When Anthony Bourdain hanged himself in a Paris hotel room in 2018, family, friends, and fans of the beloved author and TV personality began to seek answers.
How could a man who seemed to have it all succumb to despair so completely and leave behind so much?
In addition to a career and lifestyle that made him the envy of millions, Bourdain was the father of an 11-year-old girl who shared his passion for cooking.
Sadly, it seems that toward the end of his life, Anthony had all but disappeared from the life of his beloved Ariane.
That’s one of the claims made in an upcoming book from journalist Charles Leerhsen entitled Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain.
Leerhsen wrote the book with the support of Bourdain’s second wife Ottavia Busia, who was the mother of Ariane.
According to Busia and others, Bourdain’s relationship with actress Asia Argento was the cause of a great deal of turmoil toward the end of his life.
Busia provided Leerhsen with text messages in which she complained to Bourdain that he appeared to be avoiding his family for Argento’s benefit.
(Busia and Bourdain were divorced by this time, but they maintained a close friendship until the end of his life.)
In one exchange, Busia complained that she was “tired of pretending that we are never in the same place” for Argento’s benefit.
“You didn’t want me to put a pic that you had in it because Asia would freak out and I have a feeling that will not change anytime soon,” she wrote.
“I’m tired of pretending I don’t know you. Or that we are never in the same place.”
“I feel you. But I was being honest. The pap[arazzi] situation is horrendous,” Bourdain replied.
“Since I left you guys, though, she’s freaking out.”
Leerhsen’s book also includes text exchanges with Argento which indicate that he was distraught about the actress’ alleged infidelity at the time of his suicide.
While Busia concedes that Bourdain was an absentee father toward the end of his life, she says that she and Ariane prefer to remember the loving, attentive dad that always made life at home more fun.
”As a dad, he was always the good cop. I think it was fair, because he was around so little, so when he was home, there was no enforcing homework, there was no discipline,” Ottavia recalls
“He was 100 percent fun dad, and he called himself ‘Silly Dada,’ cause that’s what he was doing.”
“I always cooked with him. We’d always cook ratatouille, from the movie Ratatouille, and we made it exactly like they made it,” Ariane, now 15, said in an interview after her father’s death.
“He taught me how to cut things and not chop off my fingers, to curl my fingers under. He gave me my own little knife, and I still have it, and still use it.”
Leerhsen’s book about Bourdain and his tragic final days is set for release on October 11.