Although the toxicology report isn’t back yet, the New York Times reports that French authorities have concluded no foul play involved in Anthony Bourdain’s death, and they’re releasing his body so his family can bring him home.
Exactly when Tony killed himself seems unknown. He failed to show up on Thursday night (June 7) for dinner with Eric Ripert as they had been doing all week, but apparently no one checked on him.
When Tony didn’t come down to breakfast Friday morning and didn’t answer his phone, Eric had someone from the hotel let him into Tony’s room, and that’s when he discovered Tony dead. The Times story (link above) says…
“When Mr. Bourdain’s body was found, the hotel staff immediately called the local gendarmerie, which arrived within less than half an hour and sealed off Mr. Bourdain’s hotel room for the day. His belongings were put into a safe, and his body was taken out the backdoor to Colmar, the nearest city, where the local prosecutor opened an investigation.”
Tony is in the Colmar morgue until he can be flown home, and the investigation has apparently been closed.
Page Six reported on how the Parts Unknown crew was busy setting up one of Bourdain’s classic market strolls nearby while Eric was back at the hotel as tragedy unfolded. This story also has a bit more on Tony’s mother Gladys’ reaction.
Four days before his death, Tony and Eric dined in Colmar at Wistub La Petite Venise, where Tony had braised pork knuckle, sauerkraut and sausage, which was the last photo he posted on Instagram. The restaurant has since become a tourist destination, with people wanting to see and sit at the same table.
Citing an unknown source close to Bourdain, Page Six reported that Tony was exhausted in his final months, working like a maniac. This was clearly borne out by his haggard appearance. I wonder if it was just fatigue, or if Tony knew something else was going on with his health, although he seemed to give no indication of that if he did.
And now here’s where it gets really weird. Tony’s girlfriend, Asia Argento, according to People, was apparently Instagramming a lot on Thursday with various stuff. Then about three hours before news broke of Tony’s death, she posted a photo of herself wearing a T-shirt that said “FUCK EVERYONE” and captioned it, “You know who you are.”
That post has since been taken down.
I believe Eric Ripert has remained in France, probably to escort his friend’s body home. I base this on a poignant tweet I saw yesterday from his wife asking him to come home and telling him that he is loved. I feel so sorry for Ripert. He can never unsee what he found in that bathroom. Perhaps once he processes everything, he’ll be willing and able to provide a bit more context.
I haven’t heard from nor seen any statement from Ottavia. I’m sure her hands are more than full with questions and helping daughter Ariane understand and try to get through this. My heart goes out to both of them.
Also no word yet on a funeral or memorial service. If anyone has more facts to add to any of these points, please comment.
AND: Here’s an interview Tony gave People published May 16 where he talked about never retiring and “dying in the saddle.” I thought it was a particularly good piece, and again, it gave no indication that anything sinister was going on with him.