Piecing Together Bourdain’s Last Days, Aftermath

By Karen

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.

105 Responses to Piecing Together Bourdain’s Last Days, Aftermath

  1. catsworking says:

    OMG, Laura, it just keeps getting worse and worse with the Asia photos. The Italian press must be having a field day. They didn’t buy her tale of “Harvey Weinstein raped me so I started dating him” BS, and now they’ve caught her stepping out on Bourdain. Too many pictures of too many embraces and flirty moves to be totally innocent. Sorry.

    She strikes me as a rather coarse piece of work. And who’s home raising her two kids, ages 8 and 16?

  2. Adele Prass says:

    As more information comes out, I feel sadder and sadder. I watched the Parts Unknown in Marseille last night, and Tony and Eric were having a roadside picnic with very expensive wine. Tony was teasing Eric about his Buddhist beliefs, saying that if there was reincarnation, he didn’t see how any life could be better than this, and Eric better hope that this life was it. I finally cried. I think one thing that must be repeated is that whatever thought process went into Tony’s suicide, depression is a chemical imbalance. For all, who loved him, it’s important to remember that his final act was caused by an illness, just as real as any physical ailment.

  3. catsworking says:

    Adele, I haven’t had a good cry over Tony yet and I think it’s making me feel worse. I want to SCREAM, too.

    Yes, depression is a total bitch and nobody’s fault. Tony’s former girlfriend, Paula Froelich (remember her?), just did a series of tweets about it:


  4. Pink! says:

    A lurker since the news broke and gutted. It’s all too surreal and beyond comprehension now. Tony, where ever you are I hope you are at peace.


  5. leeduigon says:

    I know this is really worth nothing now, but why didn’t anyone check on him when he didn’t come down to the dinner they were sure he was looking forward to?

  6. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Pink! and thanks so mich for the link. I hate to think of him there lying in a drawer for days. I’ll probably have nightmares tonight.

  7. catsworking says:

    Pat, my guess is that they probably thought he was tired and turned in early and didn’t want to wake him. I think he was having dinner with just Ripert, so the crew may have been eating elsewhere and didn’t know he was a no-show.

  8. catsworking says:

    feijicha, thanks for the link. They got some things wrong in the story, and I’m wondering if Asia will show up at any service. Bourdain’s mother told reporters all the arrangements are being done by Ottavia, who is still his next of kin because they’re not divorced. That story was basically a mash of every other thing I’ve read online. Pretty comprehensive stuff.

  9. J W says:

    Sorry if this has been brought up already, but I didn’t see it in the main posts and haven’t had time to read through all the comments — Was Bourdain on “anti-depressants?” I also wondered this about Kate Spade. I can’t remember any any sources now (sorry!) but I know suicidal thoughts(/actions?) are a known side-effect of some anti-depressants and remember reading in the past that some people with depression did kill themselves when everyone around them knew they were depressive but did not think they were suicidal.

    (Sorry I have no sources! Some years ago I was diagnosed with depression and between the dumb-ass doctors I saw plus my own research online I thought the drugs they recommended were scarier than Depression. So I found a lot at that time but don’t remember the sources. But I’ve also noticed some other cases in the news since then where family/friends have questions about the pharmas their Loved One had been taking when they killed themself.)

    (Also, Nothing against anyone who got pharmas that work for them! I had a bad experience in that I wanted therapy first, then let’s talk about pharmaceuticals, and they were all trying to throw pharmas at me in 5 or 10 minutes. Scary. Good for you if you found a good doctor and pharmas that are good for you!)

  10. catsworking says:

    JW, good question. I’ve never heard that Bourdain was taking any anti-depressants. The only drug I ever saw him mention was a statin for his cholesterol. And I think at some time he used Chantix to give up smoking.

    The toxicology report may reveal if he was being treated for depression. My gut tells me he wasn’t. That seems like the kind of thing he would think he could power through. And all indications were that he was high on life after having found his soulmate, Asia. Except for Bourdain Market falling through, everything seemed to be coming up roses for him.

  11. Laura N. says:

    I just finished watching the Berlin episode and I made it through right up until the end credits just now. That’s when I started crying because I realized it was the very first show aired now that he is not here. I wondered if he’d been able to see the final edit. Did we just watch something he’d never laid eyes on? And then I thought of the new episodes that will likely air months from now. He’ll never see them. He’ll never know what songs were played. He’ll never know which interviews will make the cut and which ones won’t. Will these episodes be without his voice over? It’s all so so so sad. He’s really gone and now life is already going on without him. It’s just crazy and still so hard to believe.

  12. BobBib says:

    I’m with Laura on this, my hands wouldn’t stop shaking during the Berlin episode. I also realize that he’s no longer with us. His passing is hitting me so much harder than I thought. My hands and body always give away my mental state even if I’m not crying.

  13. feijicha says:

    A couple of items online. First, comments from all the various CNN anchors. Does anyone know wtf is going on with his ear in the lat pic, the one with Brooke Baldwin??


    The Hollywood Reporter had a series of short pieces with comments from various people including Zamir:


    And Tom Colicchio who said he thought Tony’s best was still to come:

  14. Morganlf says:

    Adele and all. Sometimes a desperate act is not an illness, merely a neurotic reaction to a heartbreak. Some people can’t handle the infidelity & feel violated. It builds up and maybe suicide looks like an out.
    Fairly sure if Argento hadn’t cuckholded him publicly, Tony while morose would have soldiered thru. But that night something in him gave out.

    We will never know, but we can surmise.

    To leave a daughter this way…I can’t grip it.

  15. Laura N. says:

    Morganlf, the French officials seem quite certain that it was an impulsive act. I wonder if he left a some kind of indication that he just snapped. That makes it much sadder for me. Was there no one he could talk to? If he’d just gone for a walk and calmed down, would he still be here?! Ugh. I could barely sleep last night. It feels more real now. Just horrible.

  16. L Villeneuve says:

    I also question why no one called him Thursday night to check on him. With him being in a dark mood for a few days, you would think they would have, especially if Tony told Eric about Asia.

  17. catsworking says:

    BobBib and Laura, I didn’t watch Berlin last night. Maybe one night this week. But I woke up this morning with an earworm. It was Andy Williams singing, “There Will Never Be Another You,” and it’s STILL playing in my head.

    For a man who actually was so far removed from us, this feeling that we’ve lost a best friend is testament to the powerful effect he had on people. If only he knew…

  18. catsworking says:

    feijicha, I thought I was going to be able to answer that Tony used to have his ear pierced, but hold the phone! What was that stuff in his ear? Cauliflower? Don’t boxers get “cauliflower ear?” I never knew what that was, but maybe it has some healing property.

    Judging from the redness below the white stuff, it looks to me like he probably got an ear injury doing MMA, if I had to guess.

    Thanks for the other links. Everyone is weighing in.

  19. catsworking says:

    Eric was the most solid and grounding force in Tony’s life, with the calmness of Buddha himself. If there was anybody Tony could have confided in, it was Eric. And I can understand Eric leaving Tony to himself on Thursday night. I had probably seen that Tony was exhausted and needed rest.

    I agree that the suicide was probably unplanned and impulsive. What made him snap, I don’t know. The locked all his belongings in a safe, which presumably would include any notebooks, iPad, or laptop. Was something written? I can’t imagine that he would leave his daughter without saying SOMETHING to her.

    I think one of the reasons I’m having a hard time putting some distance between myself and this is that I have a sense of foreboding that more is to come. I will be very surprised if some explanatory writing doesn’t surface.

  20. Donna Pavone says:

    Karen how are you doing? This is a tough one. And Adele,Morgan and fellow CW fans,I’m finding our digital wake helpful. The answers I need will never come,but it helps to have someone to ask the questions of.
    One of which is do you think he was seeking the anonymity of a hotel room in a foreign country in which to kill him self? Hoping to be found by someone not close? I’m reading this was an impulsive act,but maybe he had this in psychic motion for a while? My heart aches for Eric Ripert so much

  21. catsworking says:

    Donna, I’m OK. I’ve got work to get to today, which will help me get out of this rut I’m digging in my brain about Bourdain and life without him as a presence.

    I don’t believe he was thinking far enough ahead to consider who would find him. He just wanted out, that minute. If he hadn’t been alone in that room long enough to pull it off, he’d probably still be alive.

    And I agree that he probably had suicide in the back of his mind, maybe always. He talked about it through the years as a possibility, but he’d always overcome the urge. This time, something too big to overcome was at play. Sheer exhaustion? Dashed hopes with Asia? The lying inner voices of depression? Who knows? That’s why I’m hoping he left behind SOMETHING reflecting his state of mind.

  22. leeduigon says:

    “Cauliflower ear” is when an ear (usually a boxer’s) gets a cauliflower like appearance from repeated blows. It is not white, it just looks bumpy like cauliflower. You can most likely google a picture of it..The thing in Tony’s ear looks more like a dressing of some sort.

  23. catsworking says:

    Hahaha! Pat, thank you for my first laugh of the day. I appreciate the description of cauliflower ear. I’m sure you’re right about the dressing. I can’t imagine the man allowing himself to be photographed with actual cauliflower in his ear. What was I thinking? 😉

  24. Tracy Moses says:

    Just read this today and made me cry so much for this girl. She sounds stronger than a lot of us!


  25. Bob says:

    Just a little heads up, Ottavia has posted a lovely picture of Ariane performing with her band wearing the boots Tony had bought for her. She seems like such a brave young woman, very strong indeed.

    The photo is up on Ottavia’s Instagram account and it’s a beautiful shot of Ariane.

  26. catsworking says:

    Hi, Bob, someone posted a link to that photo here last night, I think. It’s all over the ‘net now. It’s really the most complete picture of Ariane I’ve seen recently. She seems to have shot up a lot even since she posed for his cookbook. She looks very mature, especially in those boots and the leather jacket. A chip off the old block for sure.

  27. Bob says:

    I didn’t see the link until after I had posted sorry. Yes she’s really sprouted up. She’s a beautiful young lady.

  28. Randi says:

    I think all this has been mentioned before, but here’s a link to some recent “articles” from TMZ, the Italian paper. The first picture of Tony is really good!
    … and here are more pictures:
    I like this:
    Anthony Bourdain would dish poison if Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un made reservations for 2.
    We got Bourdain Thursday at LAX and our intrepid photog wondered — what would the “Parts Unknown” host serve if asked to cater a peace talk meeting between the U.S. Prez and North Korea’s dictator?
    Check it out … pretty clear where Bourdain stands with what he’d serve. HINT — it’s vegetarian, but also deadly.
    Also, doesn’t sound like he’s got a soft spot for Kim Jong-un, who he calls a “chubby, evil little f***.”

  29. Donna Pavone says:

    Did anyone ever read where Tony wrote about Asia,holding her up as a woman he admired from afar? I think it was in Medium Raw, I don’t know what became of my copy,so I can’t reference it. I never bought her bullshit Harvey Weinstein story and was a bit taken aback when AB praised her for coming forward with it. I read his reaction first and then was puzzled by her details-what did/didn’t happen…..whuh? Her father’s movies were dreck,or I’m not cool enough to get them. Looking back on my art house days,I realize most of what I saw European garbage,but it was easy to sneak in bottles of wine. No one cared anyway

  30. Adele Prass says:

    Just looked at some of the comments on TMZ after the picture of Ariane was posted. Once again, I was shocked at the meanness of people. One commenter seemed to imply that Ottavia was being exploitative by posting Ariane’s photo, several condemned the boots and punk band, and one guy simply said, “He’s dead; move on!” We still don’t have a great view of Ariane’s face, which is fine; Ottavia has NEVER been anything but protective. And I’m so sick of this need to lash out. Tony’s death is a loss and a tragedy; none of us will ever know what was in his mind, and blame and snark is not helpful.

  31. feijicha says:

    Do these twits (Asia and Rose) have any decency at all? They are intent on making this all about THEM. Shut up already. And do they have no sense that this man has a daughter who can read their self-important analyses of Tony’s behavior??

  32. catsworking says:

    Randi, I’m going to miss his descriptions of the despicables in this world so much.

  33. catsworking says:

    Donna, if he ever mentioned her before, I don’t recall. Just checked Medium Raw and The Nasty Bits and neither has an index, so finding her is a needle in a haystack.

    Considering all the photos available of her looking perfectly content to snuggle under Harvey Weinstein’s armpit, it surprises me that she would equate their “first date” with the experiences of women who were actually raped. But seeing her behavior since, now I recognize it as her opportunity to get her name out there. It’s unfortunate that Bourdain was duped by the histrionics. It was one of the few times his finely honed bullshit detector failed to go off.

  34. SageScarf says:

    And, apparently, Rose McGowan was just indicted on cocaine possession charges.

  35. Morganlf says:

    Hi Donna,
    Sad we all gathered together again for this virtual wake, but oddly healing. I promise at least no one will throw wine on you!
    I think it was Medium Raw..gotta dig out my copy.

  36. catsworking says:

    Welcome, SageScarf, but WTF??!! I haven’t been online for a few hours to see this about McGowan, but if it’s real, I’ll call it karma.

  37. catsworking says:

    OK, I just read that McGowan was indicted today in Virginia, which happens to be home base for Cats Working. I call that karma on overdrive.

  38. Adele Prass says:

    Yikes, Karen, what was Rose McGowan indicted for? And so close to CW’s home!

  39. catsworking says:

    The incident at Dulles happened back in November, but the grand jury indicted her just today. The local Richmond Times-Dispatch seems to have nothing yet because they’re busy chasing down leads on the Civil War. Here’s where I read it:


    The Daily Mail also has a story. She’s claiming Harvey Weinstein is behind it. Faces 10 years in the slammer.

  40. Angie says:

    Hi there,

    Just discovered this blog yesterday when I was looking for something obscure about Tony. Longtime fan and feel absolutely devastated for his family and for all of us.

    Donna, I did read in The Hollywood Reporter about him mentioning he had been checking out her Twitter feed prior to their meeting in Rome:

    “Fortunately, I’d met Asia Argento two years previously, on our Rome show. I’d initially reached out to her because of my admiration for her last directorial effort, Incompresa — and because of her fascinating Twitter feed, filled with iconoclastic references to films, music, books and artists I’d thought only I’d ever heard of. That turned out to be one of the better decisions of my life. I thought, “If Chris Doyle is going to get along with anybody, it’s an outlier, don’t-give-a-shit-about-convention workaholic, like Asia.

    Well, that, too, ended up being a very, very good idea.

    In the end, Christopher mother­f-ing Doyle, one of the greatest living cinematographers, became the director of photography for my crappy little television show.”

    Full article here:

    Tough to read because of everything he said about AA, but please note that everyone knows that the DP on any shoot is the real director, so her being there wasn’t really about her so-called talent and ability to reference obscure information.

  41. SageScarf says:

    Have you read the open letter that was apparently dictated by Asia Argento to Rose McGowan? Rose then sent it as a press release via her publicist. It was released 10 hours after Ottavia posted the photo of Ariane. Asia and Rose know no shame. It’s really disgusting and sad how they can’t even respect his legacy by fading into the background.


    Also – despicable to insinuate that Asia was apparently strong enough to follow medical advice to treat her depression and live for her children, but Anthony just wasn’t. I just wish they would stop.

  42. catsworking says:

    I just found this article where Bourdain said he would never marry Argento.


    What’s a little disturbing is that it says the French are waiting for instructions from the family on getting Bourdain’s body home. So which is it, them or red tape?

    Rose now has bigger fish to fry with her cocaine possession indictment, so maybe Asia will have to start speaking for herself. I hope she just shuts up. Next to Ottavia, she has no status here. Girlfriends don’t count when it comes to death and there’s a wife.

  43. SageScarf says:

    I totally agree with you regarding the “girlfriends don’t count when it comes to death and there’s a wife” sentiment. It’s my understanding that since Ottavia is technically still next of kin, she will make the funeral decisions. This is purely speculation on my part, so please feel free to delete if it violates any rules, but I do think this is a terrible case of Tony getting mixed in with the wrong crowd at the worst possible time. I’m not buying the open relationship crap that Asia and Rose are spewing. Tony was recently quoted as saying he could definitely see himself moving in with Asia and that he wanted to be around her as much as possible. I don’t know that you’d say that about someone you’re not in a committed relationship with. Also, he had recently unfollowed Asia on Instagram.

  44. catsworking says:

    Sage, I don’t do Instagram, so I didn’t realize he’d unfollowed Asia. If so, that’s very telling. I agree that he definitely fell in with “the wrong crowd” when it came to Asia and her she-devil friends. He and I are of the same generation, and I feel sure he was not enlightened enough to be happy with an “open” arrangement. He definitely thought side liaisons were cheating.

    Where did you see him saying he would move in with Asia? The article I just found on People indicated he wanted them to keep their separate spaces. But it wouldn’t be the first time he did a 180 on something.

  45. iwonder says:

    “Adele and all. Sometimes a desperate act is not an illness, merely a neurotic reaction to a heartbreak. Some people can’t handle the infidelity & feel violated. It builds up and maybe suicide looks like an out.
    Fairly sure if Argento hadn’t cuckholded him publicly, Tony while morose would have soldiered thru. But that night something in him gave out.”

    Morganlf – I completely agree with you.

  46. SageScarf says:

    catsworking – here’s the article: https://people.com/food/anthony-bourdain-wife-ottavia-busia-asia-argento/

    He reiterates that he would not marry Argento, as they each have 2 failed marriages behind them. However, he does mention he “wouldn’t hate” moving in with her.

    I don’t typically dwell on celebrity deaths, but this one hit me hard because Tony was the anti-celebrity. He piqued my interest in all things foreign. Because of him, I’ve been to nearly 20 foreign countries and have ventured off the beaten path more than a few times. I believe that, despite the drivel coming out in the press, his legacy will continue to live on in a respectful manner for decades to come.

  47. catsworking says:

    Angie, welcome and thank you for the link. However, it doesn’t really address what Donna was saying. As far as we know, Bourdain met Asia a little more than 2 years ago, and that would be when he found her on Twitter before the Rome shoot. If there’s a mention of her in Medium Raw, that would have been several years earlier. Maybe she was on his radar even then. More likely he was aware of her father, the horror movie director whose name I don’t know.

  48. Donna Pavone says:

    Morgan it’s gonna drive me crazy but I KNOW he’s written about Asia somehow somewhere some years back. And speaking of Medium Raw,will we ever find out the identity of the rich cokehead heiress he devoted pretty much an entire chapter to? I imagine someone that thirsty won’t miss the chance to preen in the limelight,…stay tuned

  49. Laura N. says:


    I too was unaware that he unfollowed her on Instagram. The two of them posted the same lovey dovey pic on May 26th & 27th. And then he posted a nice pic of himself, Asia, and Christopher Doyle on the 2nd of this month. So up until June 2, at least, he thought everything was great with them.

    And I totally agree about him falling in with the worst crowd possible and at the worst time possible. I also don’t buy the “open relationship” thing. This is a man who, between his two wives, had nearly 30 years of marriage under his belt. That’s generally not the type of man who would be into the “free love” thing.

  50. Donna Pavone says:

    Karen,I believe Asia’s father is Dario Argento. Crap movies from my perspective but it’s easy to spin “edgy Italian alternative cinema” into something palatable. Blech.

  51. Lucia says:

    Ciao a tutti, condivido con voi il dolore per la grave perdita.
    Io vivo in Italia e vi aggiorno sulle notizie che circolano da noi.
    Un caro abbraccio a tutti

  52. L.Villeneuve says:

    Eric Ripert has a picture of a NYC monument this morning so I’m assuming he’s back and probably with AB. Still feeling upset about his death and the fact that he won’t be in our lives anymore.

  53. twilit says:

    Latest article on people says unsourced “friends” report Anthony seemed crazy in love with an emphasis on crazy and seemingly had an unhealthy obsession with Asia before his death. Regardless for a man his age to leave his daughter and everything because a girlfriend indicates some vet serious issues. It’s incomprehensable. To me an autoerotic asphyxiation situation like Michael hutchence would make more sense but no reports mention that. I just can’t imagine anything someone could do that would be worth taking the action he took, but depression is a disease and by nature doesn’t make sense.

    Anthony Bourdain Was So ‘Lovestruck’ with Asia Argento His Friends Were Concerned – People

  54. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Lucia. I don’t speak Italian, so I ran your message through Google Translate:

    Hello everyone, I share with you the pain for the serious loss. I live in Italy and I update you on the news circulating from us. A warm hug to everyone

    And I ran the article from your link as well. Italians are getting a lot more detail behind what happened that we are in America:

    Asia Argento and photos with Hugo Clement, Rino Barillari: ‘If I had known there was a life at stake, I would have stopped … But it’s not a picture that causes similar gestures’

    Rino Barillari, interviewed by Luca Telese for La Verità, talks about the shots sold to Chi, those who in recent days have immortalized Asia Argento and the journalist Hugo Clement, 15 years younger than the 42 year old, entwined. Behind the suicide of the comrade of Asia, Anthony Bourdain, someone has hypothesized could there be also those photos published by the weekly.

    “I’m Hugo, I did not even know who he was. I caught Asia from Camponeschi in Piazza Farnese. She sat at the table and I was behind her, “says Rino Barillari, the most famous paparazzo in Italy. At the beginning, Asia Argento did not notice it. “She seemed alone. He sees me and jokes, “he says again.

    “This, monstrous paracu *, goes to the counter, drinks and smokes, puts the songs in French with the mobile phone …”, he explains. Telese asked him: “Why?”. “You already asked yourself the question, give yourself the answer. To divert attention. In fact, there was him I realized only after half an hour. At the table, alone, hidden “, replies Rino Barillari. The one in question was Hugo Clement.

    “At the end of the evening she was sure: first she started to dance, then she pulled him in, so she clung to him. It was like I was shooting a movie. They looked like 16-year-old children – continues Rino Barillari – Everyone looked at them. She looked like a possessed doll, catalyzing her gaze. Scene of a crazy sensuality “. The photographer to find out the name of the man in the company of Asia Argento, sent a “little boy” to him, who asked him in English, Hugo Clement replied. “And at that point he was fucked,” emphasizes Rino.

    Asia Argento, when she realized that she had been paparazzata with Hugo Clement, tried to block the incriminating shots: “She sees me in the end, and she makes me: ‘Do not publish ruin me!'”. Barillari tells her it’s too late. But he adds: “If he told me that he risked a life. In that case, yes, eccheccaz * o. A picture is not worth a life. If that shot had triggered suicide … Here, this would make me suffer “. Then he says: “Just one shot? Impossible. If Anthony had seen what I saw, then maybe yes … “.

  55. catsworking says:

    Yes, L.Villeneuve, that does seem like a good sign. I’ve been brooding about Tony being stuck in France, so it’s a relief. I’m assuming Eric stayed with him until he was released for transport. Actually Bourdain couldn’t have had a better advocate at that end than Eric, a native French speaker, to navigate the system.

  56. catsworking says:

    Thank you for that tip. Here’s the link to the People article.


    It gives some new, if unattributed, info on his state of mind, but then devolves into repeating previously published material.

  57. Morganlf says:

    The Italian article says it all, “if he had seen what I saw then maybe yes..” Argento knew enough to beg the photographer not to publish. She knew how deeply Tony cared.

    The People article went THERE. Referencing red flags about the relationship. As usual we cats are ahead of the curve.

    Here is some sickening news:

    The local NYC Channel 7 WABC news at noon, just did a story based on Rose McGowans email. Quoting her assertion that Tony sought out help and didn’t listen to the doctors, repeating the free bird line.

    If Arianne didn’t know…she does now.

    That sick twisted ditch pig McGowan is being billed as a close friend of Bourdains girlfriend. That does not qualify her as a spokesperson.


  58. catsworking says:

    Morgan, McGowan is facing 10 years in the slammer for felony cocaine possession in Virginia. It had something to do with her losing her wallet at Dulles, and she claims Weinstein framed her. Her trial date is being set today. As always, the Richmond paper is still out to lunch on reporting a word of this, but here’s the story:


    I had no idea who she was until the #MeToo thing started. I still don’t know why she’s apparently famous. I’ve seen her do one interview and she seemed bonkers.

    I am shocked that ABC news would be putting what amounts to rumor out there without verifying it with Bourdain’s doctor or somebody who knew him well, which McGowan certainly didn’t.

    But there’s also a tale floating around that Hillary Clinton took a hit out on Bourdain because he was about to expose her pedophile ring. I’m not posting a link because I don’t want to perpetuate such shit, but Snopes ruled it totally false. Sheesh.

  59. L Villeneuve says:

    I just saw Asia on an Italian version of the x-factor claiming that these have been the worst three days of her life and thanks to all the Italian fans for your support to which they cheered. Makes me sick to my stomach. I wonder how Nancy is with all this but I doubt they kept in touch.

  60. catsworking says:

    Au contraire, LV. Bourdain and Nancy DID keep in touch. I can’t remember exactly when it was, but not too terribly long ago Bourdain was in France alone, chugged a ton of pain pills and whatever, broke out in a hard sweat and passed out in a restaurant while having dinner.

    It scared him, and who did he call or email? Nancy. It came as a shock to all of us.

    I know I’ve seen that incident mentioned somewhere in all the stuff I’ve been reading since Friday, although not the part about him contacting Nancy.

    I’m fuzzy on the details, but I bet Morgan or someone else here can fill them in.

    As for Asia: Worst three days of HER life? Puleez. How about poor Eric Ripert? Didn’t see Asia hopping a plane to France to see if she could help with anything.

    The people who cheered for Asia would have voted for Trump if they lived in the U.S.

  61. leeduigon says:

    Sorry, but not true about Trump voters. I am one and I feel the treatment of Anthony is now getting really ugly. My thought for today is “don’t die” . As soon as you die, the vultures all come out. It is already starting with unbelievable nastiness. I was a big fan of Tony, despite differences, and I am appalled at the ugly rumors already starting. I don’t think much of Asia (self centered) and I never even heard of her friend. I followed Anthony for years, read almost all of his books, and got a real kick out of him. It is a big loss, and those creeps that are trying to dig up dirt on him are only causing pain to his many fans, friends and family.
    Take care

  62. Laura N. says:

    The 4chan weirdos have jumped onto this, spreading all kinds of disgusting rumors. I’m glad Snopes called them out but that’s not going to stop these people and their sick Pizzagate bullshit.

    So now we know for a FACT that there was no “open relationship” understanding, being that Asia tried to stop the photographer from exposing her. Asia and Rose absolutely disgust me. I didn’t think I could despise them more but now they’re telling bold faced lies about Anthony to cover Asia’s butt. They’re vile.

    She told the Italian photographer “You’ll ruin me”. At best that means she believed she’d be cut off, as I assume he was financing her lifestyle. Or at worst it means she knew he’d become suicidal and harm himself and the public would hate her.

  63. Laura N. says:

    “How about poor Eric Ripert? Didn’t see Asia hopping a plane to France to see if she could help with anything.”

    WHOA! You know I hadn’t even thought about the fact that she didn’t even go to France!

  64. feijicha says:

    I hope she asked to go to France and Eric told her where to stuff it. Or refused to take her calls and had a flunky tell her she was not welcome.

  65. catsworking says:

    Pat, good points. You have proven your hardcore Bourdain fan status to hang out at Cats Working, which has shown Trump no love whatsoever and never will.

    I think it was Rose, with Asia’s permission, who headed us down a dark alley with the unsubstantiated claim that Tony ignored his doctors and killing himself was a choice he made freely.

    Then it was only a short hop to pedophiles led by Hillary, who also directs a goon hit squad in France.

    In referencing Trump voters vis a vis Asia presenting herself as a victim, I was referring to their ability to believe whatever they want to believe.

    Since Hillary’s name is now involved, I wonder how long it will take Hannity on Fox to start take the Hillary-hit ball and run with it to get Trump tweeting shit. He’s overdue to reverse the nice things he said about Tony on Friday, but I know he’s been busy pissing off all our closest allies and playing patty-cake with a brutal dictator.

  66. catsworking says:

    Laura, it didn’t occur to me that Asia’s behavior in the cafe established that her claim about an “open relationship” with Tony was BS. Good work connecting the dots there.

    Asia and Rose’s behavior in all this proves what Tony really meant to them. He was a means to their ends. I’m telling you, I smell a book coming out of this.

    I’m so sad that breaking with Ottavia sent Tony into such a tailspin he couldn’t see Asia for what she is. The word he used to describe her when the Rome episode aired was “magnificent,” which left me shaking my head, because I certainly didn’t see it then, and it doesn’t apply now.

  67. leeduigon says:

    I can’t help but think it was such a waste of love. He seemed to look at her with rose colored glasses. The bible uses the phrase you shouldn’t cast your pearls before swine and I’m afraid that is what he did. An awful waste, and everybody else’s loss.

  68. Adele Prass says:

    Not being as sharp as I once was, I looked up Tony’s contact with Nancy, and can’t remember where I found it — I think the New Yorker. He was alone in France, had a reaction to some medication he was taking, collapsed on the street, and thought it might be curtains. He emailed Nancy,and according to a quote from him, said things, like, “I know I haven’t been in touch lately; even though things fell apart between us, I want you to know that I DO (emphasis, mine) remember,” and things of that nature,

    My years as a social worker, working with both adult and child victims of sexual abuse, has made me more understanding of their personality traits than other people. I expect them to be grasping and needy. But if Asia writes a book or otherwise tries to profit from Tony’s death, any soupcon of understanding or patience goes out the window. Morgan, Asia’s cries of rape ring false, but, identification and wanting to seek approval from the harrasser/abuser is a very common syndrome. I feel so terrible for Ariane and Ottavia, but I may feel worse for Asia’s children.

  69. catsworking says:

    Thanks for what you remember, Adele. And speaking of Asia’s children…

    She didn’t marry the father of her daughter Anna, now 16. He was a rock and roll musician.

    She must have been already pregnant with her son Nicola in 2008 when she married her husband Michele that same year in late August. They divorced in 2013.

    Now here’s where it gets weird. In one of the interviews I just read, Bourdain had said he and Asia would never marry because they had both been married TWICE.

    OK, he was, but she apparently wasn’t. Was he trying to whitewash her past for Asia’s sake, or because he felt bad for the kids?

    Tony asked Ottavia to marry him far into her pregnancy, which Ottavia told me directly, so he was sensitive to the whole born-out-wedlock thing. I guess we’ll never know.

  70. catsworking says:

    Aha! Thanks for that New Yorker lead. I tracked down the Nancy article. It’s exhaustive, written in February 2017. But it has the only comments I’ve ever seen from Nancy about their marriage, and it contains the story of his collapse in France where he wrote to her. (You have to scroll 9/10 down the page to get to it.) If you haven’t read all of Bourdain’s books, this article is the best synopsis of his life I’ve seen anywhere.


  71. Laura N. says:

    For all his bad boy antics, he was still a man born in 1956 America. While he may not have judged others,making sure his child was born in wedlock obviously was important to him. Maybe Asia knew this and lied to him about being married to her daughter’s father.

    I wish I could read that NYer profile again but I’m not a subscriber and my free articles have expired. There’s a line in there from another chef about Tony and women. I can barely remember but it was kind of sexist. Something about him liking ball busting women or something and how that effected him.

  72. Morganlf says:

    Just re-read it. It referenced his mother as a ball buster (my words) which has been mentioned here years ago. She was apparently very opinionated.
    Back to Rose mc Gowan liar extraordinaire. She was born into a cult. She lived with the goth icon and sick ahole Marylin Manson, who had choice words to say about her and “mee too” google it.
    She was in a fairly decent Tarantino movie Grindhouse.
    She also was a guest programmer with Robert Osborne on TCM, Tony also appeared on that show.

    Gee Asia is real broke up, huh? Already appearing on her TV gig. One might think so great a loss would warrant at least a few days mourning. She and that c word McGowan need to be called out, and we have to be vocal about every attempt they make to capitalize on Tony’s death.

    Vile bitches.

  73. catsworking says:

    Well, now I know why I never heard of Rose McGowan. She never did a thing I cared about. I remember Bourdain doing a night on TCM, but don’t think I was wild about his movie picks.

    The info about Asia’s kids is on Wikipedia, so I would doubt she lied to him. That’s just the sort of lie he would tell. He did reinvent history at times.

    Morgan, I agree. As long as Cats Working is here, we’re not letting any shit about Bourdain get by us.

    Speaking of which, I saw today that Eater.com basically copied my most recent Bourdain headline about his last days, changing the comma to parentheses.

  74. SageScarf says:

    FYI, Laura N. – You can clear your cookies and then visit the NY Times website again. Your “free articles for the month” count will be replenished. Click History –> View Full History –> Clear Cookies and other site data

  75. Laura N. says:


    OMG, thank you! I didn’t know that.

  76. feijicha says:

    This bit in the New Yorker piece jolted me:

    He is more than punctual: he arrives precisely fifteen minutes early to every appointment. “It comes from his kitchen days,” Tom Vitale, the director, told me. “If he doesn’t show, we know something’s wrong.” Bourdain used the word “pathological” to describe his fixation with being on time. “I judge other people on it,” he admitted. “Today, you’re just late, but eventually you will betray me.”

    The ‘if he doesn’t show something’s wrong’ just is very eerie given his no-show at dinner with Eric, and then breakfast the next day.

  77. catsworking says:

    feijicha, that’s a great observation. The only way I can rationalize it is that Eric saw that Tony was in a foul mood that day and when he didn’t show up for dinner, decided to give him space to rest. When it happened the next morning, he acted.

    I just read an account where it said the hotel receptionist found Bourdain, but that can’t be correct. If Eric asked to be let into the room, why would the receptionist walk in ahead of him?

    Eric has information that could help us all understand and come to grips with this. I just hope he reaches a place within himself where he can share it.

    And still no word on a funeral or memorial.

  78. Morganlf says:

    His description of them both being married twice was a poetic liscense…he meant they had both been in serious relationships that in her case produced 2 children. He wasn’t protecting her he was being concise.
    I lived with someone a few years prior to getting married..we bought a home together and the dissolution involved lawyers and such…sometimes it’s just easier to say,married twice.

    He married Ottavia after their child was born. It’s been questioned why ne never had kids with Nancy, that’s even more than addressed in is writings and here.

    A knowledgeable poster, I won’t name because I believe she was family said that Nancy wanted kids and he didn’t. He had his reasons. Read the “drugstore cowboys” reference. It appears here first posted by “bobsyouruncle” (who is beleived to be Bourdain) appears again in Medium Raw and again in the New Yorker article. All seen here first..word-for-word.

    Writers love their words like children,and often can’t divorce themselves from a favored phrase or story.

    Here are some Incomprehensible posts:

    View this post on Instagram

    Shelter from the Storm

    A post shared by anthonybourdain (@anthonybourdain) on

  79. Morganlf says:

    Note: since the June 11 post of Arianne fronting the band, the handle on her account has gone from ottaviabourdain to Ottavia-Busia-Bourdain.

  80. catsworking says:

    Interesting. She’s reclaiming her maiden name, maybe because so many media outlets use her maiden name. But since Ariane is a Bourdain, I would think Ottavia wants to maintain that link.

  81. catsworking says:

    Yes, we’re virtually certain that a member of Nancy’s family and even Bourdain himself (bobsyouruncle?) were lurking and commented here in earlier discussions. Their input was very welcome, disguised or not.

  82. catsworking says:

    I didn’t think there could be a site more incoherent and babbly than Facebook, but Intragram is it. WTF, how can anybody make sense of that gibberish that passes as comments?

    Evidence of the death of literacy, which Trump is counting on for 2020.

  83. Mary Hunter says:

    Karen, your words “this feeling that we’ve lost a best friend is a testament to the powerful effect he had on people. If he only knew…” Indeed. All weekend and into this week I was wondering why I was so depressed about someone I don’t even know personally. Your words were right on. He was so open about his life and struggles and was so entertaining in his snarkiness that you felt like this is someone you’d like having over to dinner, sitting around the table afterwards, enjoying drinks and fun conversation.

    I’m also feeling the “digital wake” helpful (Donna’s words). Thanks so much for this forum.

  84. Morganlf says:

    We are all beyond distraught here. Some of us even met him and his wife Ottavia, several times. As Karen has confirmed he monitored this blog when early on, She dug into his first marriage and he Fedxed a letter to her home, apparently unhappy with the Cats. We were amateur sleuths then and Karen was on the fore front of Bourdain curiosity with this blog.
    Oh and we, ok I, was opinionated.

    Until I saw Ottavia andTony at an event in late 2007. She was lovely, and he was besotted. It was in Atlantic City. They had no entourage and later came into the casino and played some slots. I was at the bar but too self conscious to approach them..they were holding hands like prom kids.

    It was clear they were in love, a couple. I wrote of the encounter, here 11 years ago?

    Later on we met him and Ottavia at an event in DC.2009-10?
    We posted we were going to be there and Ottavia responded, she’d be there too, She sought us out, sat with us and was charming and warm.
    Tony chatted with us in the midst of hundreds of fans..drank a beer and posed for a picture with us “Cats” in between his hosting duties.

    I know he was concerned about the long discussion between her
    And us over the course of the 3 hour event he kept motioning the tick-a-lock gesture at Ottavia, which she soundly ignored.

    Karen & Ottavia hit it off and Cats posted an account. I was there they got on like old friends. There are pictures on this blog.

    Later, he did a book signing for Medium Raw, and via Twitter I told her I was going. He expected me because she’d texted him as he later told me-and I was singled out and met with him at the event.

    He had no entourage, we shared a Marlboro, (even tho at that time he’d quit. Prolly just jitters,it was a big crowd).
    Talk about walking on air!! The whole room was …who the f is she? But Cats Working was on their radar.

    After that, at the NY Food & Wine Festival I tweeted her I’d be there. As I waited in a LONG line of security He and Ottavia arrived in a big black SUV they welcomed me warmly with a hug and a kiss.. and I sailed to the front of the line.

    Finally, Ottavia,Tony and Big Gay ice Cream came to my town for her first BJJ match. I went, saw her and she was so fierce ..but broke into a smile and waved at me, I then sidled up to Tony said hi and we discussed the match briefly I knew nothing of BJJ, My post of the incident is in the archives here.
    Anyway I met him maybe 5-6 times, was a true fan and never acted douchey..I never asked for a selfie.

    I miss him, have grieved these past days a lot.

    I salved my soul with my grandy nephew today. We went to the park and laughed like fools he’s 13 months, my other one is 4 months, they love me I bathe in it.

    Which is why I can’t comprehend why he did this to his daughter.

    I …just ..can’t.

  85. catsworking says:

    Welcome back, Mary. Morgan definitely spent more time with the Bourdains than did, living closer to their neck of the woods.

    I’m still looking for any word on a funeral or memorial service, but so far nothing. Eric Ripert seems to be back, but it’s unclear if he escorted Tony back from France.

    Did just find this YouTube memorial tribute from Positano, Italy. Didn’t watch the whole thing because the music got on my nerves. It seems a montage of photos, with the first one ironically being of Tony with Asia sitting to his left. I remember it from an episode of Parts Unknown.

    I guess I’m feeling a tiny shade better, but my DVR has tons of shows and a remembrance I can’t yet bear to watch. And when I’m going about my day, he suddenly crosses my mind and I lose my breath when it hits me again that he’s gone for good. An important voice for human tolerance and acceptance of other cultures silenced just when we need it most.

  86. Adele Prass says:

    As I expected, the Travel Channel has been airing a couple of episodes of No Reservations each night this week. I’ve stopped watching . Every time I hear his voice, it cuts like a knife. I have, however, been compulsively Googling funeral info, but like you, Karen, I’m coming up empty. There is an AP obit that I came across, with many touching remembrances. I’d like to give a little something in Tony’s name to a suicide prevention service, but I keep thinking a specific program, mentioned in the funeral plans. I still can’t believe he’s gone.

  87. Adele Prass says:

    Karen, Google Celebrity Nation — Anthony Bourdain, and you’ll find a YouTube tribute called Family (I’m a Luddite and can’t figure out how to post it). It’s a montage of photos, and the picture of you and Tony in Richmond is in what I believe is the “girlfriends” part of the montage.

  88. Laura N. says:

    He was cremated in France. His ashes will be flown back to the States on Friday.


  89. Morganlf says:

    Wonder if there will be will be a memorial service here. I also wonder if Ottavia and Ariane even went to France. Guess Asia wasn’t invited.

  90. catsworking says:

    Adele, that’s not working for me. When I went to Celebrity Nation, it looks like a site that downloads viruses onto your computer.

    I’m sure I posted that photo from 5 years ago here (I’m looking at it right now. It sits beside my desk, along with my pic of me with Jonathan Frid from MANY years ago). Someone lifted it, and I’ll probably end up implicated in some Russian fake news. Sheesh.

  91. catsworking says:

    Adele, that’s not working for me. When I went to Celebrity Nation, it looks like a site that downloads viruses onto your computer.

    I’m sure I posted that photo from 5 years ago here (I’m looking at it right now. It sits beside my desk, along with my pic of me with Jonathan Frid from MANY years ago). Someone lifted it, and I’ll probably end up implicated in some Russian fake news. Sheesh.

  92. catsworking says:

    Laura, thank you for staying on top of it. I’ve been crazy busy today. I thought he’d probably be cremated simply so as not to create a gravesite that could turn into a shrine. He’d hate that shit.

    So now we know Eric came back without him. I would doubt that Ottavia and Ariane went to France. Why? To see him would be a nightmare. And to have to fly with his ashes would be logistically icky for all concerned. Do they put them in cargo, in the overhead? I shudder to think.

    Now that we know what’s become of him, I think the next development to watch for is a memorial service. There has to be one. I predict his ashes will be scattered in some undisclosed place, again, to keep ghouls from making a thing of it.

  93. catsworking says:

    Here’s another interesting tidbit that just came up in a search on Tony. His father’s obituary. He was also cremated, and his ashes given to a friend or family. There’s a photo of him as well. I see a resemblance in the eyes.


    Tony was 20 when his father died, and his father was only about 3 when HIS father died.

  94. Pink! says:

    I don’t understand the cremation in France. I can’t imagine losing a friend or a family member under such circumstances and then having them cremated on another continent with no close family in attendance. I’d want to see them for one last time and help bring them home.

  95. leeduigon says:

    Agreed. I understand very little now about this whole thing.

  96. catsworking says:

    Pink, when it boils down to it, he had no close family. He and Ottavia were essentially divorced. His first wife is never heard from. (I haven’t seen any comment from her on his death.) His daughter is only 11. The last thing she needs is to see her dad’s body after he’s been dead four or five days. I don’t know what someone who has hanged themselves looks like expression-wise, but I’m guessing not at peace.

    Ripert probably stayed as long as he could. He was there through the whole weekend and then some.

    His mother is 83 and probably not up for a quick hop to France and back. Bourdain’s brother could have gone over, but they weren’t close.

    If Asia had been the devoted girlfriend she claims she was, she was the closest one geographically to get there (from Italy). But if you’ve been reading here, you know why that wasn’t happening.

    And I’m sure it must be easier (even on Tony) to transport him as ashes than in body.

  97. Pink! says:

    Thank you, Karen. That helps put things into perspective but it only deepens my sorrow for a man beloved and celebrated across the world and finally, this is what it comes down to. I wish we’d all wake up from this awful nightmare.

  98. catsworking says:

    Pink, I’ve had morbid thoughts about the irony of Tony lying alone all these days, and then flying home somewhere on the plane other than in a seat. It’s so regrettable that he couldn’t let himself believe how much he was beloved. The outpourings of grief all over the world in places he touched, whether by going there or having his show air there, would have embarrassed him no end.

    I suspect his ashes will be scattered in some location we’ll never know so it doesn’t turn into a tourist attraction. It’s a fitting end. Then anyone, anywhere, can believe his essence may be in whatever beautiful place they visit in the world.

  99. Laura N. says:

    I feel the same way. But I do understand the family’s choice if they weren’t there.

    It also goes to show what a farce his relationship with Asia was. Ok, so he wasn’t that tight with his blood relatives. But the love of his life? His soul mate? His everything for the last two years? That magnificent goddess of his was just a hop, skip, and a jump away in Rome yet didn’t show up for one last goodbye. It was so decent of Eric to be there as long as he was, as I’m sure it was very painful and stressful. He was a true friend. God, I really really hope that he didn’t think that his death would leave her devastated or that it would hurt her as much as those photos hurt him. Because we all know she’s gonna be just fine.

  100. Mary Hunter says:

    Thank you Karen and Morganlf for your comments, and overall sleuthing over the years. I do remember your posts and photos from those first meetings with Tony. How thrilling that must have been, and now how terrible the grief. Sorry I am so slow to respond. I’m in Pacific time zone and don’t sit down to the internet until late evening!

    I also thought Ottavia was so good for Tony, especially after that show with her parents in Italy. She was so cool to encourage Tony to meet you those times. As for his daughter, he was obviously feeling pain at the time he took his life and not thinking about her. Everything I read about suicide indicates the person is not thinking about the devastating effect it has on the loved ones left behind.

    I don’t know if you’d read the tweets from Michael Ruhlman, they were touching heartfelt and at times Bourdainian.

  101. L Villeneuve says:

    Why wasn’t his death investigated under such unusual circumstances? The French authorities were awfully quick to close the case which causes me concern. Everyone seems so quick to accept the suicide theory without question. Why?

  102. Adele Prass says:

    Zach Zamboni!!?? He and Tony were so close. Being from Chicago, I spent a fair amount of time at The Old Town Ale House, in my youth — before Roger Ebert got sober, I saw him schnockered and pretty obnoxious more than once. He was much better sober. I knew about Bruce Cameron Elliott’s painting, but it was Tony, who introduced me to the blog. I’m planning on going there to toast Tony’s birthday, if I can get near the place. If I can get in, i’ll Take pictures.

  103. catsworking says:

    Adele, I didn’t even connect the dots with you being in Chicago. I hope you can get in. I have doubt Bruce would want to toast Tony’s birthday. Yes, take pictures if you can and let us see.

    I hope a lot of bars and restaurants around the country do something to celebrate Bourdain’s birthday as a memorial.

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