Ottavia Busia-Bourdain has broken her silence after the death of her estranged husband, the culinary-show host, author and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who was found dead last week in his French hotel room, an apparent suicide.
“Our little girl had her concert today,” Busia-Bourdain, wrote on Instagram early Monday. She posted a photo of the couple’s only child, 11-year-old Ariane, dressed all in black onstage at New York City’s DROM at a microphone, fronting a band. Her face is visible in side profile, a rarity since her few appearances on social media have been with her face obscured.
“She was amazing,” Busia-Bourdain, a mixed martial artist and former restaurant general manager, continued. “So strong and brave. She wore the boots you bought her,” she said, referring to the profusely studded, knee-high footwear. “I hope you are having a good trip, wherever you are.”
Bourdain and Busia-Bourdain, his second wife, married on April 20, 2007, 11 days after Ariane’s birth. The couple, who had an unconventional marriage in which Bourdain could be away 250 days a year for commitments including his CNN series, “Parts Unknown,” and his former Travel Channel series, “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” separated in 2016 but remained friends. They had not yet finalized a divorce.
He had since been in a relationship with actress-filmmaker Asia Argento, daughter of renowned Italian horror director Dario Argento. Bourdain was married to high school sweetheart Nancy Putkoski from 1985 until separating in the mid-2000s and then divorcing.
Bourdain was close to his daughter, for whose eclectic appetite he loved to cook. “I never coaxed her or even suggested that she try something out of her comfort zone,” he told TheTakeout.com in 2016. “When she was a very little girl if she wanted to eat pasta with butter everyday that was fine with me, but what else was being eaten at the table was often very interesting and to my surprise and delight she would often reach for a sardine or an anchovy. Some salty pecorino or even raw oysters she was eating at age 3.”
He added, “She’s a very harsh critic. You know, I put a tiny, tiny little bit of nutmeg in my macaroni and cheese and she did not enjoy that. She called me on it right away. … She’s got a very acute palate and she catches me if I over-salt something. If there’s any variance between a dish that she liked last time and how it’s done today she’ll be like, ‘Nah, not eating it, there’s too much pepper in that.’ “
McGOWAN DEFENDS ARGENTO Actress and #MeToo activist Rose McGowan is speaking out in support of her friend Argento, who has been subjected to harsh and often vulgar and misogynist comments by social-media trolls in the wake of Bourdain’s suicide.
In a long statement Monday, McGowan, 44, said blaming anyone is misplaced given the power of depression. “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. … 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.”
She noted, “Anthony and Asia had a free relationship, they loved without borders of traditional relationships, and they established the parameters of their relationship early on. Asia 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.”
McGowan implored that, “Anthony would never have wanted Asia to be hurt, I’d like to think he would want us to have the collective conversation that needs to be had about depression. Blame is NOT a conversation, it is the shutting down of our collective growth.”