On Friday, June 8th, renowned chef and travel writer Anthony Bourdain was found dead from a confirmed suicide. In the wake of his passing, many mourned the loss of Bourdain, including his girlfriend, actress Asia Argento. But sadly, some are placing blame for Bourdain’s death on Argento — and the actress’s friend, Rose McGowan, has penned an open letter in her defense.
In a message written on behalf of Argento, which she sent to several media outlets, McGowan wrote that Bourdain and Argento “loved without borders of traditional relationships.” She defended this choice after TMZ reported that Argento was seen holding hands with another man shortly before Bourdain’s death.
“Asia is a free bird, and so was Anthony,” McGowan wrote of their relationship. “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.”
She went on to reiterate that we should never blame someone’s partner for their actions — especially when those actions are fueled by mental health struggles.
“Do NOT do the sexist thing and blame a woman on the pyre of misplaced blame,” she wrote, concluding by saying that Bourdain would “never have wanted Asia to be hurt,” and that “Blame is NOT a conversation.”
McGowan and Argento became close after helping to expose Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behavior, and the two have continued to work as prominent #MeToo activists.
After Argento revealed she had been harassed by Weinstein, Bourdain also became a fierce supporter of the #MeToo movement.
Bourdain’s death is devastating, but McGowan is absolutely right: Faulting Argento — or any woman — for the actions of their partner is not only sexist, but undermines the years that Bourdain struggled with mental health issues. Let’s all be better.
If you or someone you know is battling depression or thoughts of suicide, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.