and heartbreak in the days leading up to his death by suicide, a new book reveals.
In an unauthorized biography titled “Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain,” journalist Charles Leerhsen includes text messages sent by the late celebrity chef in his final days that give insight into his mindset.
“I hate my fans, too. I hate being famous. I hate my job,” Bourdain wrote to his ex-wife Ottavia Busia-Bourdain, who had become one of his close confidants, according to an excerpt published by the New York Times.
He added in the text: “I am lonely and living in constant uncertainty.”
Leerhsen also notes in the book that Bourdain and his then-girlfriend of two years, Asia Argento, often had fits of jealousy.
Five days before he died in June 2018, the CNN host saw photos of Argento, 47, dancing with French reporter Hugo Clément in a Roman restaurant the couple would frequent together.
According to the book, Bourdain was “incensed” over the images and searched the star’s name online “hundreds of times,” causing them to argue over the phone and via text.
“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 reportedly texted Argento a day before his death.
“But you were careless. You were reckless with my heart. My life.”
Bourdain said in the same conversation that he was most hurt by the fact that the Italian actress’ alleged tryst took place at a hotel in Rome that they loved.
Argento then reportedly wrote back to him, “I can’t take this.”
Argento proceeded to break up with Bourdain over his “possessiveness,” according to the book.
A day later Bourdain reached out to Argento once more.
“Is there anything I can do?” he reportedly asked, to which his ex replied, “Stop busting my balls.”
Bourdain, according to the book, simply wrote back, “OK” and then hanged himself.
The New York Times reached out to Argento for comment, and she told the newspaper that she had not read the book but said of Leerhsen, “I wrote clearly to this man that he could not publish anything I said to him.”
Argento has said in the past that her infidelity was not to blame for Bourdain’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 said on DailyMailTV 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.”
She added, “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.”