Roadrunner, I’ve Seen It

By Karen

The documentary about Anthony Bourdain that we’ve been anticipating for at least two years finally hit theaters today, and I just returned from the first showing.

Besides me, only 11 other people, including four men, were in the audience. I sat in the top row corner in case I got emotional and had tissues ready, but I didn’t come even close to crying. Maybe all I’ve read about the content prepared me.

Context: I’ve followed Bourdain on Cats Working for so many years now, whenever I see anything about him, I approach it with the attitude, “Is this something I didn’t already know?” More often than not, it isn’t.

Here are a few tidbits I haven’t read in reviews and interviews about Roadrunner. For example, when Eric Ripert read Kitchen Confidential and first invited Tony to lunch to meet him, what Eric noticed about Tony was, “He has amazing good manners at the table.” I wonder what Eric expected?

(I took notes in the dark. They came out surprisingly readable!)

My favorite part of the film was early and was not director Morgan Neville’s work. It was all the footage I’d never seen of Tony shortly after KC made him famous. It came from a documentary being made about him at the time that was never finished.

There, we get several glimpses of Tony and Nancy when they were a couple. Their small apartment in New York City was filled with plants and books, and the walls were covered with pictures.

Ottavia didn’t appear as much as I expected, but Neville used some of her black-and-white scenes from the first Rome episode of No Reservations, which it happens I had just rewatched. It was so nice to see them joking and in love.

Later in the film, Ottavia explained that the romantic side in the marriage “dissipated when he started traveling intensely and we couldn’t follow him.” I’d assume that was when Ariane started school. But they always remained friends and even grappled together. She described jiu jitsu as “problem-solving under pressure.”

By the last year of his life, she said Tony was coming by to see her and Ariane only about once a month.

We see Ariane’s face as a toddler and small child. And there’s one quick scene where she looks about nine. She’s getting tall and she’s simply beautiful.

I was moved by the raw emotions and tears — still — when people talked about his death. His literary agent Kim Witherspoon, producer Lydia Tenaglia, artist David Choe, and of course, Ottavia, who has one great regret I won’t spoil for you. Eric Ripert, who was with Tony in France when he died, declined to discuss it.

But the reaction that grabbed me most was from Lydia’s husband, producer Chris Collins, who summed up the whole shitshow of Tony’s last year of life.

Chris was talking about filming the Hong Kong episode, which Tony hired his girlfriend Asia Argento to direct. Tony shocked everyone by firing his multi-Emmy-winning cameraman Zach Zamboni for daring to question Asia, and meekly let her interrupt and direct him in ways he’d have never tolerated from anyone else. Chris simply said, “In Hong Kong, we were trying to help our friend.” But his look said, “If only we knew where that was leading…”

As for Asia’s appearance in the film, I think the Parts Unknown footage Neville used was more flattering than she deserved, and he essentially handed her a pass, considering, although he did flash the paparazzi photos that totally unraveled Tony’s life.

My impressions are still roiling, and I know when I watch it again on CNN or HBO Max I WILL cry. If you want to see it in the theater, don’t wait. I’ve heard the run may only last a few weeks.

I just wanted to create a quick space here for comments.


155 Responses to Roadrunner, I’ve Seen It

  1. Lorraine Elizabeth Villeneuve says:

    Allegedly AA wanted to completely take over everything in Tony’s life according the Christopher Doyle..

  2. catsworking says:

    Lorraine, in Roadrunner during the Hong Kong scenes, there’s a subtitle where Doyle gives Tony a general warning, like, “She’ll take over your life.” I took it to mean that he had quickly pegged her as the succubus she was. Unfortunately, by then, Tony was too far gone to heed any warnings. Or, he felt he was in so deep, he couldn’t back away without coming off as humiliated and hypocritical with #MeToo.

    Hong Kong was shot before Weinstein went to trial and she WASN’T asked to testify for the prosecution. It was also before she was outed as a pedophile, with Tony paying the victim to stay quiet about it.

    If you read her book excerpt under the Diana statue comments, she worries about being “the other woman” in the relationship. Actually, she was the driver behind Tony leaving Ottavia. Before AA, Ottavia gave Tony a home base and time to be with his daughter. Once he moved out, I believe he became as untethered as he was after he left Nancy. AA couldn’t be his new home base because she wouldn’t let him stay with her when the kids were around (sanctimonious BS about motherhood).

    Even so, Tony and Ottavia never divorced. And he didn’t divorce Nancy until Ariane was on the way. I think he saw both of his wives as his ultimate safe harbor. When AA cut him off from them, he was adrift, probably another factor leading to the suicide.

    AA repeats so much how “open” and “uncommitted” and “free” their relationship was, I feel she may actually realize that she alienated him from everyone in his life and then publicly betrayed him and left him with nothing. She’s trying to convince herself that isn’t the case.

  3. Lorraine Elizabeth Villeneuve says:

    Absolutely right. Get him while he’s most vulnerable. I wish he had enough courage to leave her.

  4. Lynne says:

    Just saw the movie. It was mesmerizing. Beautiful. Harsh. Introspective. Real. And I think Tony would be proud of it. My gut did ache for the loss felt by the people – so many of them – who loved him. And I came home and turned on CNN and guess what’s on ❤️

  5. catsworking says:

    Lynne, I saw tonight that my DVR is picking up a Parts Unknown in Tokyo from Season 2, so CNN is syncing up to the film.

    Last night I slept very badly, and I think Bourdain was churning through my head all night. The documentary brought him to life again for two hours, but all the questions still remain. And now we have the raw pain he left in the people around him.

    I’m still grappling with my reaction to all of it. I think the two books upcoming in September may fill in a few more pieces of the puzzle, but I don’t think anything can ever fill the hole he left, or answer the lingering questions.

    It feels to me exactly like Trump’s presidency. I think the girlfriend and Trump share the same vast catalogue of mental illnesses. What we thought we saw at the time, we did, and no amount of gaslighting can change it. People may try to be discreet and tactful, but I think we know how it all went down. We can say it was exhaustion, addiction, booze, drugs, his ultimate choice and no one else’s, whatever. Helen Cho came closest to speaking the truth in the film, and I greatly respect her for that. On that last night of his life, he didn’t fall, he was pushed.

  6. MorganLf says:

    Haven’t seen it yet…I think it will fuck me up so will wait tho there is some to do abt them digitally inserting some of his dialogue
    Anyway CNN broadcasting a bunch of his shows watching Hanoi now, they must have a financial stake in the movie
    Have I Said I miss his lanky ass self? And his baritone? he’s meeting with Obama now on the show, now that’s PROPER street cred, and I love when asked what he’s serve the incontinent, diapered, KFC eating orange adderal snorting pig , he responds ‘hemlock’ . As if Russian collusion wasn’t a big enough deal the FBI investigated Tony

  7. catsworking says:

    Morgan, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. A lot of what Neville said he found in the raw footage when he was putting the thing together didn’t seem to be used. There were some outtake clips, but nowhere near as many as I expected. I thought I’d be seeing a lot I’d never seen before, but it mostly came from the earlier documentary that was shot in the early 2000s when KC first made him a celebrity.

    The hardest part to watch was near the end where some of the people being interviewed broke down when talking about his death, even nearly three years later.

    All that said, it’s been two days since I saw it and it’s still haunting me. CNN is one of the producers and they will be showing it on TV after the theatrical run ends, which may be in just a few weeks. It will also be on HBO Max, if you get that.

    I had no problem with the digital voice and didn’t even notice it. They used tape of him saying the same words to “say” a few lines he had written. Had he been alive, he’d have done it himself.

    With as much as we’ve seen and read by and about Bourdain all these years, I really do feel like Neville pretty much stuck to the safe side and just dangled a toe into controversy.

    I miss Tony’s voice every day. He really had no idea how much the world loved and needed him. Or he refused to believe it.

    On the other hand, I’ve got this cat who does crazy stunts and makes me laugh every day, with occasional moments of sweetness. I swear he’s channeling Bourdain and Tony is his perfect name.

  8. catsworking says:

    Lynne, I do think Tony would have liked it — that is, if he’d emerged from the bubble of AA worship and come out whole.

    What got to me most were those fleeting seconds where he was talking to someone and they’d show his reaction just as the scene ended, which was usually cut for the shows. The look in his eyes might be fear or pain, what was really going on in his head. I expected there would be more of those unguarded moments than were used.

  9. Lorraine Elizabeth Villeneuve says:

    I wonder why Tony’s first wife did not participate even just a bit.

  10. catsworking says:

    Lorraine, Nancy has been zealous about staying out of the spotlight since the beginning. Way back when I connected the dots from mentions of her in his book A Cook’s Tour and figured out who she was in two episodes of the show A Cook’s Tour (because he never identified her on camera) and posted photos of her I got off the TV here, it got Tony’s attention bigly.

    I think they split in 2005 and got divorced in 2007. In all these years, I’ve only ever seen Nancy quoted once, maybe twice, speaking about him.

    She is shown early in Roadrunner several times, but the period covered focuses mainly on after their marriage, so maybe she felt she didn’t really have anything to add and it wasn’t worth the exposure. That’s my guess.

  11. bassgirl23 says:

    Thanks for the summary! I so want to see it – I wish I could wrap my head around going into a movie theatre, but I’m still not quite at that comfort level. I’ll have to wait until I can find it on a streaming service – will be happy to purchase on whatever platform I can find, but nothing yet.

    All I’ve seen so far are a ton of reviews (mostly good) and a few which make the digital voice thing into a controversy, particularly as Ottavia made clear on Twitter that she hadn’t given her ok about it in advance. I’m not sure how I feel about it, will wait until I’ve seen the movie, but the idea seems….a bit creepy.

    I’m more worried about what that kind of technology will do for deep-fakes. We have so much misinformation out there on the internet already, and with the advances in AI it’s getting to the point where you can’t trust anything unless you were there in person. There’s a great UK series called “the Capture” about a crime supposedly committed on CCTV. It’s really unnerving to watch because the technology is already there, it’s just a matter of when something like that will happen.

  12. catsworking says:

    bassgirl, Roadrunner will be shown on regular CNN (probably stuffed to the gills with commercials) and be available for streaming on HBO Max. Whenever I see any dates, I’ll post them.

    Going to see Roadrunner was my first time in a public place without a mask. I wore one while I bought my ticket at a kiosk in the cavernous lobby and nobody was around me.. But then they said I didn’t need a mask in the theater. It was stadium seating, so I picked a seat in the top row corner at the top of the stairs, so nobody was directly in front of me and I was breathing down on nobody. It seemed like the safest seat in the place, but there were only 11 other people and they were totally scattered. But I also didn’t go at all because of the whole mask situation. Two women walked into the theater wearing masks, but I think they had popcorn, so they would have taken them off. They were in the same row as me, but at the opposite end.

    I worry about deep fakes, too. It’s horrifying to think that brainwashers can make anybody seem to say anything. But in this context, they had Bourdain speaking a few of his own written and verifiable words, so I really am not getting what all the stink is about except that Neville didn’t get Ottavia’s permission. Yes, he totally should have kept her in the loop, and the use of AI recreation should have been divulged either in a subtitle or in the credits.

    The one line I know was faked and I remember clearly, he was sitting on a wall with a glass of wine asking David Choe rhetorically if he was happy. I didn’t notice Tony wasn’t speaking. I actually thought it was a scene from a Greek episode he did where I remembered him talking about whether he could be happy when he was alone in a beautiful place with no one to share it with.

    And I didn’t pick up on the other faked lines at all.

  13. I don’t remember what my name was here. says:

    This is really late to the party, but last night I found a Podcast called MUNCHIES, episode #32. Anthony Bourdain in Bemelmans Bar in nyc. Anyway, he talked for a good 30 minutes. It was comforting and disturbing at the same time.
    Has anyone listened to that podcast?

  14. catsworking says:

    Thanks for the podcast tip, I don’t remember, I don’t think I’ve ever heard that one.

  15. Janice says:

    Karen – I’ve popped in and out of your site over the years, most recently of course after Tony died in 2018. I must say it’s been kinda nice focusing on other things (like COVID!), not really thinking about him much nor doing all that voracious reading and digging trying to find out what really happened at the end. But now this movie is making me start digging and reading all over again. I haven’t seen it yet, but I will. I just hate getting back into all this and yet I can’t help myself.

    I think it’s a copout that AA wasn’t interviewed for the film. Remember when Robert Durst admitted by accident on camera to murder in The Jinx documentary? So what if she tells the same lies in every interview, get someone who knows how to ask tough Qs to grill her. Neville didn’t have to commit to using her in the film, but what’s the harm in interviewing her and then deciding?

    I think people close to Tony probably said if you include her, we won’t talk, which is a shame bc again, a good interviewer could have potentially shown her for the asswipe she has always been. They need not have assumed if included she’d be portrayed as the grieving girlfriend. A good documentarian should have exposed her many contradictions, like if they were in an open relationship as she claims, how could it be “cheating” (she said “he cheated on me too…” and claimed both were ok with this.)

    I don’t want to rehash old speculation, but after reading all these articles about Roadrunner, the questions that keep coming back to me (which I wish someone would have asked AA), are:

    1. Had they broken up before those pics came out? I seem to recall the answer is no but they were fighting?
    2. What were they fighting about in the days leading up to his suicide?
    3. Was this (public display with Hugh) an act of revenge on her part or a test to see if he would tolerate it? She had to know she’d be photographed. I think it’s clear she wanted him to see the pics, the question is why? Or maybe she’s so crazy and damaged she can’t help but act out in these hurtful ways when she’s in relationships.
    4. WTF did her post “F you all, you know who you are” mean?

    It also occurred to me if they were in an open relationship as she claims why would the pics bother him so much? But then I thought, even if you agree to some sort of open situation, or you don’t talk about it but it’s sort of understood, dating other people discreetly is on another planet from flaunting it to the world. It’s very telling that a ZPZ crew member notes in the film that when he asked Tony how he was doing after those photos surfaced, Tony mumbled “…some fuckin’ discretion.”

    And lastly it’s also interesting that while he became addicted to this damaged ho, and admitted to people it “would end very, very badly”, even calling her a “crazy Italian actress” in an email, he couldn’t handle it when it ended just as he’d predicted. If you are going to choose to play with fire how can you get that worked up when you get burned?

    That’s all I got until I see it lol.

  16. catsworking says:

    Janice, you said a mouthful!

    I saw the Robert Durst series “Jinx,” and his bizarre confession was something like you’d expect AA to do in the heat of a hard interview.

    Agree with you that she should have been contacted, even if very little was used. But I suspect it was out of Neville’s hands. Since Tony’s death, his family and friends have erected this huge wall to keep her out of everything. I don’t blame them one bit, but it does leave this void where she can spin her own delusions against their silence, which just creates more questions and confusion.

    I was just reading some old posts by Ottavia on Reddit from a link posted here earlier, and she said that the girlfriend “dumped” him at the end.

    That’s exactly how I picture it. Remember, directly before France, Tony had just filmed an episode with AA in Florence. And I seem to recall the very same weekend she was romping around Rome with Hugo (or the one before), the Hong Kong episode of Parts Unknown that Bourdain proclaimed was the pinnacle of his TV career was shown in the U.S.

    So then the photos are published on Tuesday, they fight on the phone a LOT (according to the crew). And it culminated in her defensively telling him to fuck off forever and go kill himself for all she cared (or words to that effect). The “Fuck You All” T-shirt was her PS to that effect on social media, because she took it down as soon as she heard he was dead.

    She tried to explain away the T-shirt in her book as something she just happened to have slept in, and she added the caption “You know who you are” because she was quoting herself from her Cannes speech. Sure, whatever.

    From what you said about Tony calling her a “crazy Italian actress” and predicting it would end “very, very badly,” he had her pegged from the beginning, but it was a new addiction he threw himself into. Two years later, he was so mentally and emotionally drained (we watched him turn 85 years old before our eyes), he just couldn’t take any more of her battering, and the global humiliation she heaped on him with those photos, WHILE he was praising her to the high heavens, was the last straw.

  17. Janice says:

    LOL thanks I knew you’d have additional insights. Like I said this has been buried for me and now unfortunately this movie is out and all these theories coming back to the surface. I’m quite frankly tired of thinking about both of them but when there’s that much intrigue and a suicide, it’s hard not to.

    It sounds like she dumped him AFTER the pics came out, meaning those pics were his first proof (he prob suspected) that she was stepping out on him. Still it’s a bit odd he had the expectation of fidelity given 1. the way she is and 2. his travel schedule. Also amazingly stupid on his part to not assume that eventually it would come out that he’d paid off Jimmy B, and how hypocritical and just all around awful that would make him look after all his championing of Metoo. It seems like his judgement basically disappeared the final year of his life.

  18. catsworking says:

    Janice, I think you summed it up. His good judgment did seem to desert him the last year of his life. He was paying off Jimmy Bennett while he was touting AA as such a wonderful voice for #MeToo. HE knew how hypocritical it was and the blowback he’d face if it ever came out. She basically painted him into a corner.

    Those that say the suicide was ultimately his decision don’t take it to the next step: that the pictures showed him in real time that he was finally cornered and faced nothing but humiliation thanks to his association with her, and saw no other way out.

    He did an interview somewhere where he said they always had a power struggle and she resented him because she felt he had the upper hand. He couldn’t understand it, because he’d never tried to control her or exert power. But I’ve always thought was at the core of their dynamic. She was always looking for ways to one-up him. “Directing” him needlessly during the Hong Kong shoot was one way.

    Sleeping with another guy in Rome in the same hotel where she stayed with Tony, and then having photos of that weekend in the tabloids was another way.

    He probably did nothing to deserve any of this, because he was chivalrous toward women, if nothing else. But she couldn’t help herself.

  19. feijicha says:

    Karen as to your comment “that the pictures showed him in real time that he was finally cornered and faced nothing but humiliation thanks to his association with her, and saw no other way out.” I sorta agree…. but I also think it was more than the romantic relationship part of it… it was the public humiliation not just in terms of being cuckolded but of being used/duped/mocked. People around him clearly didn’t think she was good for him, (he on some level also knew this)but now the whole WORLD knows she played you and again I don’t mean specifically sexually or romantically. She just made him look like a sucker… she played him like a violin, she got money out of him, she got him to let her direct a show that would get seen by a global audience she could never have gotten on her own, etc etc. The humiliation of the “We told you so” (whether anyone would have ever actually SAID that to him, he probably imagined they’d be thinking it). That clip of him with Iggy Pop, it’s like he soo wanted to find something/someone he could have a connection with and she sure as shit wasn’t it. Ottavia was, Nancy certainly was. I think he still carried a lot of internal guilt about Nancy… and who knows what other regrets haunted him. Let’s face it, he was the sort of person who, even if he found that sense of ‘home’ and contentment (remember his happiness at being part of a big Italian family when he was with Ottavia?) would find a way to F it up.. there was just that oppositional, contrarian side to him that would feel restless, or feel that he’d sold out, or whatever the hell it was. We all can see that chocha appealed to all the rebellious parts of him… he wasn’t stupid, and it feels like her toying with him in the way she did, and so publicly was the worst humiliation

  20. catsworking says:

    feijicha, I don’t think the issue was being cucked by AA. He could have taken that, although he wouldn’t have liked it. It was the Jimmy Bennett payoff on top of it. THAT wasn’t easily explained away and made him look like a total hypocrite — for a total skank, no less.

    The documentary had several clips of him asking people about being “normal.” I believe the skank was in one of them. It seemed to be trying to make the point that he was always searching for normalcy. He had it with Ottavia, but realized he couldn’t stand it for long. And he felt guilty about wanting something he knew he’d ultimately hate and reject and fuck up.

  21. GlamourMilk says:

    Catsworking, Janice and Feijicha – I’d just like to say thanks for your insights in the last six last posts. It’s pretty much how I picture the situation as well. Haven’t seen the documentary yet. Definitely want to but also worried about all the backlash it’s been receiving. People are really tearing it apart. Wonder how those of Tony’s friends/family/colleagues who were interviewed are feeling about it. I haven’t noticed any of them promoting the documentary on their social media. Are they just done with it? Have they said what they wanted to say? Are they not happy with the documentary? Are they overwhelmed by the backlash?

    AI aside, which I don’t mind in itself but should always be clear when being used, people are so against the idea of suggesting that a girlfriend could perhaps be part of the reason (not the only reason) for a boyfriend to kill himself that they call it sexist. Is it really sexist? It does happen on occasion that someone kills themselves specifically because of another person – that’s not an uncommon occurrence. It’s not sexist to point that out. There are also women who have killed themselves because of a man. There’s a reason you can be charged with manslaughter for inciting suicide.

    I also thought, maybe part of the reason so many people seem to think that ‘women are always blamed for a man’s suicide’ and ‘it’s sexist’, is simply because more men kill themselves than women do (like more men commit violent acts than women do). So it’s only obvious we hear more about a woman potentially (partly) causing a man to kill himself than the other way around; there ARE simply more men that kill themselves, so therefore it’s also logical that more women will be blamed for a man’s suicide than men will be blamed for a woman’s suicide. It’s a numbers-thing. It’s not necessarily a sexist thing (though I’m not discounting that it can be in some cases).

  22. GlamourMilk says:

    An interesting tweet response to another tweeter on Ottavia’s Twitter (from last night):

    Stupid comment from Tweeter:
    His death should have been investigated. It seems the matter was closed very quickly by the French police. One wonders why none of his colleagues at @CNN found that odd enough to investigate. #Bourdain

    Response from Ottavia:
    The French police found text messages that made the cause of death obvious.

  23. catsworking says:

    GlamourMilk, I’m baffled by the backlash to the documentary, AI notwithstanding. That was just stupid not to divulge. I think it was well-done for casual fans. But to me it felt like watching clips from his shows more than new material, aside from the previous documentary and the interviews with others. I expected more substance. Maybe it’s just too soon to tackle this subject because emotions are still too raw.

    On Bourdain’s suicide, my bottom line is this: If the girlfriend hadn’t cheated so publicly that photo proof was published, would Tony have killed himself in France? I say no. He would have had a good time with his friend Eric and finished the episode.

    He was scheduled next to go to India, and the girlfriend mentioned in her book that she was supposed to go with him. The relationship could have blown up in his face in India, whether he knew she’d cheated or not, because it seemed she had some axe to grind with him at that time. We’ll probably never know because she’ll never tell the truth.

    Ottavia mentioned in Roadrunner that he’d started therapy before he died. If he was walking on an emotional ledge already, maybe therapy would have helped and he’d be alive now, if the girlfriend hadn’t given him that hard final push.

    Good point you make about women being blamed for men’s suicides, but rarely vice versa. I agree with that. Wasn’t there a teenage girl somewhere who did some jail time for insistently urging her boyfriend to kill himself until he finally did it?

  24. catsworking says:

    Glamour, oh, wow. I’ve never seen this Twitter exchange. It certainly backs up Ottavia’s comment on Reddit that the girlfriend dumped him.

    I’ve always said there must have been something on his devices (phone, iPad, laptop) leading up to the suicide that would shed light on the girlfriend’s involvement. I think his brother Christopher received them all.

    Texts would certainly explain the total freezing out the family has done to the girlfriend, as well as all her callous comments since. She knows they know the truth.

  25. Janice says:

    Very interesting! But why doesn’t Ottavia or anyone else mention those text messages in the film? Surely Neville is/was aware of them yet they get no attention? She’s willing to put this on Twitter but not in the film? wtf. If they definitely show why he killed himself, why all the speculation? They all sort of theorize, focusing on how obsessed he was with AA. And Neville is offering his theory in interviews. Why not just say, there were texts where they fought after the photos came out, and she said XYZ to him?

    Did the texts literally say kill yourself? Of course, even if they did, most of us receiving that text would not do so. Millions of people are dumped, humiliated, cheated on by people they love and they live on. Sandra Bullock – public humiliation by her then-husband who we learned was cheating at the same time she’s calling him her everything during an acceptance speech. Last I checked she’s alive.

    So on the one hand yes it seems obvious the breakup/humiliation was the trigger, but on the other, can someone ever be truly to ‘blame’ for someone’s suicide? As you mention Karen, there have been a few cases of legal liability, but that was extreme online bullying. If someone eviscerates you once on this blog and then you off yourself, even if you leave a note saying that’s the reason, is that person really to blame? People get eviscerated on blogs all the time. To suggest AA should have known to tread lightly based on Tony’s past ‘jokes’ about suicide is pushing it – clearly none of his family/friends ‘knew’ he might do this bc they were all shocked by it. Should she not have been a cruel asshole, sure, but the world is full of those. And she is damaged and mentally ill to boot. I highly doubt she’s capable of really loving anyone.

    Our culture is often too quick to blame the woman (Courtney Love) BUT this case is different given the texts. Clearly she was bad for him, but he knew this. All this was his choice. True, you don’t exactly choose whom to fall in love with, but he said he knew it would end badly. It’s not like she was a sweet little wife who shockingly betrayed him. It was clear what she was from minute one and he knew it and liked it. My god, just hearing her voice it’s like a demon. And her whole attitude is I don’t give a F about anything. Yet he trusted / expected she would show ‘discretion’? He wanted something ‘feral and wild’. He got it. Yet he offs himself when she shows that very feral-ness? Any casual observer, let alone someone who got to know her, could see she was/is incapable of monogamy for more than a millisecond. Look how many men she’s been linked to since Tony. Clement was a flash. He was prob out of the picture before Tony died.

    She prob just did Clement once to ‘get even’ for lord knows what perceived slight. Or maybe she was jealous of Tony’s success/$ and resented him, and acted out accordingly as a way to even the score a bit?

    Why are Ottavia/Christopher refusing to show AA’s texts unless they fear AA will sue? COULD she sue over that? Couldn’t someone anonymously ‘leak’ the texts? Jeez, Hillary’s and others’ emails have been leaked all over the place but these texts are verboten? I’m not saying show Tony’s, just Skank’s. It doesn’t make sense to me.

  26. feijicha says:

    GlamourMilk.. thanks for sharing that tweet from Ottavia. I think that says it all… we know the skank said something directly provoking him. DOn’t know what the law is in France, but there have been recent convictions here in the US for significant others who urged someone to kill themselves. Don’t know if she could be prosecuted, but then that opens a whole can of worms and private shit that I’m sure no one wants to drag up now when it can’t bring him back. That woman is lower than whale shit on the bottom of the ocean. Poor Ariane.

  27. catsworking says:

    (I had just written a long reply, then Roc stepped on my laptop and deleted it. Grrr….)

    Why haven’t the texts been released? Litigation. The skank would like nothing better than a big, protracted headline-generating lawsuit where she could claim she’s trying to “clear her name.” She’s little David against the Goliath of the mighty Bourdain estate.

    The existence of texts tells me everything about why Tony’s self-proclaimed “next of kin” didn’t immediately fly to France upon hearing of his death to see if she could help, or at least get her tear-smeared face in front of cameras. But she would have faced Eric, who had a front-row seat to her last row with Tony. And maybe she worried Ottavia would come over (she didn’t).

    In hindsight, it seems like Tony deliberately walked into a spinning propeller, knowing full well it would chew him up. At first the danger made his giddy, but by the second and last year, anyone could see it was eating at him and aging him.

    PS: I have been eviscerated on the blog. Someone once hoped my cats would eat my eyeballs out. I’ve still got ’em! Cats AND eyeballs.

  28. Chefs_Kiss says:

    catsworking will you link the Reddit thread you mentioned with Ottavia? I would like to read it. I have always really liked her. I have been following this blog since 2008 back when I was a lowly line cook. I never thought I would see the day that I would be reading about Anthony’s suicide on here. When it happened this was the first place I came to for truthful information. I still can not watch anything with Tony in it. I have to embarrassingly leave the room if he’s on the TV. I’ll never forget my first year on the line in 2005 after working my way up from dishwasher. After I had proven myself and was deemed worthy (as a female no less), Kevin the sous chef gave me his copy of Kitchen Confidential and made me promise to give it back after I was done with it. It changed me forever and I knew I had finally found “My People.” I worked as a line cook for the last time on Friday June 8, 2018 at 4:30 pm. His death completely rocked me and I am beyond embarrassed to admit I haven’t been the same since.

  29. catsworking says:

    Welcome Chefs-Kiss. I have scanned through about 5-6 pages of the most recent comments and I can’t find that link to Reddit for the life of me. I don’t use Reddit and couldn’t get back to the page when I tried searching on my own.

    I think the link was in comments either for this post or the previous one about Diana’s statue. Maybe you would have better luck if you scanned through them. The link isn’t in any of my comments, but came from someone else.

    But I’ll warn you it may not be worth the effort. There wasn’t much out there except the “dumped by girlfriend” comment and a few MMA comments, but she hadn’t posted anything in 8 months.

    I do remember her username was OttaviaB, if that’s any help.

    Rest assured, you’re not alone in feeling not the same since Tony died. I think it’s a pretty big club. He probably had NO IDEA how influential he was in people’s lives, nor how much he would be missed.

  30. Chefs_Kiss says:

    catsworking thank you so much. I think I might have made a post twice. Sorry about that.

  31. catsworking says:

    Chefs_Kiss, no problem. You did post the request twice and I deleted the second one just for brevity. I’m sorry I couldn’t find the Reddit link again, but I’ll check one more time. But reallly, there’s not much substance out there except the “dumped” comment, which is very telling. It means the family was able to get into at least his phone and see what was on it.

    Please know that you are welcome here. We weren’t all restaurants workers (at least, I wasn’t), but we followed Tony closely for many years before he hit critical mass of fame, and met him on many occasions and felt like he and Ottavia were family. (Several Italian grandmother types here, including me.)

    We just want to see his magnificent life honored without the self-serving bullshit that all the well-intentioned silence and the girlfriend’s self-serving lies have created around his end.

    Anthony Bourdain was an amazing human being with the talent of connecting with anyone and (what I found most enthralling), a phenomenal mastery of the written word). We just want to see justice for his memory because he deserves that, at the very least, for all he gave us.

    I don’t think think this documentary quite hits the mark.

  32. Chefs_Kiss says:

    “He never quit Jiu-Jitsu. The only reason he didn’t train in France is that his girlfriend dumped him.”

  33. Chefs_Kiss says:

    I did! This comment Ottavia made on Reddit tells me everything I feel I needed to know about the situation. It really puts all the pieces together and I no longer wonder why he did it.
    I have my answer from the only person I trust in this sordid affair. Thank you so much. Have a good night.

  34. catsworking says:

    Excellent! I feel like this little clue unravels the whole mystery as well, though nobody has said it plainly. I hope it gives you some comfort. Your relief makes me feel I’m not totally at sea in seeking closure.

  35. feijicha says:

    interesting that it was BJJ that motivated him to stop drinking and smoking. We know he was back to smoking with the tart and drinking also. She really introduced every form of toxicity back into his life didn’t she. And he let her. Until she was the one addiction that finally killed him. Not coke, not heroin, not smokes. So fucking sad.

  36. feijicha says:

    Hit send too soon. Meant to add that the whole thing is so fucking sad and even moreso that being a father and the pure love of his daughter didn’t outweigh the bullshit of such a total fucking loser as the skank.

  37. Chefs_Kiss says:

    I know feijicha. It’s so upsetting. He was killed by a woman. By this woman. “He died of a broken heart,” as Ripert has said.
    I think this is what AA does to all the men in her life. It’s her modus operandi. She takes as much as she can from them, humiliates them and then throws them away. And she’s proud of it. I think he was ashamed.
    Beyond the pale.

  38. catsworking says:

    feijicha, the skank mentions in her book that she and Tony took “an opiate” together, so she got him back into drugs. She also repeats the BS theory that he was in his hotel room with a prostitute and shooting up heroin right before he died, but chose to hang himself instead so it wouldn’t be said he died of an overdose.

  39. GlamourMilk says:

    Chefs_Kiss –
    Hello, nice to ‘meet’ you 🙂

    I’m pretty sure it was Jose Andres (or maybe even someone else) and not Ripert who said that thing about dying of a broken heart. Ripert has been very careful not to say anything that can in any way be interpreted. He’s been almost entirely neutral in his statements.

    Catsworking –
    I would have to read it again but I think when AA repeats the prostitute in a hotel room story, she tells it as told to her by RainDove. So it’s not her story as such. But she shouldn’t even entertain that idea in the first place. And again, as I said before; if she really believed that terrible story in the first place, it was really her duty to go to the police. In other words, she’s guilty of a crime here (and guilty of cooperating in stealing the ashes of a dead person from the rightful owners, the widow and daughter). And this, even after she’d broken up with him? I will forever not understand why this story wasn’t more widespread and investigated. What’s that about? Does the Argento family really have that much power and influence? Are people that scared of blaming a woman because, you know, ‘BelieveAllWomen’?

    I don’t understand why people think AA is being thrown under any bus. She’s repeatedly setting other people up to being thrown under the bus and then somehow manages to make herself look like a poor victim.

    I also feel a bit sorry for Ottavia that some people are angry that she seemingly suggested that his involvement in MeToo was unhealthy for him (I only got this form reviews/comments, I still haven’t seen the docu). But that looks like a fair assessment to me. You can support women in general and equality and still become unhealthily obsessed with something. I don’t doubt he would have supported MeToo (or aspects of it) regardless of who he was dating at the time, but it’s clear beyond doubt that his going into the cause ‘with all guns blazing’ was because he was fucking a woman he was insanely infatuated with and wanted to impress her and ‘do right by her’ even at his own expense. I don’t think that can be disputed and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with admitting/acknowledging that.

  40. catsworking says:

    Glamour and Chefs_Kiss, I remember it as being Daniel Boulud who said Tony died of a broken heart.

    I don’t remember Ottavia implying that Tony’s involvement with #MeToo was unhealthy (I really need to watch the whole thing again because I’m sure I missed a lot), but Neville did use Tony’s appearance with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show where, looking very worn-out and haggard, Tony talked about his guilt over having written a book that became sort of a bible for males objectifying women. I saw it at the time and was worried about him. He didn’t look like someone basking in a healthy relationship, but more like a Dracula victim being slowly drained.

    I agree that he would have supported the movement had he never met the skank.

    Glamour, you are right that the skank repeated the prostitute-heroin theory as something told to her. But it never should have been repeated in her book. In her extreme efforts to make herself the victim, she threw Tony under the bus and backed over him many times by repeating as much crazy shit as she could think of.

    She also mentioned there being a lot of crying and screaming on her end.

    She described the touching scene where she and someone else went out on water to spread ashes, and the other person’s ashes looked nothing like the ones she was told were Tony’s because the other ashes were real.

    We’ll never be able to fathom the seemingly laissez-faire attitude of the French authorities. An internationally known person unexpectedly dies on their soil and because his survivors say, “He didn’t want a fuss,” they say, “D’accord,” and look no further into the circumstances?

    Maybe we watch too many crimes shows in the States, but it has always reeked of BS to me.

  41. Chefs_Kiss says:

    Yes. You are correct. It was Daniel Boulud. It’s nice to meet all of you! I have been checking out the blog for years. It’s so great to talk to others about this. It makes me feel less embarrassed and weird. I also feel like I have a small bit of closure.
    “His heart was broken, I think,” Boulud told Us Weekly at the Citymeals on Wheels 32nd Annual Power Lunch for Women in New York City.

  42. catsworking says:

    Chefs_Kiss, well, there you go. My memory had it right on Boulud.

    Two more books are coming out on September 28. The Oral Biography by Laurie Woolever, and In the Weeds by Tom Vitale. He was in documentary but, interestingly enough, Woolever wasn’t, unless I missed her.

    I highly doubt that we’ll get any more deets on the situation, but once again Tony will seem to come alive again for the time we’re reading about him. That’s about as much closure as we’ll ever have, I think.

  43. feijicha says:

    “She also repeats the BS theory that he was in his hotel room with a prostitute and shooting up heroin right before he died, but chose to hang himself instead so it wouldn’t be said he died of an overdose.” Just think about the “logic” of this doofus’ thinking…. he was banging a prostitute, and on heroin, but then had the presence of mind ON HEROIN to think about how his death would look and re-arranged the whole situation to hang himself instead. WTF??? And wouldn’t that prostitute be trying to sell her story somewhere, somehow?? Did the family find out who and pay her off?? I mean the whole thing is so ridiculous…

  44. catsworking says:

    Excellent point, feijicha. I think the skank said the prostitute got scared and ran away when she saw how much heroin he was shooting up, and she also noticed him fiddling with the belt on his bathrobe.

    For anyone to know this, they would have to speak with the prostitute and get her story. Presumably, that was Rain, yet he/she felt no obligation to relay that crucial information to the authorities, but instead blabbed it all to the skank. You’re right, it’s utterly absurd.

  45. Colleen says:

    Rain admitted that she made the prostitute story up , and also that the ashes story was made up

  46. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Colleen. I have let Rose and Rain completely drop off my radar after they fell out with the skank, so this is news to me. Do you remember when it happened, or where you saw it?

    What a sick, despicable creature Rain is/was, to have inserted her/himself into the tragedy and smear Tony’s memory that way.

  47. feijicha says:

    Interesting short article with the documentary maker here:

    I had not seen it until now, but he has the same conclusions we’ve had all along:

    “Nevertheless, the film’s back third does chronicle Bourdain’s descent, which ended on June 8, 2018, in a hotel room in Alsace, while working on an episode of Parts Unknown. A few days earlier, an Italian tabloid had published photos of a French journalist named Hugo Clément kissing and embracing Asia Argento, the filmmaker with whom Bourdain was enmeshed in a tempestuous relationship. When Michael Steed, the director working on the episode of Parts Unknown had gone to check on Bourdain, the chef was staring over the French countryside. “A little fucking discretion,” he had said. Later that night, he died.

    “My take is that the thing that Tony was having the hardest time dealing with was humiliation,” Neville says. “I want to be careful about how I say this,” the director continues, “but for him to feel that he had staked himself so far out on the limb to be made to feel like a chump so publicly. That was the thing — not heartbreak. Humiliation.”

    The “so far out on a limb” clearly, to me, indicates his defense of that piece of merde and promoting her so publicly.

    He also says this interesting bit:

    “Tony gave a fuck about everything,” says Neville. “That was his problem. Guys like Iggy Pop and Keith Richards, two of Tony’s heroes, survived because they reached this zen of like really not giving a fuck. But Tony would constantly say, ‘I’m going back to my room to Google my name.’”

    Hence, he would know fairly quickly about the skank’s activities.

  48. feijicha says:

    again, hit send too soon. Interesting that he like others does the tip-toeing thing around saying what they believe about the skank.

  49. catsworking says:

    I’ve always thought the flagrant public humiliation pushed him over the edge. He could have gotten through that. Everyone would have said she was a moron to sabotage that relationship and been 100% behind him. Neither Nancy nor Ottavia ever publicly made a fool of him like that.

    But then there was the Jimmy Bennett thing hanging over his head.

    And I agree that Tony cared about everything, even though he would say that his business model was not giving a fuck. Wishful thinking.

    I think Ottavia first found Cats Working by Googling his name. That was when I was riding high with Google. That changed at some point and I have no idea why. Too many broken links, perhaps?

  50. Janice says:

    Still don’t get why Nevile makes no mention of the texts in the film. To suggest Tony was pushed to the limit from the pics alone is simply not accurate given what Ottavia said the cops found on his phone. Shouldn’t a good documentarian be aware of such a glaring and impt detail and put it in his film? Baffling.

    Also I just remembered that Radar online got ahold of authenticated texts between skank and Tony in 2018 in which they discussed the Jimmy B. payout. Skank never sued Radar online. Just saying….

    (How on earth did they manage to get those?)

    #releasethetexts #textgate lol

    Different topic – Neville has released a playlist of some of Tony’s fave songs:

    I’ve gone through the entire playlist and only TWELVE have I ever heard before (and no, I’m not a Millennial). As I think David Chang said, Tony liked “heroin music” that people get high to. Not all of these are somber and dark but a lot of ’em are.

    He apparently really loved this song:


  51. catsworking says:

    Janice, I remember those texts about Jimmy. I don’t remember how they got into the public domain. For all we know, the skank leaked them herself, hoping to expose Tony as the source of the payoff.

    I forced myself to listen all the way through “Anemone,” by Brian Jonestown Massacre, your last link. Thank you for that. The one area where Bourdain and I had NOTHING in common was music. (I’m Broadway, Cole Porter, Gershwins, Great American Songbook.)

    This song sounds like something the skank would use on Instagram, dramatically pouring red wine down her meager cleavage with her legs spread wide in a thong, dragging on a cigarette with her inflated pouty lips because she thinks the stench of smoke is sexy, with a caption about how bereft her “A” left her and her kids.

    Clearly, Neville had to walk a fine line. Tony’s people are still TOTALLY pissed at the skank. They have reasons. They were there.

    We’re all looking for answers, which I think any suicide provokes. I know it’s incredibly complicated. Roadrunner did nothing but affirm my belief that the skank was most likely the immediate driver of what played out. Everyone knows it, but they won’t say it because she’d love to sue everybody.

    The texts during his last days could have gotten a mention. I rather resent people saying, “This was all on Tony. He made the decision. He did it.”

    He didn’t do it for no reason.

    Like with everything about Trump, the best evidence has been sitting right here in front of us, but nobody dares to speak of it for fear of offending it. Those two are peas in a pod when it comes to mental disorders.

    Oh, shit, my phone is now playing one monotonous garbage song after another. I’ve got to go!

  52. Randi says:

    I have to say I like a lot of the same music Tony listened to, and I believe that people who like it, better understand what Tony was all about. He posted a song by a band I had never heard before, on Twitter or FB – Brian Jonestown Massacre I thought was quite good.

    I can imagine Tony would have liked this one, too – it’s still one of my favourites:

    Oh, and he surely would have liked The End by The Doors.

    I heard some of the songs/bands in the link Janice posted – the page quit before I was through them all, but I do like:
    The Modern Lovers, Roadrunner
    Iggy Pop – The Passenger
    Roxy Music
    Bob Dylan – Ballad of a Thin Man, and many more
    David Bowie

    There has got to be at least a few favourite Tony songs you people like. 😉

  53. catsworking says:

    Randi, don’t paint everybody with my very specific, limited, weird taste in music. I’d say most readers here probably share his love of that music. And I agree with you that it does add another dimension to understanding him.

    Even when I was a teenager and should have liked that stuff, I was turned off by what sounded to me like tuneless screaming. If you could manage to make out what they were singing, the lyrics were just lame. But that’s just me.

    On the other hand, I think that the loud musical chaos and the depressing themes in many of the songs resonated with Tony because they brought his own dark moods and inner demons to life.

    When Neville the director said he’d compiled an 18-hour playlist of all the songs Tony had ever mentioned, it never occurred to me for one nanosecond to look at it or listen because I wouldn’t recognize anything and it would be like torture.

    Give me Frank Sinatra singing “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” any day!

    I’m the same way with sports. Right now, I’m oblivious to the Olympics because I have ZERO interest. So, if Bourdain happened to be a big team sports fan (I don’t think he was), that would have been another area where I wouldn’t venture.

  54. GlamourMilk says:

    Catsworking –
    You may already know the song but I dare you to listen to Sunday Morning by Velvet Underground/Lou Reed. A beautiful song. I could totally imagine Frank Sinatra doing a cover of that. (I don’t know if it’s on the list but Tony liked Velvet Underground/Lou Reed and I imagine he liked this song):

  55. […] Roadrunner, I’ve Seen It […]

  56. catsworking says:, I demand that you immediately take down my post about Roadrunner, which you have published on your site without my permission. You have violated my copyright as the article’s author.

  57. catsworking says:

    GlamourMilk, I do like Lou Reed’s sound. And the title sounds nice. I’ll see if I can find it. Needless to say,I don’t have a music streaming service.

    Driving with Roc to visit my parents today, in the car we were listening to Xavier Cugat and Bing Crosby. Really old stuff. I think that says it all. 😉

  58. Janice says:

    I think out of all those songs ‘heroes’ by Bowie is the only one I really like. Many of them sound very similar to each other to me. That dark, brooding thing that he loved so much. While my musical taste is certainly wide, and I can’t imagine growing up without rock and pop music (from disco to Nirvana to Madonna to Metallica, Pink Floyd, Guns N Roses and Aerosmith, 80’s new wave) that CBGBs sound Tony was into (Stooges, NY Dolls, Ramones, Reed, Patti Smith) is just not my thing. The only artist who came out of that scene that I like is Blondie lol.

    My childhood is forever marked by the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever, which you couldn’t go 10 mins without hearing on the radio).
    I also could listen to Steve Perry sing the alphabet his voice is so amazing (I’ll never forgive the Sopranos for ruining one of Journey’s best songs). And Casey Kasem’s top 40 was my church every week. I’d listen to see where my faves landed on the chart and record direct from radio onto cassette tapes, as we did back then. I’ll never forget the first time I heard Smells Like Teen Spirit. It was like martians had landed, in a good way.

    Also….this! omg how did I not see this before?

    Aside from the nude pic, it’s sad how what she describes jives with what others have said about Tony in the final year. He was more and more isolated and didn’t like to venture far from his home at Time Warner Center. From her description of their interaction at his apt, it sounds like all he was excited about then was the Skank.

    The fact that he proudly showed her press clippings about the 2 of them is troubling. As if Tony felt he’d accomplished something by getting her. Like he wasn’t 10x more famous and accomplished but he thought she was some genius artist. But then she was a fantasy of his for a long time (per that No Rez episode where he mentions her and Rosario Dawson as his wishes).

  59. catsworking says:

    Janice, I don’t know why your posts keep going to moderation for approval. I was hoping that after I approved a few, you’d be “in,” but it’s not happening yet.

    Thanks for that link! I remember the “boner” picture shocking everyone. Look how free of tats his arms are. By the time he died, they were both almost black with ink.

    And Melanie was the photographer of what I call the “Meatloaf” picture with Ariane. In the one I remember, it’s the same setting, but he’s holding Ariane in his right hand extended down, sort of like you’d hold a football, and she looks like a little meatloaf.

    Agree that Tony reveling in the press he and the skank got was unnerving. But had he lived and stayed on that path of promoting her, she’d probably be in our faces all over reality TV in the States right now (if Jimmy Bennett hadn’t surfaced). She did the Italian Dancing with the Stars.

    I’m sure I’ve listened to more pop music than I realize. For example, when Michael Jackson died and the radio stations were playing all of his stuff, I’d hear something and think, “Oh! That was Michael Jackson?” I paid zero attention to who any of the artists were or what the song titles were, so I can’t speak a word about anything.

    I used to record favorite movie scenes and music from radio and the TV to cassette tapes, too. That was advanced technology, back in the day.

    The only group I recognize a little is Abba, and that’s only from seeing the movie Mamma Mia.

  60. Margeaux says:

    Thanks for the review of Roadrunner. I won’t venture into a movie theater now, so I’ll just wait it out until they air it on CNN.
    Wow it has certainly dredged up lots of speculation, and people’s feelings re: ashtray’s (argento) influence on Tony’s unfortunate demise.
    It was I must admit heart wrenching and at the same time bittersweet to see him in that Obama episode. Also the Tokyo episode….he was carrying more weight, so this had to be pre-ashtray era.
    As I watched it, I just couldn’t help thinking, he had his little girl back home in N.Y., well and even Ottavia.
    I agree with you that it just must have been too much humiliation, realising that after this pig who basically used him to further her own sick agenda,
    was photographed with Hugo. Who knows the timeline, but possibly he’d just been bilked to pay off Jimmy Bennet by ashtray. Poor Tony, one can only imagine what he must have been thinking given he’d so willingly demonstated his support to her and MeToo.
    Yes, we are missing a huge, huge voice in Tony’s absence.

  61. GlamourMilk says:

    Just read the Vanity Fair interview. It does give both a bit of insight into Tony’s opinion about THAT picture, and also his last lonely time, seemingly a bit isolated (possibly to appease his skank who seemed jealous of anyone else hin his life that weren’t her friends).

    It does seem a bit frustrating that some of Tony’s friends have given small indicators, such as him dying of a ‘broken heart’ and clearly freezing AA out for a reason, and also Ottavia posting here and there on Twitter (and Reddit) about the text messages ‘proving’ it was suicide and that his girlfriend ‘dumped’ him and she also posted some messages a while back on Twitter saying that AA was super jealous about Tony’s friendship with the mother of his daughter and would be angry even if Tony said a kind word about Ottavia and they had to pretend to no longer be friends.

    That Neville actually said in an interview that he’d seen enough evidence (presumably text messages) to feel confident about the film, ie, semi-suggesting AA’s involvement in Tony’s suicide, should be enough for viewers to understand that she was indeed partly responsible but I guess the film doesn’t show this clearly enough. As if it tries to find a middle way and then becomes too vague.

    In a way I wished they’d just gone all in and shown the text messages in the film, ‘here’s the proof’. But they must have a reason not to do that (revenge from AA?). That’s unfortunate, because it seems then that the documentary becomes a half-baked attempt at revealing the truth, but instead it comes across as pettiness because people (viewers and reviewers) don’t seem comfortable believing that, yes, AA was actually partially (very) responsible for causing Tony’s death. The documentary seems like a missed opportunity to show the truth.

    Yes, it would be good if some of those texts were revealed, also so it can prove that AA even lied in her book. But there must be a reason for them not to reveal those texts to the public. Unfortunately, that then means that the indications that were made about AA in the documentary appears to be in vain, and instead caused a huge backlash. Shame. I still want to watch it though but I’m disappointed that it appears to not have been clear/sharp enough in its execution.

  62. catsworking says:

    Margeaux, the timeline I remember of the Jimmy situation was that he first came forward in late 2017, maybe Oct-Nov. Bourdain paid him a lump $200K in early 2018, with 18 more monthly payments of $10K to follow. He had paid several of those monthly installments before he died.

    After he died, the payments stopped. Ashtray may have made one more $10K payment on her own, but then she reneged and they stopped.

    So, it was an ongoing secret MeToo hypocrisy that Tony was living with, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she held the threat of exposing it over his head so she could control him. But when she was photographed with Hugo, she jumped the shark and now expected Tony to deal with two layers of humiliation, both because of her.

  63. catsworking says:

    GlamourMilk, “a half-baked attempt at revealing the truth, but instead it comes across as pettiness” describes it pretty well. I didn’t feel that AA came off as being “blamed” at all. Jimmy Bennett wasn’t mentioned. The person who I felt pulled the fewest punches when speaking of her was Helen Cho. She’s definitely angry. Interestingly, she and Lydia were the only women on the crew who spoke, I believe. I don’t think Lydia said anything specifically about AA. I thought that Helen had the skank pegged for what she was. A succubus. Helen said that Tony would have definitely wanted to see how his daughter has grown and the person she is.

    I’m not surprised the family hasn’t released any texts. They haven’t released ANYTHING. No public memorial service, no word on disposition of his ashes. They said at the time it’s what Tony wanted. That spawned fans doing murals, special dinners, and other celebrations of his life all over the world.

    Once he died, it was like he went behind a door and it slammed shut. The documentary covered a lot of what any fan of his shows and books already knows or could Google, but really didn’t go much beyond that. I have no doubt legal considerations were involved. CNN is one of the producers, and they quickly shut out AA in 2018.

  64. GlamourMilk says:

    ‘So, it was an ongoing secret MeToo hypocrisy that Tony was living with, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she held the threat of exposing it over his head so she could control him. But when she was photographed with Hugo, she jumped the shark and now expected Tony to deal with two layers of humiliation, both because of her.’

    Another reason why it’s baffling that so many people still defend her or ‘condemn’ the documentary showing her in a bad light.
    I bet many of those women who declare that suggesting placing blame at AA’s feet is sexist, are the very same women who would treat a boyfriend like that themselves.

  65. GlamourMilk says:

    ‘ Once he died, it was like he went behind a door and it slammed shut.’

    For some reason that lne made me well up a bit. Such a definitive image.

  66. catsworking says:

    The skank’s got her following, and you’re right. They’re probably as wacko as she is and think it’s fine to exploit men because it’s the only way they can “get the upper hand.” Like that’s a requirement.

    Bourdain alluded to a power struggle between them in an interview, where he said something about being cut to the quick over her accusing him of having all the power. He didn’t see the relationship that way at all.

    Stupid c**t couldn’t see that he already had her on an (undeserved) pedestal and she didn’t need to play games to get him to do her bidding. He was her slave from Day One. That was his fatal flaw. When he didn’t have a woman as his grounding force (Nancy, Ottavia), he was untethered and fair game. And he happened to fall into the clutches of a succubus.

    In my opinion, there’s no defense of her. Had she not slept with Hugo in the hotel she and Tony slept in, and then cavorted all weekend for the paps all around Rome with Hugo, he might still be alive.

    On the other hand, she had already pushed him to the edge of his endurance. We could all see it in his haggard face and exhausted eyes. If he’d been unable or unwilling to make a clean break from that loathesome monster when she betrayed him and refocus on his show, his writing, and his REAL family, he’d have probably come to the same terrible end before long.

  67. catsworking says:

    GlamourMilk, that thought just came to me today, but it DOES sum it up for me. Even with the books and the allegedly crooked, superficial documentary, I do feel as if he slammed a door.

    He was completely entitled to do that because it was HIS life. But it was like he cut off his nose to spite his face. He still had SO many stories to tell, the world still needed his voice, and he had a growing daughter waiting for him to come home.

    I’m sure readers felt much the same way when Hemingway killed himself. What a waste.

  68. Janice says:

    GlamourM, I agree completely. First, we don’t know for sure Nevile saw the texts. Why there were not even mentioned if he knows they exist is mind-blowing. A simple ‘police found texts of an argument between Tony and Skank that occurred approx xx hours before he died’. Or even ‘Skank indicated in a text that she was ending the relationship’. If Ottavia doesn’t want to say it (despite saying it on Twitter which makes zero sense), put it as explanatory words on screen. And yes, revealing Skank’s texts would make even more sense (wouldn’t need to reveal his).

    By not doing so they’re ignoring evidence, speculating without mentioning the elephant in the room. IMO it’s a bunch of BS about Skank suing and if the fam fears her, they are total wimps. Perhaps there’s some sense of ‘he loved her so we can’t be too hard on her’? But then why say anything negative about her? She didn’t sue Radar when they exposed the Jimmy texts. Texts stop being legally private the moment you send them. And it was his phone, now in their possession so wouldn’t all data on that phone be their property? She has no legal basis to sue, therefore. And if she did it would be tossed out of court.

    Also, the family has plenty of grounds to sue Skank – emotional distress, smearing Tony’s personal/professional rep with her lies and even for playing a role in his death. If mistresses can be sued by wives, she is fair game. So all this tread lightly business is ridiculous. Why not mention some of the lies in her book? If Neville is that afraid of any involved party, he shouldn’t be making a doc. Come to think of it, if they’re so afraid of her why mention her at all? There’s enough besmirching of her in there to give her grounds to sue now. If this was Brad Pitt, those texts would be out. Somebody would talk.

    The only thing I can think of is that she may have VERY damaging and embarrassing texts from Tony in her possession that the fam doesn’t want to get out. Who knows what he said to her in that final exchange.

  69. feijicha says:

    Agree Karen that him trying to extricate himself from that relationship would have gotten HUGELY ugly, messy, and knowing what we know about her, probably very public. She would have used anything she had to hit back at him and put it all out in public. She had him by the balls– literally and in his mind.

  70. catsworking says:

    feijicha, I’ve said it before. I believe with the Hugo photos, he finally had to face that he’d painted himself into a corner with her. Even if he broke up with her, he still had the Jimmy payoff to be exposed. And she was saying it was all HIS idea.

    You’re right, she’d have gone before every camera she could find to drag him through the mud like he’d never been dragged before.

    But even if they stayed together, all he had to look forward to was the NEXT time she got annoyed and made a spectacle of herself with ANOTHER man. After a few of those stunts, he’d be beyond humiliated, but breaking up with her would bring on the mud-slinging.

    After they spent three days fighting over the Hugo photos (Tues.-Thurs.), probably in circles, I do believe he realized the world was no longer big enough for both of them and she had left him no place to live in peace in it.

  71. feijicha says:

    It does sound like they were fighting long before that though, like they were rocky for quite a while…. dunno.

  72. catsworking says:

    feijicha, I read somewhere that they did have ups and downs and had broken up several times. She’s all about the drama, and at first it must have been ultimatums about leaving Ottavia so the skank wouldn’t be “the other woman.” Without his own place, she couldn’t visit him in the U.S. She professed her “guilt” over being his side piece in her memoir. Not guilt over hurting his family, but how it would make her look.

    I would imagine she dumped him every time he failed to dance to her tune, and he’d go crawling back, hating himself probably, but addicted nevertheless.

    Remember how happy and content he looked at the beginning of their relationship, posting blissful pictures of himself, not realizing how calculating she always looked? But over the last year or so he started looking haggard and exhausted. That could be when things got dicey, and then Jimmy Bennett turned up from her past to add more complication.

  73. catsworking says:

    Janice, I just found this comment in spam and saved it, fortunately. I don’t know what WordPress has against you.

    Valid points, all. Remembering the film, I believe the only images Neville used of the skank that weren’t already published and widely available were a few clips from the unused Florence episode, and one scene where Tony was praising her parking skills. Someone on the crew said she seemed to be annoyed that he kept going on and on about her parking, like that’s what she should be most known for.

    In the trailer for the film, there’s a split second of Tony riding in a red convertible with a woman driving. That’s the skank. Must have been in the Florence episode. He was letting her be in the driver’s seat. That seems to say it all.

    Since Jimmy Bennett wasn’t mentioned, they must have decided to avoid her immorality and potential crimes and not get into the last week’s fighting and any texts that exist.

    For anyone hoping that this documentary would finally fill in the unknown facts, they will walk away knowing no more than they did, except that his friends and crew are still upset, but maintaining an ironclad pact of silence around his death.

    It may all boil down to protecting Ariane’s privacy and feelings. She’s 14 now. In the documentary, her face is shown only up to about age 8 or 9, and in a final second, she’s shown today walking away from the camera beside Ottavia (a clip Neville said Ottavia supplied). I think she was already taller than her petite mother.

    I keep drawing Trump parallels, but again, we have someone who has done many heinous things, resulting in people’s death, faces no accountability, and so is emboldened to continue offending.

  74. GlamourMilk says:

    Janice –
    ‘The only thing I can think of is that she may have VERY damaging and embarrassing texts from Tony in her possession that the fam doesn’t want to get out. Who knows what he said to her in that final exchange.’

    Yep, one fears that might be the case. But then, of course, my curiosity/nosiness wonders what that might be. But yes, that sounds very likely to be the case.

    What a fucking mess he got himself into. I know nothing will get him back to life. I just wish that AA would be suitably punished and that everyone, especially her fans, would finally be presented with evidence of what a cruel, piece of shit she is. I’m guessing she’s a sociopath because she is severely skilled at deflecting and getting sympathy for the evil she herself has committed. It’s the type of thing Ted Bundy did; committing horrific crimes but still many people sympathized with him until finally proven guilty. I’m still hoping that maybe it’s just because it’s too soon and that in a year or two (or preferably sooner) she will finally be revealed as the downfall of Tony Bourdain. I refuse to call him Anthony because super skank makes such a point of saying she called him ‘Anthony’ and not Tony, because the people who called him Tony only did so to pretend they were close to him. Funny that. Because if there was one person who pretended to be close to him, without actually being so other than as some kind of prostitute, it was her. She was never anything other than a whore to him. In a funny way, in her book, where she says that ‘Tony often went with prostitutes’, I guess she’s right; yes, he went with a prostitute, Asia Argento, he went with you.

  75. catsworking says:

    GlamourMilk, well said, well said.

    If the skank continues down the reckless, self-destructive path she’s on, and there’s no reason to think she won’t, she’ll come to a bad end sooner rather than later. And if not, menopause should hit her like a train by her 50s and no amount of filtering on her selfies will plump up her dry, shriveled husk. She already looks like a skeleton with puffy lips, and crepey skin won’t enhance her figure or her tats.

    Her stock will drop like a stone with men, especially with the rich sugar daddies she needs. She’s aging out of that market.

    We seem to have so many criminals running around the world unpunished right now, and the wheels of justice are grinding MUCH too slowly. It’s incredibly frustrating to see everyone getting away with it. The skank, Trump, his kids and everyone he’s in cahoots with, the Capitol rioters, and the traitors still inside Congress who helped them. The list goes on and on.

    We all just have to hang on and hope karma does its thing and they get the sentences they deserve, not just a stern finger wag or a light tap on the wrist.

  76. Janice says:

    Hmm I guess I need to read Skank’s book then? Don’t get why Ottavia or someone else doesn’t call out the lie about prostitutes (if it is in fact a lie. Somehow he doesn’t seem the type to go that way).

    Karen it’s so frustrating! When I try to post it takes me to a page demanding I sign into WordPress, annoying since 1. I don’t want to and 2. I don’t have an account. Sometimes when I put my name and email a weird URL populates itself into the ‘website’ field. And if a post actually manages to go through, it doesn’t show up. Sigh. lol

  77. catsworking says:

    Janice, sounds like the WordPress gods are demanding a human sacrifice from you, or at least a sign-in. What’s happening at this end is that your comments come to me to be approved before they post. But once I’ve approved you, thought you should be in. Nobody else is requiring moderation. I don’t know how to get you into the “in” crowd, but I’ll click around.

    Two previous comments did go to the spam folder, which I check and clean out almost every day, so I was able to retrieve them.

    The skank’s book is in Italian, but GlamourMilk posted a couple of excerpts. I edited one heavily, but the second one was really long and I just deleted it. I don’t want her accusing me of infringing her copyright. The excerpts could possibly hold up to a “fair use for discussion” defense.

    The other day some asshole posted a comment here with a link to his/her blog where they’d hijacked my Roadrunner post without permission and reprinted in full, which is flat-out plagiarism. Last time I checked, it hadn’t been taken down. There’s no contact info on that damn blog. I think it exists only to steal from others, and the avatar it uses looks like Kim Jong Un or Mao in a furry hat. I’m not quite up on my Asian despots.

  78. GlamourMilk says:

    You don’t need to get the book. It’s not exactly a piece of art or a great work of literature. It’s like a trashy, gossipy, sensationalistic tabloid piece in the length of a book. She talks about the men she’s fucked, the celebrities she’s met, the parties she’s gone to and throws her dead mother under the bus, and maybe a few other things – I haven’t read it all because it’s really bad. My only interest in it is obviously Bourdain-related. I think she only mentions Tony and prostitutes in one paragraph and it really comes out of the blue with no real connection to anything so I think she put it in there to sort of defend why she was sleeping with other men. Also, to throw a dig at Ottavia as she mentions him going with prostitutes at Christmas (which there’s no narrative reason to mention), which would obviously be a time when Tony is with Ottavia and Ariane in New York. It’s such a pointless mention without any substance that it seems like she had a motive for mentioning it. All sections in the book read, not as a loving memory of a loved one, but as ‘evidence’ in case she’s called out for having been involved in his downfall.

    As for whatever text messages that might potentially be damaging, I had a thought after reading someone mentioning that Tony’s brother was interviewed in the film and said something like Tony was in a rage and might have killed someone if he hadn’t been alone in the room that night, and instead killed himself (or words to that effect – I haven’t seen it). So Tony was angry, not heartbroken. Could it be that he sent a text message to AA saying he wanted to kill her for what she’d done, before then killing himself – and that’s one of the messages the family doesn’t want to share with the public? I’m only speculating. It is very likely not the case, I just thought of the possibility because of what Tony’s brother apparently says in the docu.

  79. Janice says:

    All the men she’s fucked? Wouldn’t a single-spaced list of names be enough to fill a book with no other writing in it? It’s like the Vietnam war memorial of fucking. Might even require 2 volumes. Or perhaps one volume per decade and since she probably started at age 8, that’s a lot of books.

    Oh I’m sure he was livid. His ‘some fuckin discretion’ response to the pics already showed anger, who wouldn’t be? Not only was she cheating, she was deliberately trying to rub his face in it. And after all he’d done for her, financially and emotionally. He had a temper, we know that, though I never heard stories of him outright chewing people out or breaking into psycho rages during shoots. We also know they had previous fights so that one was prob a barn burner.

    OR he may have been mad at himself for falling so hard and fast, and allowing himself to be used. Embarrassment leads to anger. And all that directed at oneself can lead to self harm if there’s no one there to take it out on. Think about that epi in Sicily where he became so angry/depressed he went into a spiral and had to retire to his room bc the guy was tossing dead squid (octopi?) into the water for Tony to catch (when the assumption had been they were going to catch live ones). I always found that reaction ridiculous since he had nothing to do with it and it could have been reshot with live squid. If THAT put him in a bad way, multiply that by 1,000 for Skank. Too bad he couldn’t tell everything she was tossing at him was dead from the start.

    It’s also possible his family just doesn’t want any of his texts to Skank out there no matter how benign, and figure if they show hers, she’ll show his.

    BUT here’s where Radar online comes in….hehe.

  80. catsworking says:

    GlamourMilk, I don’t recall Chris saying that in the film, but he could have. I’m waiting for it to stream or be on CNN so I can watch it again. It was such a montage, it’s impossible to catch everything in one pass.

    I also got the impression that the skank was mounting her legal defense when she wrote that she made Tony repeat back to her all the stipulations she had for their “open” relationship so she could make sure he understood. Who does that?

  81. catsworking says:


    “It’s like the Vietnam war memorial of fucking.” OMG I laughed SO HARD when I saw this, I’m still laughing. It’s an image Bourdain himself could have come up with, if he ever could have achieved some perspective on that well-traveled, pothole-filled road between her legs.

    Tony also said that a bad airport hamburger could send him into a spiral of depression that would last for days, so the squid betrayal would be in that vain. Yes, it definitely wasn’t a normal reaction and it probably made him difficult to live with because you’d never know what would set him off.

    He and the crew used to joke about his alter ego, the evil “Vic Chanko,” who would come out when Tony was displeased.

    My sense is that he was never one to scream and break things, but would respond with sarcasm and coldness.

    But what he faced with the skank was screaming and histrionics. He probably found it unnerving. He’d probably withdraw, which would have only pissed her off more. There’s nothing a mad Italian hates more than the silent treatment. (Thinking of myself here with my short-term husband back in the day. Silence was his schtick. Drove me nuts.)

    In her book she talked about how she and her daughter kept screaming and crying in the days after his death. It’s so Italian.

  82. GlamourMilk says:

    On another note, I wanted to see if I could find some old articles/reviews about Tony’s novel, Bone in the Throat, and I found these two videos of interviews with a young, and still unpolished, Tony. Especially the one from 1995 was brilliant to see. I think this is the youngest I’ve seen him interviewed and his shyness definitely comes across. Unfortunately, I don’t think you can watch the video without downloading it (at least, I couldn’t) but it’s worth watching. (The other video, about A Cook’s tour, you can just watch in the browser):

  83. catsworking says:

    GlamourMilk, your research skills are amazing! I did have to download the Bone in the Throat interview and put it into my transcription software to see it because Windows Media Player couldn’t handle the format.

    I’ve got to elevate this information to the front of the blog because I think you have found footage of him that predates ANYTHING I’ve ever seen and even scoops Neville’s Roadrunner. He’s only 39 here, first-time novelist. No gray hair, no thumb ring (yet), but has the earring and is wearing his Nancy gold wedding ring. He also wasn’t working at Les Halles yet.

    He said the book was about “betrayal and loyalty.” Seems like his professional life came full circle on that score.

    The woman who interviewed him really studied the book and grilled him on most of the characters.

    Watching the Cook’s Tour interview next.

  84. catsworking says:

    Just finished the Cook’s Tour interview. Wow, what a difference. Salt and pepper hair, thumb ring, immeasurably more confident. He said he and Nancy have been married 16 years and seems happy about it, so still four years before the split. He’s working at Les Halles. He’s published Kitchen Confidential and is shooting A Cook’s Tour.

    But he has a passion for traveling and is far from becoming jaded. Talks about spending time in Vietnam and writing a book there.

    That’s the Bourdain I like to see in his TV shows.

  85. Janice says:

    “When she wrote that she made Tony repeat back to her all the stipulations she had for their “open” relationship so she could make sure he understood.”

    wow. I highly doubt this happened but if it did, all the more odd that he’d be so unnerved by the Hugh pics, unless the agreement was she could sleep around but privately.

  86. catsworking says:

    Janice, yes, that’s exactly what it was. The agreement was that if she cheated, she wouldn’t let him find out. But she told him she wanted all the deets if HE cheated because they’d be a turn-on for her.

    It’s occurred to me that one reason he may have started looking so haggard and worn-out in his last year was that he was aware she was cheating on him every chance she got and it was eating at him. She was at Cannes with Hugo when she made that fiery speech Tony later said publicly he was so proud of. Something like she threw “dynamite” into the proceedings.

    In the film, his crew member telling Neville that Tony told him, “A little discretion” before he died, referring to the skank, may have been him saying that her betrayal had finally crossed the line.

    In that 1995 interview I watched today, when he was talking about betrayal and loyalty, he said there could be a lot of little betrayals in a relationship that wouldn’t be deal-breakers, and he felt like he committed them all the time at work. But since that was the theme of his first novel, this concept of betrayal vs. loyalty seemed to be one of his basic beliefs.

    In exchange for the extreme and unconditional loyalty he’d shown the skank, she betrayed him in the most public way. He’d never had that in his prior serious relationships with Nancy or Ottavia. Nor did he put his own reputation on the line being their constant cheerleader and promoting them because they never needed it. So it must have rocked him to his core to have his loyalty thrown back in his face.

  87. Bonny W says:

    Hello, I’ve been studying the Bourdain posts and comments on your blog, both recent and those surrounding his death. Also, read many of the articles you or your reader referenced from Penthouse to Popula, Bruce’s blog, and so on. I watched Roadrunner (twice) and although I was not a regular fan of CT, NR and PU, I have since watched many of the episodes. I have the same question others have expressed here in various to understand it?

    You seem to be an expert on the subject of his professional life, and have a knowledge of at least some of the personal. I admire your writing, wit and clarity of purpose, not to mention the years of effort this blog represents. It’s a huge undertaking and you’ve provided a wealth of material and comments for reflection. So thank you for that.

    I think/feel there is a perspective missing, but perhaps I’ve not read widely enough. The thing I keep coming back to (and maybe this is easier said by someone who never met him or any of those close to him who have put him on a pedestal) the thing is…in the end, he took so many wrong turns…perhaps unwittingly, but still, voluntarily. Easier to see in hindsight, but I wonder if those close to him understood this in real time. This would at least in part explain their silence.

    He chose AA, in all her strangeness, he absolutely chose her. He was aware of her for many years…well before 2016. One can assume from his KC interviews that he was not faithful to Nancy while married. After leaving her, he says he spent a few years frequenting brothels, then gets remarried, has a beautiful daughter, but instead of working on himself, he choses to leave her and his wife, in order to foster a self imposed and grueling work schedule that had to have left him exhausted. Then he makes the galactically stupid decision to hook up with a woman whose life hinges on convincing all of instagram that her tattooed c**t is heaven’s gate. Where was his “smart” then?

    And what does he do next? He pays hush money to Bennett, perhaps as much to pretend to himself as to the world, he fires an award winning colleague and friend in Zamboni and one by one begins to alienate those who deeply care about him in order to publicly coddle or perhaps try to save, a female version of himself. When sh*t goes south, as he knew it would, he hangs himself. Great. And dear friend ER is left to manage the trauma and mess of it all.

    I’m sorry, but these are not the actions of a mature, loving, or even thoughtful human being! They betray a deeply dysfunctional personality, which is now backed into the darkest corner of a sadly dysfunctional life. As Bruce says, “he took the easy way out”. It was not the only way out. It was certainly not the best way out. That last choice, that final dark impulse…it speaks worlds about the neuro-pathways already deeply engrained in his psyche. Those pathways were well traveled long before he encountered the circular funhouse of AA, and may likely have won out in the end no matter who or what his current fascination. It does appear he met his match in her, and perhaps was drawn to the very qualities she mirrored in himself. But the terrible choices he made in the last years of his life speak predominantly about him. And many of those choices were made with ample time for reflection.

    Bourdain not only points to ~ he underlines in thick red paint ~ exactly what he was looking for, what turned him on and what, at that time, thrilled him. It’s unfortunate that Iggy Pop’s heartfelt response to the question, “What thrills you?” did not cause Bourdain to reflect and perhaps at least acknowledge how very lost he was at that time. Bourdain actually appeared confused by the sheer level of sincerity coming from the Godfather of Punk himself. And what a beacon of light that could have been if only he’d been able to absorb and reflect on it.

    I’m glad I’m not amongst those who loved him. I’m not sure I’d even like him if I’d known him in those last years. Chris said, “he was a dick”. Perhaps a dick with genuine charisma. Honestly, his actions anger me. It seems the real tragedy is the sadness and grief his death has ushered into so many good people’s lives and to the difficulties they still face in recovering from it…his own daughter first and foremost. Many people loved him, but Bourdain was Bourdain…and as he said about his ability to nurture relationships, “he wouldn’t remember your birthday”. He behaved like so many non-recovering addicts. With destructive self abandon ~ leaving enormous collateral damage in the wake.

    Perhaps it’s time to remove him from the pedestal of grief.

  88. catsworking says:

    Bonny, wow, just wow. Very powerful and eloquent argument, and I agree with everything you said. Bourdain spent his life struggling with demons that he seemed to nurture from childhood never seemed to really want to control. I think he felt that they made him, HIM.

    He was a workaholic, and said he didn’t like to sit still or be alone for any stretch because it gave him time to think and get into trouble. He’d also get bored.

    Remember before he met the skank, after spending August in the Hamptons with Ottavia and Ariane, he’d go on tour (did it once with Eric) to do a standup routine, and he was filling huge venues from September to Thanksgiving? He said at the time it was a relatively quick way to make a lot of money for Ariane’s college fund. But it was grueling for him to be in a different city every night, repeating himself, doing autograph sessions afterward. He must have hated it.

    In the early years of his marriage to Ottavia, I think he was driven to make as much money as he could while he could, but without totally selling out and doing commercials or putting his name on cookware.

    But once he hit critical mass and EVERYTHING he was doing turned into another income stream, he could have backed off, but he kept letting his demons do the driving.

    Great observations about the skank. They were both damaged in many of the same ways, and she encouraged him in the vices he was always trying to keep in check without actually getting professional help: smoking, drinking, drugs.

    I think at one point he mentioned he was taking Chantix for smoking, and I just read this morning that a side effect of it is depression and suicidal thoughts. So, not a great prescription for Tony.

    I’ll admit I became a bit disenchanted with Parts Unknown. I felt like he was covering the same ground yet again, and he looked pretty miserable and exhausted.

    My admiration and interest in him began and remained with his writing. Sure, I first found him on TV and thought, “Wow, this guy is clever!” but I don’t think I started regularly watching No Res. But shortly thereafter, I happened upon a remaindered copy of his book, A Cook’s Tour, recognized him on the cover, and thought, “Wow, that guy wrote a book!” Reading it, THAT’S when I became a fan and decided to find out everything I could about him, which led to me writing about him.

    What pisses me off most about his death is the loss of books he’ll never write.

    And you’re right. It IS time to “remove him from the pedestal of grief.” I think as time passes, people’s attitudes will become more balanced.

  89. Bonny W says:

    Yes, well the college fund went to Bennett in one very foul swoop. So much for that. He could have paid for several college funds AND scholarships for needy folks on top of it, had he not been compelled to leave his wife and rent an expensive apartment that only housed him for what, five days a month? Sounds like another form of self deceit which served to rationalize the continued workaholism…the attraction to the public eye, the growing love/hate relationship with fame.

    Don’t get me wrong…I feel for him…I have a great deal of empathy for his shattered life….but I feel more for those he purportedly cared for but hurt so deeply in the end. His daughter can never have another father. That was his primary role and fundamental responsibility once she entered the world…to be HER protector and HER rock. But he was not up to the task. And how utterly sad that he would willingly wound David C. in projecting his own reality onto another caring friend. It seems in all his machismo, he lacked healthy boundaries. Choe’s comment in RR was a telling one. Maybe it takes an addict to understand one.

    I think a balanced attitude stems from a willingness to take in the facts of a persons actions. You can only decide how to relate to them from that very realistic position. Empathy can come from understanding their intentions, sure…but we all know what paves that dark road.

    Yes, the books he’ll never write, the daughter he’ll never raise, the grandfather he’ll never become. I sure hope when he met St. Peter, Bourdain was granted a do-over. 🙂

    Thanks for your thoughtful response.

  90. catsworking says:

    Bonny, in spite of the money he squandered on the skank in the last few years, all indications are that his daughter will be very well off whenever she comes of age. His estate is still making money from the body of work he left behind.

    I think the beginning of the end truly began in September 2016 when he moved into that last apartment. To that point, he and Ottavia were doing their separate things, but she always provided a home base where he could crash and see his daughter. In fact, there was no MENTION of trouble in their marriage (except some MMA-related gossip about her on Reddit) until he suddenly moved out and published a statement that they had separated. But they both said that “nothing had changed” and they still remained a family.

    I feel sure, after reading the skank’s book excerpt, she was the catalyst for all that. As long as he stayed with Ottavia, skank had nowhere to shack up with him over here. She was desperate to appear to be the only woman in his life. Ottavia addressed that a bit in Roadrunner.

    In her book, the skank also said that she told him point-blank that they would never live together, so she really left him no choice but to get the apartment. At least he did it in NYC rather than Rome, which showed he still had some concern for being near his daughter.

    That’s when he became dangerously untethered again, rattling around alone in an apartment that gave him no roots, now on the fringes of his daughter’s day-to-day life, because he was letting the skank call the shots. He probably hated himself for that, too, because he couldn’t allow himself to see the skank’s machinations for what they were.

    Overall, it seems amazing that he lived as long as he did. Without Ottavia’s grounding influence, he could have flamed out after the Nancy breakup. He was already suicidal.

    But getting caught in Beirut and staring death in the face seemed to be a wakeup call. As soon as he got home, he said he and Ottavia conceived Ariane. That gave him a reason to keep going until he managed to make such a mess of everything, he saw no other way out of it.

  91. Janice says:

    Great analysis! However, I don’t think it’s been unsaid that these were all his choices. I’ve said many times that he alone chose to get involved with Skank beyond just a sexual fling, chose to kill himself, chose to keep working at that pace (even tho he once told ZPZ it was time to quit). He couldn’t quit. It’s clear he, like skank, was a damaged person with mental problems including depression and suicidal tendencies that were never treated. Heroin is the big time. That’s not just some pot addiction. And he never got treatment for that, so the addiction had to go somewhere.

    He was always running from stuff. He tried to play the husband but that got boring after a while in both marriages. He and Skank were a match in many ways – both drawn to the dark side. Tony was clearly self-destructive and choosing her was part of that. She’s like human heroin. He was a not a fan of clean and tidy. He knew exactly what she was – perhaps on a deep level he was already feeling suicidal and figured why not go for broke knowing that eventually it would, as he predicted, “end very, very badly.” And why pick a loyal, sane woman like his ex-wives knowing he’d just get bored and leave em?

    I first saw him either on CT or NR, but it was very bad, grainy camerawork. And I thought who is this skinny punk with his smoking and earring, slouching and looking angry all the time? I thought why the fuck are you so angry when you’re PAID to travel?? But like Karen, I then read KC and his other books. The only pedestal I put him on is as an amazing writer, and also for so quickly learning how to be a great TV host and TV writer despite zero experience in either (and he was terrible at it in the beginning according to ZPZ). Not everyone can be ‘on’ and engaging for the camera. A lot of the show is credit to ZPZ (cinematography, etc) but you can’t make someone compelling to watch. Just look at Gordon Ramsey’s lame copycat show if you doubt this (hint: it blows).

    I assume the family silence is due to respecting his privacy and embarrassment. And fearing that if they reveal more about skank, she will reveal more about Tony they don’t want out there. Regarding his $, he died with far less than you’d expect given his salary, so that must mean he spent a LOT of it ( he once said the people estimating his net worth are way off bc they don’t realize how much he spends). Not sure on what, other than his apt and expensive meals? But I was shocked he even needed a mortgage at all! You can bet Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo pay cash for their residences. I do wonder if he had he remained a chef and never become famous, would he still be alive today? How much did that fame play a role, given that he was at heart a shy person? And apparently agoraphobic toward the end?

    Also did he leave Ottavia for Skank, or was their marriage essentially over when he met S? Sadly many of us make stupid decisions for what we think is love, or infatuation, but in his case I think you’re right, his bad choices were not solely of the typical blinded by love/lust variety.

  92. catsworking says:

    Janice, my understanding is that he and Ottavia were friendly co-parenting, but each doing their separate things under the same roof, so he was essentially single. I don’t think he was wearing his wedding ring anymore by the time he met the skank. But, as with Nancy, there was no divorce in the works. He only divorced Nancy after Ariane was on the way and he decided he and Ottavia should get married.

    I think Tony supplied a lot of the creative ideas for themes of shows, but it was totally ZPZ who became increasingly adept at filming and made everything look amazing. The Tony you describe sounds like his Cook’s Tour days, before he honed his cool persona.

    As for his wealth, I believe he socked the bulk of whatever he had into a trust or something for Ariane, and probably spent every penny he kept for himself on the skank because she’s a bottomless pit of need. Describing her as “human heroin” makes sense. Sooner or later, she’ll kill you.

    I assume you’re referring to Gordan Ramsay’s show on NatGeo, Uncharted. I’ll confess I’ve got this sick attachment to Ramsay. I hate that fucking arrogant prick (and even more his snarling sidekick on Master Chef, Joe Bastianich, who probably should have also disappeared when HIS partner, Mario Batali, got outed as a grabby perv in the restaurants they owned).

    But I watch all of Ramsay’s shows anyway. Go figure. I’ve seen most of Uncharted, and it takes his smugness to new heights. Going to other countries to learn all about their cuisine in a week and outcook a native chef in a stupid competition. Not to mention all his daredevil stunts to gather his ingredients.

    It’s just to showcase for the world what an amazing physical specimen Gordo thinks he is, even though he’s got an 80-year-old face.

    He’s like the anti-Bourdain. He insults the food and drink, gags and even spits it out. He couldn’t hack durian and fermented fish.

  93. Bonny W says:

    “In her book, the skank also said that she told him point-blank that they would never live together, so she really left him no choice but to get the apartment.”

    Couldn’t he have told her to f**k off and run? Or become rightfully alarmed by the swarm of red flags popping up all around him!

    If that’s true, his lack of spine is astonishing given the persona he projected on TV…famous for not giving a hoot for authority figures. I doubt ultimatums sat well with him. He may have willingly offered to please, support, flatter, patronize … whatever it took to keep her in his bed. Not an uncommon story.

    It’s so odd..that he could smile at himself for becoming a junkie, that was still somehow cool in his world. He could live to tell the story and even feel a sense of pride…having survived the danger of it all. But to be cuckolded by a woman you publicly profess to love? No man on earth finds that cool.

    Maybe for him, there was no fathoming a narrative twist that would allow escape and live to tell. But it could have made his best story ever.

  94. catsworking says:

    Keep in mind that the skank’s version of how she laid down the law to him about cheating being OK and never living together was concocted probably last year when she was “writing” her book, knowing there’s no one to refute her, least of all him.

    Early in the relationship (like when we first saw her in the Rome episode), she was trying to get her hooks into him by pretending to be his ideal woman. So, I don’t think her timeline adds up. It was months before she got him to split with Ottavia, so she hardly would have laid down laws like that before she knew she was on solid ground with him.

    “Leave your wife to be at my beck and call while I run around on you. Oh, and if you ever get lonely, don’t think you can come stay with me.”

    It makes zero sense. But then again, she never has.

    Yes, the red flags were flying from the beginning, but he chose to ignore them and become besotted with her. Maybe it was the self-destructive angle that attracted him in the first place.

  95. Janice says:

    Karen I tried watching Gordon’s show but the insanely over-the-top dramatic music in EVERY scene did me in. So fake! Here’s Gordon walking up a small hill – cue music that sounds like he’s scaling Everest. Here’s Gordon boarding a boat – cue music that sounds like he’s a foot away from a tiger shark. Just ridiculous lol.

  96. catsworking says:

    Janice, you just confirmed to me that I am deaf when it comes to most TV background noises. Recently my parents were complaining about the over-the-top laugh track on some sitcom, and I realized I had never noticed it at all. Ditto for any background music on the Ramsay show. I can’t say that I’ve ever heard it. But the way you describe it sounds exactly like what he’d insist on.

  97. Janice says:

    Wow how could you miss it LOL. You’re very lucky bc it’s so obnoxious. I think one thing Tony and ZpZ did so well, and their legacy, is that they did ‘reality TV’ differently – so elevated over the current standard that now when I watch the current standard, it is such a stark contrast, it looks like total shit to me.

    It’s not just the sounds but the dumb b-roll footage, crazy zoom-ins, cheap looking cinematography (and I use that term loosely and laughably in most cases). For example, I love the show Pitbulls and Parolees, but their ‘method’ of always showing b-roll of the sun setting or rising to indicate time passage, and the standard shot of the outside of the building to set up a new segment, is tired as F. Tony didn’t do any of that.

    Parts U also didn’t rely on that lame device of showing a few seconds of the next segment as a ‘tease’ before a commercial. (No Rez did that for a while but luckily stopped.) Watching Parts was truly like watching an hour long film every week. Cooks Tour began looking like every other travel show (i.e. cheap), so all the more impressive they learned on the job.

    I wish ZPZ would do another travel show as I really miss their shooting style. The closest I’ve seen to it was the recent CNN limited series “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy”. However, Tucci’s personality is so bland, annoyingly tight-assed and all around gawd awful that it overshadows much of the beauty they shot. Just reinforces that ‘anyone could do that’ is so false. Tony had something special the camera loved.

  98. catsworking says:

    Janice, Before I got to your last paragraph, I was thinking of Stanley Tucci, who has been bandied about as “the next Bourdain.” So, you did watch that. I did also because 1) I like Tucci as an actor, and 2) I wanted to see Italy. But I agree with you. He’s a snooze of a host. And I think he’s been renewed for another season. I wonder if he’ll stay in Italy, or hit more of Europe. Maybe he’d be better in unfamiliar cultures, although I never see him sitting in the dirt with a bunch of bearded guys, shoving goop from a communal bowl into this piehole.

    What made me throw up in my mouth a little was to read recently that Harry and Meghan’s ghastly interview with Oprah actually got nominated for a fucking Emmy in the same category Bourdain’s shows used to be in. And they’re up against STANLEY TUCCI, among others.

    If only Tony were still alive and still shooting so he could have CRUSHED them all like bugs.

    I actually hope Tucci wins because I will throw a brick through my TV if I see Oprah and those two media ‘ho’s prancing around with big smirks and an Emmy.

    You’re right about the unmatched quality of Bourdain’s shows as he found his footing. We may see ZPZ put out something of similar quality, since they know how to do it. But I don’t think there will ever be another Bourdain.

  99. Bonny W says:

    “Keep in mind that the skank’s version of how she laid down the law to him about cheating being OK and never living together was concocted probably last year when she was “writing” her book, knowing there’s no one to refute her, least of all him.”

    Is her book published in English somewhere? I was trying to put together a timeline of events in my mind, and but there are gaps in what’s still available online, and it seems like one and one never adds up to two.

    In a way, it seems weird to spend time pondering an event that only exists in my imagination and from other people’s words and images. At the same time, there is something to be learned here about human nature and the trappings of fame and wealth.

    It’s somehow more tolerable for me to think that what happened to Bourdain could happen to anyone whose life suddenly skyrocketed into the cult of celebrity.

    You’ve used the word “untethered”. I would also add that one loses touch with reality in the sense that the more famous, the less likely you are able to be in touch with people who will tell you the truth, and to whom you are willing to listen. It must be a very isolating experience.

  100. catsworking says:

    Bonny, people who worked with Bourdain have said that he never really seemed to grasp how famous he actually was. Although, toward the end it seemed to weigh on him because he became reluctant to go out in public.

    Of course, whenever he was with the skank, she probably kept one eye out for anyone who would notice them, media ‘ho’ that she is.

    Tony always had the ability to reconnect with reality through his daughter and Ottavia, but as the skank sank her claws deeper and deeper into him, he got caught up in her fantasy world, which was all lies and BS. That’s when he really became untethered, when all he really wanted from her was a solid loving relationship.

    No, I don’t believe her book is in English, and doubt it ever will be. GlamourMilk somehow got some chunks of it and ran them through Google Translate, I think.

  101. Bonnie Wells says:

    Hmm, ok…I guess the research ends here then. Thanks for your quite thorough response. I still hear an unwillingness in your voice to assign equal responsibility to the part he played. Perhaps you have good reason for that. Human beings, even handsome, lovable, intelligent ones can make terrible choices with tragic outcomes. From where I stand, both individuals in their dysfunctional enmeshment, became a ticking time bomb. I agree, she is far far easier to dislike…but for me, that does not change any of the facts as far as they appear from the outside.

  102. catsworking says:

    Bonnie, I’m not unwilling at all to assign equal responsibility to Bourdain for his death. He chose not to step away from the toxic texting or phone calls and go downstairs to dinner with his friend Eric, who could/would have walked him back from the ledge.

    And if you look at the trajectory of his whole life, as you have outlined, yes, he certainly did make a long series of bad, self-destructive choices. In fact, killing himself was probably how he would have died sooner or later, whether he did it deliberately or drugged/drank/worked himself into oblivion. It was something he gave lot of thought to and commented on many, many times.

    In one of his last interviews, he said that he expected to “die in the saddle,” meaning while he was working. And that’s exactly what he did. But I don’t condemn him it. For one horrible moment, his demons won.

    I DO fault the woman who convinced him she was his soulmate, only to use, exploit, and publicly humiliate him as much as she could until he cracked. And I feel certain, if not for the photos and the ensuing fighting, he would have finished making that episode in France and gone on until she pulled her next stunt.

    He had said she thought they were in a power struggle. She wouldn’t have stopped until she had crushed him (“won”), or he’d given her a career and she could kick him to the curb. She has a history of turning on every man she gets involved with. His last fatal decision was not to fuck her and forget her when they first met.

  103. Bonnie Wells says:

    I do not know much about her history. I can’t read Italian and not willing to google translate for hours! Lol! But I can certainly comprehend the conviction in your voice, and trust you understand far more than I. Also, the compassion you feel for him comes through. I think it’s interesting what you said…how one simple alternate decision, like going downstairs to dinner with his friend, could make a life or death difference. It’s incredible how fragile our lives really are. From that point of view I guess we are all hanging on by a very thin thread. Thank you again….will check back now and then should new questions arise. 🙂

  104. Janice says:

    I think all we really understand is that he was attracted to someone who was bad for him, and she treated him like shit, gladly took his $, then humiliated and dumped him. This happens to millions of men and women but they do not commit suicide. We have no clue what she did or didn’t promise or agree to in that relationship, but it sounds like there was at least some expectation of discretion, which she clearly failed to meet. Still, most people on the receiving end of that would not hang themselves.

    One could also make the argument that Skank is highly damaged, has depression, suicidal thoughts and very low self esteem, was abused physically and/or psychologically by her parents, possibly also assaulted as an adult by one or more powerful men, and that factors into how she behaves with men. It may also be why she seems to be a malignant narcissist and sex addict. It does NOT excuse her treating Tony or anyone like shit, but perhaps explains some of it. Maybe that was partly what drew him to her, as he too was damaged and dealing with mental health issues. But…the using him for $ and career gain – that’s just being a gold-digging opportunist.

    BTW, you might not want to read this while eating:

    Skank only mentions Tony once in it; it’s more about showing off all her vile tats.

    PS Why is she broke? Especially before she met Tony, why was she broke then?? It’s not farfetched to suggest Tony only thought she was talented bc he was thinking with his dick, but even untalented D listers have outlets like Dancing with the Stars lol. Is she just lazy? A coke head?? I can’t speak to her talent or lack thereof bc I have not seen any of her films, as actor or director.

  105. catsworking says:

    Janice, she did do Dancing with the Stars, the Italian version. I found it on YouTube, I think, but I couldn’t find out anywhere how soon she got kicked off.

    I think the distinction you make between “explaining” behavior and “excusing” it is the crux of all this.

    I don’t think anybody here excuses Bourdain for his suicide. We’re just trying to make sense of it, and will probably never succeed because it was impulsive and senseless.

    The skank undoubtedly has many issues that may very well stem from abuse, both inflicted on her and encouraged by her. When she met someone as generous as Bourdain, who put her on an undeserved pedestal, she couldn’t handle it and felt she had to destroy him because fighting back against all comers had become her schtick.

    When I see her tats, all I can think about is how swell they’ll look when she’s crepey and wrinkled in a few years. I read that article (thanks for the link) and I think it boils down to she’ll do anything to get people to look at her. If the custom, instead of tats, were to get branded with a hot poker like a steer, she’d do that.

  106. Bob says:

    Karen I am finally sitting down to watch Roadrunner. It just came on Video on Demand here I am still early into it. Lot’s of Nancy which is always nice considering how camera shy she is. I hope I can get through it in one sitting. Well if you and Zamir can sit through it I suppose I can too.

  107. catsworking says:

    Bob, Nancy only appears in the early portion in the documentary footage someone else filmed, but you must know that by now. She didn’t actively participate with an interview.

    I just checked HBO Max, and it doesn’t seem to be available there yet, but it is available on Verizon FIOS to “rent” for $19.99, which is ROBBERY.

    I paid $8.65 (with senior discount) to watch it on a big screen at the cinema.

    I hope people continue to check in with their impressions after you all get to see it. I do want to watch it again where I can pause it and back up to really catch all the details I missed the first time through it.

  108. Jim says:

    I have read all the responses on this thread but have not yet seen the movie and not sure I will. I must admit that I have never watched his shows or read his books. However in my pursuit to find a good story to investigate and publish, I happened upon Bourdain’s death. My first inclination was to find out about the investigation of his suicide. It was this report in the New York Times on June 9, 2018 in which the writer stated “The case is closed” said Christian de Rocquigny, the local prosecutor in charge of the investigation. Per Christian, “There is no indication of any involvement by a third person, and we’re ready to give the body back to his family.”
    In July of 2019, Christian is promoted to Division Director. Does the movie deal with the expedient investigation? I also believe that there wasn’t a typical written suicide note. Has there been consideration that a comment on social media by Bourdain could be considered a new form of a suicide note? And if so, was it part of the medical examiners or police records?. If Yes, a possible Freedom of Information Act request could be pursued. As you can tell, I am just starting to unravel a puzzle (my perspective).

  109. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Jim,

    If you go into the archives for June 2018, you will find a wealth of information as we all gathered and discussed it in real time. As far as I know, there was no “investigation.” They never talked to the girlfriend. I assume they took the scene at face value and felt they needed to look no further into cause. They did a toxicology test, and came back saying that Bourdain had an appropriate amount of some unspecified but legal prescription drug in his system. And I think they initially said there was no alcohol, but amended it to say some wine (I’m writing from memory here).

    None of this was in the documentary. Eric Ripert was the first (maybe only) person in Tony’s entourage to see him after death. And when he was asked about it in the film, he answered simply, in so many words, “I don’t talk about it.”

    Eric could fill in some blanks, but has chosen not to. And I don’t fault him for that. He’s wise to consider Tony’s daughter. And I don’t think the world needs those details.

    Bourdain died either on Thursday night or Friday morning. The following Wednesday, he was cremated in France without an autopsy. On Friday, his ashes were delivered to his brother Chris in New York (or New Jersey? Not sure where he lives today), along with all of Tony’s electronic devices (I believe a smartphone and an iPad, which Bourdain had mentioned he traveled with, and I would assume a laptop for his writing.)

    It’s been said that there was no suicide note, but I don’t know if that’s an assumption or a fact, since no one was known to check his devices. Maybe Eric didn’t find a letter on paper. And as you say, his “note” may have been unconventional. He left some reference to a film called “Violent City” on social media, I believe. It was a Charles Bronson–Jill Ireland flick about a man who takes revenge on the woman who betrays him. I’ve never seen it, but I should because I was a big Bronson fan back in his Death Wish days.

    The consensus of everyone here at Cats Working was that any investigation into Bourdain’s death was perfunctory, or at least what was released to the public was. His family, friends and co-workers have played it close to the chest, and the documentary really doesn’t pry further. Again, Neville didn’t talk to the girlfriend. We learn a few new things about his mental state (such as his producer Lydia saying that he once said he wanted out of doing TV, got the OK, but then kept on with it), but nothing really about the suicide itself.

    Since this has been essential “Bourdain Central” for many years, if you poke around the archives and comments for any dates that pop up in your research, you’ll find a ton of information and thoughtful analysis by people who have seen the shows, read the books, and followed his career for years.

  110. Jim says:

    I appreciate your response and advise. One quote I read by his friend Eric Ripert stated that Bourdain was “one of the greatest storytellers of our time.” Maybe his story hasn’t been fully told.

  111. catsworking says:

    Jim, “His story hasn’t been fully told,” is an understatement. And we’ve lost all the stories he was undoubtedly planning to tell once he retired from appearing on TV. Bourdain always considered himself a writer first and foremost. The rest of it was gravy and more material for his writing.

  112. Janice says:

    I still shake my head at the lack of investigation and digging into this story. Perhaps because Tony wasn’t uber-famous like say, George Clooney. If Clooney was found dead by his own hand in a hotel room, especially after fighting with the woman he loved and her apparent public betrayal, you can bet there would be a greater attempt to find answers to all the unanswered questions.

    For Ottavia to say the text messages ‘leave no doubt as to the cause of death’, the police and his family clearly checked his phone and I’d be shocked if they didn’t also pour over his other devices. And where is the unauthorized biography??

  113. catsworking says:

    Janice, several bizarre unauthorized biographies are available on, last time I checked. But from the little blurbs I read, they did nothing but repeat the garbage the girlfriend and her cronies were propagating to keep her from looking guilty.

    My guess on all this is that the French authorities really didn’t give a shit. They saw that he hanged himself, but why he did it didn’t matter. “Il est mort, tant pis, c’est la vie.” (“He’s dead, tough shit, that’s life.”) They were only too happy to honor the family’s belief that “Tony wouldn’t want a fuss.” Less work for them.

    It’s enough for the family to know what happened and they really don’t care what the world thinks. There was no public memorial service, no word about disposition of his ashes. He just went poof. They wouldn’t even authorize a hybrid apple, rose, or tomato (I forget now which it was) be named after him.

    Had it been up to them, had it not been for the TV and books he left behind, it would have been like he never existed and we imagined everything. All efforts to honor him (murals, special dinners, suicide prevention fundraisers, CIA scholarship) have come from the others, not the family. Well, except for the auction of some of his belongings.

    That said, I think we all know, confirmed by what Ottavia said about the last texts, what happened. We’re just seeking confirmation. But since it involves an Italian citizen who will never face accountability, what’s the point? It just gives her an excuse to be hysterical on camera, proclaiming her innocence. It doesn’t bring him back.

  114. GlamourMilk says:

    Hmm. Not sure I agree Bourdain is being on a pedestal by most people here. I see it more as the circumstances of his death and the two years leading up to it were so murky and mysterious that it almost felt like diving into a mystery novel – only, this was real. It wasn’t just a celebrity breakup (who cares) but someone who actually died and it didn’t take much digging to see that the surviving person in the couple was up to no good (an understatement). There’s absolutely no doubt that she was ‘the final straw’ and did absolutely nothing to prevent being that final starw – evidently quite the opposite. It would bw great to ‘let it go’ but it’s the feeling of justice hasn’t been served that keeps some people, like myself, interested in the subject matter. Hoping that one day she will be called out in public once and for all – so far she’s gotten off lightly and I hope she thanks her lucky stars every night for that privilege.

    It looks like she practices buddhism. How convenient. As a buddhist you learn you’re never to blame for anything – what a great little philosophy to cling to for narcissists and sociopaths everywhere.

  115. bassgirl23 says:

    Finally saw Roadrunner – it was mostly what I expected, with some good “new” interviews (well, new to me anyways) and clips.

    I was surprised at first that they didn’t interview Laurie Woolever given she must have had pretty close access, but she was listed in the credits as a producer, so maybe she just didn’t want to be interviewed on camera. Will await the book, both hers and the one from Tom Vitale coming out.

    The clips with David Chang and David Choe were difficult to watch – you can see they’re still struggling to come to terms with it. I thought both Ottavia & Helen Cho did a good job of laying out what happened without saying too much….it’s pretty clear they know from the texts and what was going on up to that, that something (someone) pushed him over the edge, especially with the comment to his cameraman about the “discretion” – pretty obvious what was upsetting him. Really feel badly for Eric Ripert, he must have such a weight on his shoulders and everyone just keeps asking for details etc. – glad he doesn’t talk about in public.

    The clips that were hardest to watch were those of his daughter. As a mom it’s heartbreaking to see that little girl left behind, and to think of how devastated he must have been in those last moments to think that leaving her without a dad was somehow a better option. We all know he had his demons, he didn’t shy away from disclosing them, but watching those clips, I don’t doubt his love for his little girl.

    I’ve been close to someone with addiction issues, and their personality reminded me a lot of Tony’s – same intellect & sharp wit, great with crowds, extremely charming personality (but very private and introverted at the same time), same sense of humour (sometimes juvenile), with a dark side that didn’t get shown to everyone. I think that’s why I liked watching Tony so much, because he was so similar to my friend, I felt like I knew him.

    David Choe’s comments about Tony transferring his addiction were right on the mark. Both my friend and Tony never addressed the underlying problem. The addictive behaviour just gets transferred into new obsessions – some healthy (like BJJ), some not. Tony’s last one was obvious to everyone who was around him at the end. I just wish he could’ve gotten more help, but he probably wouldn’t have accepted it even if it were right in front of him – my friend never did either.

  116. catsworking says:

    GlamourMilk, the skank a Buddhist? I’ve never seen that anywhere, and it’s pretty outrageous, given how she behaves. I thought she calls herself a witch or a Satan-worshipper, flaunting the spiders and the evil eye and all that.

    Agree with what you’re saying about our sense of justice being denied.

    All roads with her take me back to Trump. She’s like the female Trump in every corrupt and mentally ill way, except he’d never get a tat. She’s a narcissist, a user, a liar, and skating along without lasting consequences on anything she’s ever done to EVERYBODY, while portraying herself always as the victim. Her treatment of Bourdain just took her cruelty to new heights with even more heinous results.

    Eric Ripert is Buddhist, but I think it actually gives him a lot of comfort and keeps him kind and on an even keel. I wish I had his composure.

  117. GlamourMilk says:

    Cats –
    ‘GlamourMilk, the skank a Buddhist? I’ve never seen that anywhere, and it’s pretty outrageous, given how she behaves. I thought she calls herself a witch or a Satan-worshipper, flaunting the spiders and the evil eye and all that.’

    I don’t know if she’s an actual buddhist but she has referenced buddhism on social media and I think she’s attempting to practice it some degree.

    ‘Eric Ripert is Buddhist, but I think it actually gives him a lot of comfort and keeps him kind and on an even keel. I wish I had his composure.’

    I’d like to clarify; I definitely think that some buddhists are good people, but I think they would have been ‘good’ regardless of being a buddhist or not. If you’re a good person, buddhism can probably help accentuate that. But if you’re a cruel/bad person, buddhism won’t magically make you a good one – but it may give you ammunition to pretend you are. I have reason to believe that Ripert is a better person than Argento, so I’m sure he can use buddhism in a good way. Whereas I don’t think all the positive affirmations in the world can suddenly make Argento a good person.

    I have noticed that some people who’ve done bad things become ‘buddhists’ or start meditating or whatever, in the belief it’ll make them better people. But I just don’t think it works that way.

  118. catsworking says:

    bassgirl, I wonder if Tony felt already that he’d failed his daughter beyond redemption because he’d allowed her to be placed on the back burner by the skank’s demands on his free time. He once said when he wasn’t shooting, he tried to spend 5 days a month with the skank, and 5 days a month with his daughter.

    Ottavia said he’d reduced visits down to once a month.

    So, that makes me wonder if, in his final moments, he rationalized that he’d already abandoned Ariane anyway and she wouldn’t miss him.

    Agree that he loved his daughter probably more than anything else in his life, but he wasn’t ADDICTED to her, and that made all the difference in being able to leave her.

    I thought Ottavia interview was extremely diplomatic under the circumstances, but Helen Cho came closest to venting the rage they all must feel.

    And I just read that fucking Neville actually commissioned the mural he had David Choe deface at the end. WTF? I was OK with the fake voice snippets of Bourdain’s own words, but manufacturing a whole scene where a friend acts out his rage on Tony jumps the shark for me.

  119. GlamourMilk says:

    bassgirl123 –
    ‘David Choe’s comments about Tony transferring his addiction were right on the mark. Both my friend and Tony never addressed the underlying problem. The addictive behaviour just gets transferred into new obsessions – some healthy (like BJJ), some not. Tony’s last one was obvious to everyone who was around him at the end.’

    Yep. So many former drug addicts become addicted to exercise and/or meditation and they throw themselves into it with the same mindset as they would have thrown themselves into drugs. Some famous examples: Robert Downey Jr and most of the guys from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. British comedian Russell Brand has become some sort of self-appointed ‘guru’ who preaches meditation, buddhism, positive affirmations and then all sorts of alt-right crap. He pretends he’s apolitical but he certainly seems particularly anti-democrat even though he’s not even American. I wonder if he’s pandering to his American followers because he can see that many Trump-fans follow him. Or if he genuinely is that way inclined himself? I used to like him because he’s very articulate and has a great way with words both in his speech and writings. But I’ve gone off him since I saw this side of him in the last year. I always knew he had narcissistic tendencies and was slightly on the sexist side but I was willing to give him a free pass because he seemed otherwise decent. Now, I’m not so sure. Sometimes I feel like, the more ‘spiritual’ a person becomes, the more they have some bad side to hide.

    Brand, as a former drug addict is also heavily into bjj, by the way.

  120. catsworking says:

    GlamourMilk, understood, and I agree. Sounds like the skank is just going through another phase of trying to convince people she’s not the monster she truly is, and this time she may be grasping at Buddhism as her means du jour (I’ve got a lot of French spouting out of me this week, for some reason).

    I have no doubt Ripert was always a decent person. I’ve heard him say (probably telling Tony) that he used to scream in his kitchen the way he saw it done when he was in training, but then he realized how damaging it was and stopped. (Gordon Ramsay never got the memo.)

    And I’ve heard of prisoners becoming Buddhists and other religions. Whatever they need to help them feel better about themselves, I guess. If they really embrace it, maybe they can become better people. But I don’t see the skank ever changing her stripes.

  121. GlamourMilk says:

    Cats –
    ‘I wonder if Tony felt already that he’d failed his daughter beyond redemption because he’d allowed her to be placed on the back burner by the skank’s demands on his free time. He once said when he wasn’t shooting, he tried to spend 5 days a month with the skank, and 5 days a month with his daughter.

    Ottavia said he’d reduced visits down to once a month.

    So, that makes me wonder if, in his final moments, he rationalized that he’d already abandoned Ariane anyway and she wouldn’t miss him.’

    This (the above) is heartbreaking but certainly something I thought might be part of it too. He certainly seemed to be forced to give up a lot of family life for Ms Skankie (Ottavia has pretty much confirmed that). I wonder if he saw Skanie’s two kids more than his own and if she was actively try to lure him away from his own family, including child? She never met his daughter. Even though they were in a two-year relationship. That’s kind of mad, when you think about it. What was that about? I’m thinking Ottavia might not have trusted her daughter with Skankie. Or Skankie simply did all she could to keep Tony away from any blood family. After all, that’s what narcissists do, they keep their ‘prey’ away from friends and family and isolate them so they can get from them what they want.

  122. GlamourMilk says:

    …and yes, there’s a good chance he felt he let his daughter down for Skankie and in that moment of despair of finally realising what a terrible person he’d allowed himself to fall in love with – at the expense of his daughter (at the Skank’s demand) – it was just too much for him to see a way back to something good in his life. Especially if it was at night. If I’m upset about something it always feels ten times worse at night. I’ve often told myself to not make any decisions until it gets light because the decisions you make in the dark are often not the better ones (in my experience).

  123. catsworking says:

    GlamourMilk, Russell Brand? This is the first time I’m seeing all this. I used to like him, but had no idea he was a wannabe Trumper. Yikes!

    The person I’ve recently come around on is Sacha Baron Cohen. I always thought he was just a crazy jerk after the first Borat movie. But there’s a method to his madness. I watched a show he did called “Who Is America?” where he wore disguises and lured contemptible people like Roy Moore into showing their true colors and loved it.

    So then I saw the second Borat movie where he nailed Rudy with his hands down his pants, and now I love Cohen. He’s doing more to expose the right-wing wacko liars and traitors in this country than Congress and the media combined. And he’s not an American, either.

  124. catsworking says:

    GlamourMilk, the skank was ABSOLUTELY trying to permanently separate Tony from Ottavia and his daughter. Now, whether he saw her kids more than his own, who knows? Skank wouldn’t have wanted them around TOO much because their presence would have reduced her fucking time.

    She was the impetus for him getting his own apartment so she’d have a place to come openly and bring her kids. She said in her book that she didn’t want to get married, but she certainly wanted the world to see HER family as HIS family and forget he had one of his own. And that probably created yet another issue that tore him apart.

    I think she saw Ottavia as a threat as long as they were still married and was doing everything she could to lead him to divorce, even though she said she never intended to marry him herself. (Personally, I think if he hadn’t kept most of his assets in O’s name or in a trust for his daughter, skank would have married him the second he was free to lay claim to whatever wealth he had.)

  125. Jim says:

    To all in search of the truth,
    I understand the general consensus why Eric Ripert has been perceived as the true friend but I have questions:
    1)Eric is the one who set up the first date with Ottavia (twenty two years younger than Tony). Paraphrasing Bourdain, Eric hoped it would be a one night stand. Again Bourdain like, Eric thought getting Tony laid was important.
    2)Eric believed Tony was the epitome of punctuality. So why on the night of June 8 when Tony was to have dinner with the restaurants chef and Eric, did Eric not go to Tony’s room?
    3)When Tony didn’t turn up for breakfast on June 9, why did Eric leave it up to the registration desk to go up to Tony’s room?

    Because Tony’s death is vailed in secrecy the more doubts I have about the facts as told.

    For Janice,
    I feel that French officials at a high level didn’t want another story in the tabloids. Within fourteen months they had to deal with Jeffrey Epstein.

  126. catsworking says:

    Jim, since you’ve said you aren’t familiar with Bourdain’s work or backstory, you’re covering a lot of well-trod ground here, but I’ll offer some answers.

    Eric was Tony’s best friend, maybe even closer than Tony’s brother. He introduced Tony and Ottavia because they were both workaholics and not looking for a relationship, but more of a casual hookup arrangement whenever. Since they were both in the restaurant business, he must have thought they’d just hit it off. Age didn’t seem to be a consideration for anybody.

    Eric saw Tony VERY upset all week, fighting on the phone with the girlfriend, so he was probably giving Tony space to collect his thoughts and cool off when he didn’t show up for dinner. Eric’s also a very polite person, so he wouldn’t be pounding on Tony’s door.

    By Friday morning when Tony didn’t come down to breakfast, I can’t remember if we knew whether Eric tried to phone him or not, but after missing two meals, Eric probably deduced that something was seriously wrong, so he summoned the hotel staff to enter the room first because it was the proper thing to do. They were in France, it was a nice hotel, Eric is French, he knows the etiquette.

    I think the facts as they were reported were fairly superficial, but accurate. We got a bit more about Tony’s state of mind in the documentary, but nobody knows all that may have happened in his room when he was alone.

  127. Janice says:

    Jim and Karen – yes I get that the French didn’t want a big fuss. And I of course get that nothing will bring him back. But for me it’s more just bafflement because normally when a celeb dies young or from tragic circumstances, especially suicide, the ‘unauthorized’ bios and shows just happen. It’s not about the family. These books and shows come out whether the family likes it or not.

    They happen regardless because they make money. They’re interesting and entertaining and for some fans, they provide more closure. And yes I’ll admit for many like me it’s part morbid curiosity. I slow down at car accidents – sue me. The E True Hollywood story. Behind the Scenes. etc etc. I remember seeing one recently on Heath Ledger. There have been several on Belushi. Chris Farley. Anna Nicole Smith.

    I would think it wouldn’t be difficult to find people willing to talk about Tony’s final days and the Skank anonymously ‘on background’. Just look at how many so called Trump loyalists and staff squealed like pigs ‘on background’ to authors like Michael Wolf for books that were anything but flattering to the subject.

    And yet zip on Tony. It’s just odd, that’s all. Like you said, it’s as if he just vanished into thin air. And that’s very atypical with popular celebs. Fear of lawsuits can’t be the reason because look at all the unauthorized bios that have come out on everyone from Reagan to Madonna. You mean to tell me someone is more fearful of being sued by Ottavia, Chris Bourdain (who frankly most people couldn’t pick out of a lineup) or Skank than by Madonna?? Come on.

  128. catsworking says:

    Janice, there HAS been one unauthorized TV show about Bourdain’s death. It was “Autopsy, the Last Hours of…” It basically went over what’s already out there, indicating they were unable to uncover additional facts, either.

    From my understanding of the time he was found, the crew was already out setting up the morning’s shoot, leaving only Eric at the hotel waiting for Tony to come down to breakfast. Since Eric isn’t talking, it would take someone from the hotel to blab. I doubt the hotel wants to advertise being the scene of Bourdain’s death. Everyone already knows its name, so morbid tourists can request his room and have at it with the sleuthing.

    I won’t be surprised if before long some “ghost-hunting” show does an episode there based on tales of Bourdain’s ghost being seen.

    I assume the skank knows she’s neck-deep in culpability. The only way she would be induced to spill while Ottavia is alive (it takes an Italian to know an Italian) would be the offer of a boatload of money. If she lives to her dotage, she may write another book devoted to her years with Bourdain just for the attention because she can’t get it any other way.

    In the book skank just published, she described their relationship less as a romance and more as if she were trying to close all the loopholes in a legal defense.

    Laurie Woolever is sweeping up whatever scraps he left and has been putting those out. (I agree that her total absence from Roadrunner was weird.) Director Tom Vitale has written a book. At some point, others who were close to him may write books.

    I think a lot of the reticence has to do with respecting Ariane’s privacy. She was only 11 when it happened, and it’s something she’ll always have to deal with unless she changes her name.

    I’m with you that it still feels strange and I have little sense of closure. As I’ve said, it’s like he just vanished as if we imagined him, except for the body of work he left behind.

    The only parallel I can draw is to my former teenage idol, Jonathan Frid, who played the vampire Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows in the ’60s, and he was a huge star. I got to speak with him quite a bit on a cruise we were both on in 1988 when he was 65. He was a has-been and nobody was recognizing him, even though everybody seemed to remember Barnabas.

    Frid eventually retired to Canada and died at 87 or 88, leaving only two nephews. He had been working for years on an extensive website with photos, readings, video, memories. It immediately disappeared (rather than staying up as a memorial) and there was never a word about a funeral or resting place. Apparently, Frid requested the secrecy around his remains because he thought fans would get ghoulish.

  129. Janice says:

    Karen I get what you’re saying but the attention this would get with another celeb has simply not been paid, One ‘autopsy’ show doesn’t cut it iMO but no point in railing about it, because everyone seems content to keep their mouths closed except for a few passive aggressive tweets, retweets and likes, and an anonymous Instagram account right after he died.

    So I just started reading World Travel and ummm, are they kidding? Do they honestly expect people to pay for this book? (I got it from the library.) All of the Bourdain text sseems to be verbatim from his scripts/narration of the corresponding episode for that destination, which we’ve already seen/heard. And then there is the lamest ever list, if you can call it that, of a couple hotels and restaurants. I realize he died before anything beyond a brainstorming session had happened for this book but jeez, if Woolever doesn’t have anything more than this, why do the book at all? I don’t see the point, frankly. Did Tony not leave behind any unpublished essays that he was working on that they could release?

    I’m much more excited to read Vitale’s book.

  130. catsworking says:

    Janice, I’m as baffled as you are by the cone of silence around Bourdain, and I can only attribute it to the people who were close to him are protecting his daughter. When she’s a bit older, maybe more will be said. Maybe she’ll be the one to say it. Who knows? I can’t believe she’s already 14. Seems like only yesterday she was a naked little meatloaf in his hand.

    I’m with you on the World Travel book. When I started it, it felt wonderful to read his descriptions, and I was reading every word of every chapter, but later I’d hit the non-blue text and think, “Who cares? This may all be out of date already.” I certainly wouldn’t refer to that book for info on airports or getting around. Maybe I’d check the restaurants on the off-chance of visiting one.

    Too many times, I’d turn a page expecting to see more on a country, but there was nothing. It began feeling very truncated and abrupt. It made me want to reread “A Cook’s Tour,” which is essays about countries when he first visited them.

    While I do give Woolever huge credit for the MASSIVE amount of research she put in, all she had to work with from him was transcripts and already published work. Come to think of it, a book of well-edited transcripts from his best shows (so they make sense without the video) wouldn’t be a bad idea.

    And I’m still scratching my head over how she mistyped “SS Norway” for “SS Norwalk,” in Trinidad and Tobago, which totally destroyed the dig he was trying to make about people catching norovirus on cruise ships, and which totally freaked me out because SS Norway was MY special ship for many years, and how the HELL did he know that? But he didn’t.

    I’m most eager to see Vitale’s book as well. As for Woolever’s Oral Biography, which is being published the same day, September 28, I expect a lot more nothing new.

  131. GlamourMilk says:

    Catsworking –
    ‘Janice, I’m as baffled as you are by the cone of silence around Bourdain, and I can only attribute it to the people who were close to him are protecting his daughter.’

    While I agree with the above then one can ask why even bother to make a film like Roadrunner? It’s like they want to ‘show the world’ that AA is a piece of shit who has her ex-boyfriend’s suicide on her conscience (not that I think she has a conscience), but the result is SO vague that they may as well not have bothered. I mean, look at the backlash the documentary received. In the end, they came off looking worse to anyone who hasn’t closely followed what happened around his suicide and aren’t invested in finding out (which would be most people). In that sense, the documentary turned out to be a waste. Then they might as well have made it from a completely different angle. I found it disappointing though I did enjoy watching certain clips. I believe it was a wasted opportunity. As for ‘protecting Ariane’. Well, there are already so many stories out there it really couldn’t get any worse – only better. Unless there is a terrible story that reveals Bourdain to have done something horrific that they’re afraid his twisted, sick, disgusting ex might reveal. I’d prefer to believe that’s not the case.

    On another note, I saw on a Bourdain Facebook group that some people seem to think he had Parkinson’s. Though I’ve also noticed his fidgety hands it seems to have been a quirk of his (nervous energy?) more than anything. He did that thing with his hands for years. If he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s there would have been absolutely no reason not to reveal it in the documentary. So I simply don’t believe that’s the case.

  132. catsworking says:

    GlamourMilk, I think director Neville had no clue he was in a no-win situation with Roadrunner until people saw it and started freaking out over the bits of AI, the staged defacing of a mural, and the light treatment AA got.

    Most of the new material came from the earlier unfinished documentary he had nothing to do with. Actually, I’d have rather seen all the footage from that than the clips montage Neville ended up with. The interviews were interesting, but since everyone was so carefully trying to honor some boundary unknown to the rest of us, aside from Ottavia’s few revelations, what they said had limited value.

    And when you’ve got the man who was right there, an eyewitness to everything leading up to the suicide, and first on the scene in the aftermath, saying, “I don’t talk about that,” the film’s whole point for Bourdain fans became moot. Period.

    I think we all have a pretty good handle on how things went down that final week of Tony’s life. We’re just looking for someone to confirm it. And we’re outraged that the person who probably managed to push him off the ledge is still flashing her boobs and crotch on social media like she’s still some kind of hot catch.

    I noticed the little rolling motion Bourdain did with his fingers in many TV interviews over the years. I think it was just nerves, but maybe down the road he’d have developed Parkinson’s. Alan Alda wasn’t diagnosed until he was 79 or 80. I don’t believe Tony had any serious health issues beyond having the life drained out of him by too much travel and an insatiable succubus. He had been doing his BJJ training every day.

  133. GlamourMilk says:

    ‘Most of the new material came from the earlier unfinished documentary he had nothing to do with. Actually, I’d have rather seen all the footage from that than the clips montage Neville ended up with. The interviews were interesting, but since everyone was so carefully trying to honor some boundary unknown to the rest of us, aside from Ottavia’s few revelations, what they said had limited value.

    And when you’ve got the man who was right there, an eyewitness to everything leading up to the suicide, and first on the scene in the aftermath, saying, “I don’t talk about that,” the film’s whole point for Bourdain fans became moot. Period.’

    I agree with everything you wrote above. The film ended up feeling a bit meh (though I enjoyed parts of it) and it certainly gave the Argento defenders a lot of ammunition.

  134. Lorraine Villeneuve says:

    I felt the same way.. A bunch of tv episodes strung together and friends telling stories. Ottavia and Helen were the only ones who sounded truly genuine. I know Eric can’t talk about it but he could have given SOME input.

  135. catsworking says:

    Lorraine, I respect Eric’s position on this. It must have been traumatic as hell for him, and he stayed in France through the weekend to be there if needed. But if he has firmly decided he’s never going to discuss it in public, then he should just decline all interview requests where it would come up. Certainly, he saw that question coming when he agreed to participate in Roadrunner.

    To see Eric sit there, sipping his wine with a little smile, and refuse to say anything just makes people wonder what he’s hiding. (And there is something, most likely skank-related. But that’s Eric maintaining the high road and I can’t blame him for not wanting to inflame the situation because it would only subject him to more questioning.)

    Maybe as time goes on, some of the other crew members will also write books and feel freer to speak their minds. I think knowing that they were going to be seen internationally in this documentary didn’t create a setting to be completely candid. I was impressed by Ottavia and Helen for being as open as they were. And Lydia did a good job of telling what was going on with him related to the shows and the toll travel took on him.

  136. Lorraine Elizabeth Villeneuve says:

    Would have loved if Zamir had been in it.

  137. catsworking says:

    YES!! Zamir! He was missing and I wondered about that. I follow him on Instagram (after being lifetime banned from Twitter — me, that is, not Zamir) and he makes Tony references constantly. Maybe he was considered too much of a loose cannon.

    A year or so ago, he had been writing a book and had a temporary falling out with his editor. I don’t know whatever happened with that. But I feel sure it would have a lot of Bourdain and it, and it would be published in English because he knows where the fans are. He seems to spend a lot of time in Buffalo, New York. I thought he had moved here permanently, but then he returns to Russia. Maybe it’s a visa thing where he’s required to go back for so many months a year.

    I’ve checked my local ABC liquor store for Zamir Vodka, but they don’t carry it.

  138. Lorraine Elizabeth Villeneuve says:

    I asked Zamir if Tony losing the Pier deal affected him and he agreed that it did make Tony quite depressed

  139. GlamourMilk says:

    Someone asked Zamir Gotta in a Tony Facebook group if he was in the documentary/or why he wasn’t (don’t remember which), and he answered something like he was persona non grata with CNN. He doesn’t seem to like them much and his comments on the documentary makes it seem like he didn’t like that much either. I did notice he did events he seemed to be making money out of, with Tony’s name attached (after Tony died). I did wonder if CNN (or Zero Point Zero) didn’t want him involved because they thought he’s been taking advantage of Tony’s memory? But I could be completely wrong about that. But Gotta himself did post in the Facebook group (as a reply to someone else) that he wasn’t on good terms with CNN but I don’t know what the details of that are.

    Some people in the Facebook group seemed to prefer Gotta making a documentary and encouraged him to maybe do so. Some people mentioned that CNN might be biased because they made money out of Tony, so maybe the documentary is a bit of a potential money-grab. Some even seemed to indicate that they had wanted to hear from AA because she didn’t have a financial motive. All these comments back and forth made me think; well they ALL had a financial motive when it came to Tony. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be genuine at the same time. Tony, after all, also made money out of CNN – them being his employer after all. The only one in the equation who didn’t contribute anything to anyone was AA who only took and took and took. Everyone else appears to have been in a give-and-take relationship when it comes to money.

  140. catsworking says:

    Lorraine, thanks for that tidbit. I imagine it was a huge disappointment. Especially because under any president but Trump, he probably could have pulled it off. But with Trump howling every day about immigrants invading the country and making it damn near impossible for anyone to get in, let alone establish businesses here, the food hall Tony envisioned was doomed.

  141. catsworking says:

    GlamourMilk, my sense is that Zamir lately has been capitalizing on his role as Tony’s sidekick all those years, and considers himself one of the keepers of his memory, but I don’t see it as a money grab. If he were to write a book or make a documentary about his time with Tony, it wouldn’t be any more mercenary than anyone else doing it who knew Tony. That’s the nature of fame.

    My guess on his relations with CNN would be that CNN doesn’t consider him a credible news source, or is suspicious of his Russian ties (I’m thinking Lev and Igor-type hangers on).

    On the other hand, CNN itself has become such a joke when it comes to being objective or thorough, they don’t have a lot of room to nitpick. Whenever anything major happened in the world, I used to tune to CNN. Now I may go there after checking newspapers online, because I feel CNN is a bit sloppy, omits crucial points, and needs fact-checking.

    (I formed this opinion after seeing their handling of a couple of cruise-ship related incidents I knew something about that CNN tried to blow up into full-blown catastrophes with biased witness questions and cherry-picked facts.)

    Bourdain hit critical mass quite a few years ago, where anything with his name attached began to generate money. He benefited, as well as anybody associated with whatever it was.

    And you’re right. The only one who profited from him while contributing nothing was the skank, even though she’d bewitched him into thinking she was his artistic muse.

    I don’t do Facebook. Could never figure it out, even after taking a class or two on it. I always find my page to be a baffling accumulation of stuff I never wanted to see. So, it never occurred to me to consult it about anything Bourdain. It’s interesting to hear about this discussion. Apparently, there is intelligent life there, but I’ve never been able to find it.

  142. GlamourMilk says:

    Maybe you want to listen to Joe Rogan’s interview with Laurie Woolever (if you haven’t already heard it). Most of the conversation is about Bourdain.

    This is the audio version:

    For version with video you have to subscribe to Spotify. I did subscribe only to watch it but will unsubscribe as I don’t want to support Spotify:

  143. catsworking says:

    Thanks, GlamourMilk. I’m listening to it right now. I was just reading something about Tony’s friendship with Rogan. Apparently, he’s a hard right-winger?

    I didn’t realize Laurie was a producer on Roadrunner, so she WAS involved, just not on camera.

    For some reason, all comments seem to be going through moderation and needing approval instead of just posting. I don’t know why, so apologies for that.

  144. catsworking says:

    Glamour, I did some research and learned that any comment with two or more links in it has to go through moderation, which explains some of what’s going on. WordPress says it’s because many spam comments are loaded with links.

    I usually view comments from the “back room” of WP and it looked to me like your Rogan links had disappeared, but now I’m on the blog proper and they’ve been transformed into graphics, so that’s great.

    Still listening to the podcast. Woolever has said that her Oral Biography will have some of Tony’s high school friends in it.

  145. Janice says:

    Enjoyed the interview although I don’t like Rogan, mostly bc he just spews BS out there as fact, whether it’s misinformation about COVID vaccines or something like what he says in this one, that sunscreen is bad for you, worse for you than sun exposure without sunscreen. Um, what? Not impressed with his intelligence.

    Two things Laurie said stuck out to me:
    1. Some people close to Tony offered to come be with him that week in France before he died bc they knew he was having a hard time that week and he said no, don’t come.

    2. She seems to agree with the theory that the public humiliation by the skank was what put him over the edge because he had been “so vocal about his feelings.”

  146. GlamourMilk says:

    Catsworking –
    I’m not convinced by Joe Rogan. Because he’s a smooth talker he is good at saying the ‘right things’ that make him sound more profound, to a certain audience, than he actually is. I put him in the same bracket as the Russell Brands and Kanye Wests of the world. Highly successful people who know how to talk and dominate and manipulate and who like to present themselves as deep thinkers. They’re not. But they’ve all perfected the art of marketing themselves and unfortunately there are enough people out there who genuinely believe they’re deep thinkers for them to get away with it.

    I think they’re all misogynists in ‘disguise’. Having said that, I guess Joe Rogan is a name in the world of martial arts/MMA/whatever.

    I liked the interview. Like I said, he’s good at saying the right things and Woolever seems interesting in her own right (not just as her former boss’ assistant) so I liked the interview. Of course, I’m always hankering for more information about what happened in that final week. But we all know we’ll probably not get any more information at this point even though they all clearly know more than they’re letting on and simply won’t say, for whatever reason. Infuriating but ‘whatever’.

    I was baffled to hear that Joe Rogan actually thought that the whole film was AI. So annoying that that little thing became the whole discussion about the film (that and the AA-debacle). In fact, just the fact that Joe Rogan thought all Tony’s speak in the film was AI and not just a little bit of it, actually shows what an idiot he is. It wouldn’t take much for him to look that up on Google or ask someone about it.

    Fun to learn that Woolever to a large extent helped putting together a cookbook (now I don’t remember which) by actually being responsible for gathering recipes, remeasuring from restant standards to ‘cooking at home’ standards and cook the recipes herself to check them out. That’s a quite a huge job.

    This interview also showed an example of how many people think that certain celebrities are friends just because they have hung out or said nice things about each other in public and so on. But there are friends, and then there are FRIENDS. I don’t think Rogan and Bourdain were FRIENDS. But I’m sure they were ‘friends’ – as in on friendly terms, communicating here and there (like I’m sure they both do with many people). Rogan couldn’t even pronounce Ottavia’s name right. I feel the same way when people say that Zamir Gotta and Bourdain were close friends. Were they though? Did they ever hang out privately? I doubt it. They saw each other through work and most likely enjoyed each other’s company and liked each other, and probably communicated through text over the years etc. But were they FRIENDS? Not so sure. I see that Zamir appears to be very forgiving of Argento on his social media. Fair enough. But it did make me think that his interactions with Tony always were steeped in getting drunk and wasted. Was his interaction with Tony similar to that of Argento (minus sexual attraction)? Encouraging things that weren’t good for Tony, which Tony liked doing but would have been better off having left behind in his youth? I’m sure he liked drinking with Zamir. But what else did they really have in common, other than getting hammered? Do Zamir recognise that his interactions with Tony were not very healthy, just like Argento’s, and that’s why he goes on about it’s important not to point fingers and to forgive and to move on, etc. Hmm!

    Another example was when someone posted on a Facebook group that Tony was friends with Debbie Harry from Blondie. Were they? It’s my understanding they only met for the shooting of the LES episode of Parts Unknown (same with John Lurie). Again, people he liked and who liked him. But if they only met once or twice, is that really a FRIEND? Someone you’re on friendly terms with, yes. Someone who could be a potential friend, yes. But not necessarily an actual FRIEND.

    Not sure where I’m going with this. It’s just a thought I find interesting that a lot of people seem to think celebrities are ‘friends’ just because they’ve seen them hanging out once or twice or worked together or said nice things about each other.

  147. catsworking says:

    Janice, I don’t know Joe Rogan from Adam, but I got the impression he’s a chameleon who will say whatever it takes to accommodate the person he’s with. Is he a Trumper? After that idiocy about sunscreen, I thought he probably is.

    I noticed that he mispronounced Ottavia’s name, which you’d think he must have heard Bourdain say, if they were such good friends.

    Laurie saying that people offered to go to France when the skank’s photo “spread” came out indicates to me that they knew he was in bad place. Maybe they were afraid the skank would turn up in France to fight in person.

    I’ve been a proponent of the humiliation theory, and was fascinated that Laurie agrees.

    She also mentioned another tidbit I’d never heard about him: that he was totally into tanning.

  148. catsworking says:

    GlamourMilk, I listened to the whole interview and didn’t think Rogan contributed much. If he didn’t recognize Tony’s real voice from all the footage that came straight from the TV shows, he wasn’t much of a fan before they actually met.

    I think it came up in Roadrunner that Bourdain had people all over the world whom he’d befriend for a week and then never see again. That week would be intense and probably leave them with the impression that it was a lifelong bond, but Tony didn’t see it that way. They were acquaintances who served a temporary purpose. Some repeatedly, like Zamir.

    My impression of Zamir was that Tony tolerated him because he realized Zamir was entertainment, but I don’t know how close they were. And you’re probably right. In hindsight, Zamir may have regrets about the debauchery. He seemed to be playing the character of the stereotypical drunk, sneaky, untrustworthy Russian most of the time.

    Tony actually seemed to have very few real FRIENDS. Eric Ripert was the closest. Probably Jose Andres. Nigella Lawson. Carlos, that chef from Les Halles who died young and suddenly (of cancer?). His ex-wife Nancy. His brother Chris, maybe. Nobody else is coming to mind.

    I think Laurie said she helped Tony with The Les Halles Cookbook, after Mario Batale recommended her. In fact, I just looked up the acknowledgements page in it, and the first sentence reads:

    “First and foremost to Laurie Woolever, who translated and scaled down the recipes from their original garbled, inscrutable, food-stained form; acted as intermediary between two difficult, distracted, and very busy authors; personally wrangled all the ingredients; tested all the recipes; and in every way behaved like the lone professional in a monkey house. This book could never have been done without her.”

    And she’s acknowledged as a coauthor on the cover of the Appetites cookbook.

  149. Janice says:

    Milk, you totally said it. Rogan is a MORON. And the fact that he thought the whole thing was AI is just beyond stupid. I was amazed that even he would think that. And like you said, Google!

    I think Rogan is enjoying putting it out there that they were friends. It’s the braggy thing. ‘I’m tight with a star’. I’ve even seen people on this site do it. They met Tony once or twice at a book signing or whatever, had a convo with him and/or his wife, and can’t stop mentioning it. (No, Karen I don’t mean you, I’ve seen other women on here do it.) That ain’t a friend.

    Not sure if Rogan voted Clinton first time and then got on board with Trump or voted Trump twice, but once is enough for me and he has definitely said publicly that he was supporting Trump. And the fact that he hunts, although it sounds like it’s to eat, not trophy hunting, but still.

    It’s been written that Tony was pals with notorious animal killer, racist and all-around redneck Ted Nugent (who once legally adopted an underage girl that he was sleeping with). That friendship made NO sense to me. But I think Tony prided himself on being able to develop these relationships with people completely different from himself politically.

  150. Colleen says:

    I listened to the interview. It struck me , as well, that Laurie said she thought Tony’s suicide was from humiliation. I had read that on Bruce’s blog, right after it happened, as well as Ottavia’s Twitter post, and I still couldn’t fully accept it.
    I couldn’t believe Tony would commit suicide over a mentally unstable woman, and had it in the back of my head that there was foul play. But now I have to believe it. I remain as baffled today as I was three years ago.

  151. catsworking says:

    Janice, I wouldn’t say Bourdain considered himself and Ted Nugent friends, although Ted Nugent might have. It’s was that same phenomenon. Tony found some common ground and made the most of it, and the brief time they spent together looked like friendship. But if one or the other was having a problem, would they call each other to discuss? No.

    I certainly never considered him or Ottavia friends. Acquaintances, yes. Whenever I used to watch him on TV, I would often marvel that the fact that he had knowledge of my existence tucked away in even one tiny brain cell. And that he could — and did a few times — pick me out of a crowd.

    And it was just in the past few months that I heard from two sources that he spoke of me to the crew over the years. I don’t know exactly what was said, but we may all find out when Tom Vitale’s book is published September 28 because I’m supposed to be mentioned in it somewhere.

    I saw my relationship to Bourdain as more like Bugs Bunny (him) and Elmer Fudd (me), especially in the beginning when I was trying to track down all that was publicly available about that “Waskelly Wabbit” and it rattled him. It was Ottavia who brought us together.

  152. catsworking says:

    Colleen, foul play always seemed too far-fetched to me. What’s tragic is that he chose to see the manipulative skank as something totally other than what she really is, and he allowed it to shatter him. (What’s even worse is there’s probably a piece of her that’s gloating over the POWER she must feel she has over men, to have brought down someone like Bourdain.)

    I just read a really interesting perspective on that. Here’s the link:

    “[Roadrunner] left me feeling shallow for my prurient focus on something to blame for his death — or more properly, on someone to blame for it other than the man himself.

    “That road leads to his paramour Asia Argento, whose very public infidelity broke Bourdain’s heart in the days leading up to his death. As neatly as blaming Argento ties up the story in favor of our romantic hero, the film shows it to be unfair. It’s hardly her fault she wasn’t what he’d been searching for. If anything it’s all the more his fault, for believing she was.”

  153. Janice says:

    Someone should start a ‘Just when you thought Joe Rogan has hit idiot bottom’ blog, because he keeps saying things that make me wonder how he could get any dumber.

    Case in point, when he had COVID, he took the, wait for it…..HORSE DEWORMER! Ivermectin. The one the FDA has said do not take. The one (stupid) people have been really F’ed up from. As in, hospitalized from it. He said and I quote, ‘I threw the kitchen sink at it’.

    So here is someone who is suspicious of the FDA-approved for emegency use human vax, but took a drug meant to kill parasites in a 2,000 lb animal. Someone needs to introduce him and the Skank asap. I’d say that’s a great match.

  154. catsworking says:

    Janice, hahaha! I’d never heard of this asshole Rogan before. If I watched the Montana episode he was in with Tony, he didn’t ping my radar at all. I read about his COVID in this morning’s paper.

    They were giving him monoclonal antibodies (which saved Trump’s worthless orange ass in about two days) but that wasn’t enough for Joe. He had to throw back some Ivermectin, too. You’ve got to be a special kind of stupid…

    Yes, I do agree that he and the skank are soulmates.

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