Anthony Bourdain biography reveals heated final texts with girlfriend Asia Argento before his death
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A new and unauthorised biography on the life of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain is exposing some of his final text messages to friends and family in the lead-up to his death.
Excerpts from the upcoming book Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain by journalist Charles Leerhsen were published in The New York Times and have already sparked criticism from those who knew him.
They detail the anguish he had over his career, his estranged marriage with his ex-wife, and his rocky romance with Italian actor Asia Argento.
In grim text messages to his ex-wife Ottavia Busia-Bourdain, the foodie icon said: "I hate my fans, too. I hate being famous. I hate my job."
He added: "I am lonely and living in constant uncertainty."
It is Bourdain’s messages to his lover Asia Argento that gives the greatest (and most grim) insight into his troubled state of mind.
They were both unhappy with the other over pictures taken of them with other partners.
Bourdain was spending time with his estranged wife and daughter while Argento was spotted dancing with a French reporter at a hotel in Rome.
“I am okay,” Bourdain texted Argento after seeing the photo.
"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."
He added: "But you were careless. You were reckless with my heart. My life."
Publication of the text messages, which were likely sourced from Bourdain's widow as she controls his estate, have attracted ire from the chef's family.
His brother Christopher Bourdain sent the publisher two emails in August calling the book 'hurtful and defamatory fiction'.
Argento said in an email to The New York Times that she made it clear to the book's author that he did not have consent to 'publish anything I said to him'.
According to Esquire, Felice Javit, the vice president and senior counsel for the book's publisher, responded to the claims, saying: “With all due respect, we disagree that the material in the Book contains defamatory information, and we stand by our forthcoming publication.”
Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain by Charles Leerhsen comes out on 11 October.