In 2018 beloved author and TV personality Anthony Bourdain took his own life in a hotel room in France.
For years, fans agonized over the question of how a man who seemed to have it all could have been hiding such tremendous pain.
Now, a new book from journalist Charles Leerhsen seeks to shed some light on the mystery of Bourdain’s anguished final hours.
Confirming a theory that was previously put forth by many who were many close to the celebrity chef, Leerhsen says girlfriend Asia Argento was at the forefront of Bourdain’s mind throughout his final day on earth.
In fact, the author claims that Bourdain googled Argento’s name at least 300 times on the day he died.
Leerhsen has obtained what he says are Bourdain’s final text messages, and they consist of a heated exchange between the TV personality and Argento.
“I am okay. I am not spiteful. I am not jealous that you have been with another man. I do not own you. You are free. As I said. As I promised. As I truly meant,” Bourdain texted Argento just hours before his death.
“But you were careless. You were reckless with my heart. My life.”
“I can’t take this,” Argento allegedly responded.
“Is there anything I can do?” Bourdain asked, to which his ex replied, “Stop busting my balls.”
Bourdain replied simply, “Ok.”
“I think that’s the last thing he said to her,” Leehsen says of the exchange.
“She kept texting and kept the argument going after that happened but he didn’t respond after that point because I think he was gone. She didn’t know he was gone,” the author tells UK tabloid The Sun.
“In his last hours he googled a prostitution service and he kept googling Asia.
“I guess he punished himself by reading over and over and more and more about Asia’s fling with a French journalist in Rome,” Leerhsen continues.
“He kept googling her name, he googled her 300 times or so in the last few days.”
Argento has previously addressed allegations that she’s in any way responsible for Bourdain’s suicice.
“Anthony was 62 (sic), I was 42,” she said shortly after his death.
“We had lived, we had wives and husbands, we had children,” she continued.
“I cannot think of Anthony as somebody who would make a radical gesture like this for something like that.”
Leerhsen echoes Argento’s argument that Bourdain’s decision to take his own life was likely motivated by far more than just despair over the end of a romantic relationship.
“I don’t blame her for what happened to him,” he tells The Sun.
“Although I think she helped drive him to that place of despair, I don’t think she can be held responsible for his death,” the author adds.
“In my opinion it was a classic case of almost like a teenage love affair where the boy wants to go steady and the girl doesn’t.”
Leerhsen went on to clarify that Bourdain appeared to be pressuring Argento into a situation with which she did not feel entirely comfortable.
“The boy keeps pressing his case and the girl keeps pulling back. “The more the boy expresses his ardor for the girl, the more the girl was turned off,” he said.
“That’s what was going on and, whatever you think of her, I think she had every right not be pushed into that kind of relationship.
Whatever Bourdain was feeling in those final moments, the world lost a unique talent and a vibrant soul on that tragic day in June of 2018.
Our thoughts go out to his loved ones.