Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain told his ex-girlfriend “you were reckless with my heart” hours before he hanged himself, a new biography has claimed.
The anguished final texts to Italian actress Asia Argento are contained in an unauthorised and controversial biography by Charles Leerhsen called Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain.
Bourdain was 61 when he killed himself in a hotel room in Alsace, France, in June 2018.
A best-selling author and flamboyant broadcaster, Bourdain’s travelogues included high profile guests like Barack Obama.
But Bourdain’s private life was troubled. His 11-year marriage to Ottavia Busia-Bourdain ended in 2016.
Bourdain began dating Ms Argento, but the relationship foundered after he saw pictures of the actress dancing with a French journalist at a Rome hotel.
The couple rowed and Bourdain sent a text.
“I am not spiteful. I am not jealous that you have been with another man,” he wrote.
“I do not own you. You are free. As I said. As I promised. As I truly meant. But you were careless. You were reckless with my heart. My life.”
Bourdain was particularly upset that the assignation had taken place at Hotel de Russie, which held strong romantic memories of their own relationship.
It proved too much for Ms Argento, who ended their relationship because of what she regarded as his possessiveness.
The book, which has been heavily criticised by Bourdain’s family and friends, paints a portrait of a troubled man who soared to stardom having started life in suburban New Jersey.
By the end, the author writes, Bourdain was drinking heavily, taking drugs, visiting prostitutes and was estranged from his 11-year-old daughter.
However, his former wife remained a friend.
“I hate my fans, too. I hate being famous. I hate my job,” he wrote to her in one of their regular text exchanges.
“I am lonely and living in constant uncertainty.”