A series of text messages from Anthony Bourdain is set to be unveiled in a new book about the late food writer.
Excerpts from “Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain” were published in Tuesday’s edition of the New York Times.
The unauthorized biography written by reporter Charles Leerhsen will be released Oct. 11 and contains the texts as well as Bourdain’s online search history.
Leerhsen describes the celebrity chef’s life before his suicide as “isolated,” with him “injecting steroids, drinking to the point of blackout and visiting prostitutes, and had all but vanished from his 11-year-old daughter’s life.”
The book also chronicles his “last, painful days” when he saw photos of Argento, now 47, dancing with journalist Hugo Clément at a hotel in Rome, the last time they communicated.
“I am okay,” Bourdain texted Argento, who he began dating in 2016, after he viewed the photographs.
The book noted how the “Parts Unknown” star had searched Argento’s name online “hundreds” of times after he saw the snaps.
“I am not spiteful,” the text continued. “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. But you were careless. You were reckless with my heart. My life.”
“I can’t take this,” she messaged him back. To which he replied, “Is there anything I can do?”
“Stop busting my balls,” the “Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things” star responded.
“OK,” he typed.
Hours later, Bourdain hung himself.
According to the book, which the Times noted is “drawing criticism from many of his friends and family,” Argento and the Culinary Institute of America graduate had broken up due to the latter’s “possessiveness.”
Bourdain also sent messages to his ex-wife Ottavia Busia-Bourdain. “I hate my fans, too. I hate being famous. I hate my job. I am lonely and living in constant uncertainty,” he wrote to her.
The author said that Argento became so “controlling,” namely about photos with his family and Busia-Bourdain.
Both Bourdain’s family and Argento have claimed that Leerhsen’s book is inaccurate. However, his publisher, Simon & Schuster, is not backing down.
“Every single thing he writes about relationships and interactions within our family as kids and as adults he fabricated or got totally wrong,” Bourdain’s brother Christopher told the Times.
Christopher even sent Simon & Schuster two emails this past August, noting how the book is “hurtful and defamatory fiction.”
The publishing company then told him: “With all due respect, we disagree that the material in the Book contains defamatory information, and we stand by our forthcoming publication.”
Argento then told the Times that she hasn’t read the book yet, however, she had written to Leerhsen and asked that he “not publish anything I said to him.”
Just two months after his death, Argento spoke out in a candid interview with Daily Mail.
“People say I murdered him. They say I killed him. I understand that the world needs to find a reason. I would like to find a reason too,” she said at the time.
“People need to think that he killed himself for something like this. He cheated on me too. It wasn’t a problem for us.”
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, dial 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.