Rose McGowan: Don’t Blame Asia Argento for Anthony Bourdain’s Suicide

‘Do NOT do the sexist thing and burn a woman on the pyre of misplaced blame,’ McGowan writes.

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Rose McGowan on Monday released a lengthy statement about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide, imploring readers not to blame her friend Asia Argento in any way for the celebrity chef’s tragic suicide.

“Sitting across from me is the remarkable human and brave survivor, Asia Argento, who has been through more than most could stand, and yet stand she does,” McGowan began the open letter, noting how Argento faced down accused serial rapist Harvey Weinstein and then experienced the loss of her partner and ally in Bourdain.

“I know so many around the world thought of Anthony Bourdain as a friend and when a friend dies, it hurts. Many of these people who lost their ‘friend’ are wanting to lash out and blame,” McGowan continued, alluding to European tabloid reports of Argento being spotted embracing another man. “You must not sink to that level. Suicide is a horrible choice, but it is that person’s choice.”

Bourdain sought help for mental illness before his death, McGowan wrote, but “did not take the doctor’s advice.”

The actress continued: “Do NOT do the sexist thing and burn a woman on the pyre of misplaced blame,” she wrote. “Anthony’s internal war was his war, but now she’s been left on the battlefield to take the bullets. It is in no way fair or acceptable to blame her or anyone else, not even Anthony. We are asking you to be better, to look deeper, to read and learn about mental illness, suicide and depression before you make it worse for survivors by judging that which we do not understand, that which can never fully be understood.”

McGowan, who was also a Weinstein accuser, relayed how “In the beginning of their relationship, Anthony told a mutual friend, ‘He’s never met anyone who wanted to die more than him.’ And through a lot of this last year, Asia did want the pain to stop. But here’s the thing, over their time together, thankfully, she did the work to get help, so she could stay alive and live another day for her and her children. Anthony’s depression didn’t let him, he put down his armor, and that was very much his choice. His decision, not hers. His depression won.”

McGowan emphasized for readers that Bourdain and Argento had a “free” relationship, one “without borders of traditional relationships, and they established the parameters of their relationship early on.” Argento, she added, “is a free bird, and so was Anthony. Was. Such a terrible word to write. I’ve heard from many that the past two years they were together were some of his happiest and that should give us all solace.”

Bourdain was 61 when he was found dead last Friday in a French hotel room. He was in Salsbourg filming an episode on Alsacian cuisine and culture for CNN’s Parts Unknown at the time of his death.

The culinary legend was married to Ottavia Busia-Bourdain until their amicable split in 2016, though they never officially divorced. Busia-Bourdain on Monday posted a picture of their 11-year-old daughter Ariane to Instagram, captioning it: “Our little girl had her concert today. She was amazing. So strong and brave. She wore the boots you bought her. I hope you are having a good trip, wherever you are.”