Anthony Bourdain’s family and friends slam unauthorized bio that includes the late celebrity chef’s final texts

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Anthony Bourdain’s loved ones are slamming a new, unauthorized biography that details the late celebrity chef’s struggles with his rags-to-riches success in the culinary industry, and shares final messages allegedly sent before his death by suicide in 2018.

According to the book written by Charles Leerhsen, “Down and Out in Paradise,” Bourdain regularly communicated with his estranged wife, Ottavia Busia-Bourdain. Ottavia and Anthony were married for 11 years and separated in 2016, but were still legally married at the time of his death.

“I hate my fans, too. I hate being famous. I hate my job,” Anthony wrote to Ottavia in excerpts of the book reviewed by The New York Times. “I am lonely and living in constant uncertainty.”

Per The Times, the book has “already drawn fire from Mr. Bourdain’s family, former co-workers and closest friends.”

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The final days of Anthony Bourdain, pictured in 2017, were revealed to be somber in text exchanges released as part of a new, unauthorized biography.
(Slaven Vlasic)

Bourdain’s brother, Christopher, refuted the allegations made in the book and claimed multiple emails were sent to the publisher in hopes of correcting errors.

“Every single thing he writes about relationships and interactions within our family as children and as adults he fabricated or got totally wrong,” Christopher told the outlet. He also called the bio, “hurtful and defamatory fiction.”

In response, The Times reports that publisher Simon & Schuster responded, “With all due respect, we disagree that the material in the book contains defamatory information, and we stand by our forthcoming publication.”

Representatives for Simon & Schuster did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Part of the biography also delves into Bourdain’s two-year relationship with actress Asia Argento. “I find myself being hopelessly in love with this woman,” he wrote to Ottavia at one point.

According to the book, the “Kitchen Confidential” author reportedly spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” on Argento, and provided financial support to her children as well as some of her friends. He stood firm in requests for her to direct and appear on his show.

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In Leerhsen’s book, he described Argento as being “controlling” and “blowing up” whenever she saw Bourdain or his wife posting pictures with family on social media.

“You didn’t want me to put a pic that had you in it because Asia would freak out and I have a feeling that won’t change anytime soon,” Ottavia wrote in one text exchange ahead of a Father’s Day weekend. “I’m tired of pretending I don’t know you. Or that we are never in the same place.”

Anthony Bourdain argued with Asia Argento in text messages sent before his death in 2018.

Anthony Bourdain argued with Asia Argento in text messages sent before his death in 2018.
(Evan Agostini)

Asia Argento and Anthony Bourdain, pictured in 2017, dated for nearly two years before he died in 2018.

Asia Argento and Anthony Bourdain, pictured in 2017, dated for nearly two years before he died in 2018.
(Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

He responded, “I feel you. But I was being honest. The pap [arazzi] the situation is horrible. Since I left you guys, though, she’s freaking out.”

Bourdain advocated for Argento during the #MeToo movement in 2017 after she confided in Ronan Farrow that Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her at one point.

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Soon after she came forward with her accusations, Jimmy Bennett, who was cast as her son in the 2004 film she directed, “The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things,” filed a notice intending to sue Argento for sexual battery after claiming she had sex with him when he was still a minor. The incident allegedly happened when Argento was 37 and Bennett was 17.

At the time, Bennett was asking for $3.5 million, and Bourdain allegedly “arranged to pay him $380,000.”

Meanwhile, Argento told The Times that she had not read the book, and said: “I wrote clearly to [Leerhsen] that he could not publish anything I said to him.”

Bourdain was 61 years old when he died by suicide while filming his hit travel series, “Parts Unknown,” in France.

Two days before he died, Bourdain ate with his close friend and chef, Eric Ripert, with whom he was filming his show. They dined at Jean-Yves Schillinger restaurant and had beers at a bar in Freiburg, but Ripert was still “worried” about his friend, according to the book.

Ripert, who noted that he did not give any information for the unauthorized bio, said he has read it.

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Anthony Bourdain and chef Eric Ripert, seen in 2017, worked together on

Anthony Bourdain and chef Eric Ripert, seen in 2017, worked together on “Parts Unknown” and were best friends for years. Ripert found Bourdain dead in his hotel room in France on June 8, 2018.
(Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan)

Per publisher Simon & Schuster, “‘Down and Out in Paradise’ is the first book to tell the true and full Bourdain story, relating the highs and lows of an extraordinary life. Leerhsen shows how Bourdain’s never-before-reported childhood traumas fueled both his creativity and the insecurities that would lead him to a place of despair.”

Leerhsen said Ottavia controls his estate, which includes the material from “files and messages pulled from Mr. Bourdain’s phone and laptop, both of which are part of the estate.”

He did not confirm if Ottavia was interviewed for the book, but she is quoted, and added, “the estate has not objected, and I don’t anticipate any objections.”

Leerhshen says he got the material from a confidential source.

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If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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