Actor-activist Rose McGowan has defended celebrated chef Anthony Bourdain’s choice to commit suicide, saying taking one’s life may be a horrible choice but it is a personal one.
Bourdain, 61, died of suicide last week while he was in France filming an episode of his Emmy-winning CNN food and travel programme.
In a letter by McGowan, who penned the lengthy note on behalf on the globetrotting chef-writer’s girlfriend actor Asia Argento, the “Charmed” alum said people should not blame him or her friend for his suicide.
“I know so many around the world thought of Anthony Bourdain as a friend and when a friend dies, it hurts… Many of these people who lost their ‘friend’ are wanting to lash out and blame. You must not sink to that level. Suicide is a horrible choice, but it is that person’s choice,” she writes.
“Top Gun” star Val Kilmer had called Bourdain “selfish” for leaving his friends and fans alone in the world.
Talking about Argento’s relationship with the chef, the actor said it was “instant chemistry” between the two and how she both of them supported each other through thick and thin.
“They laughed, they loved and he was her rock during the hardships of this last year. Anthony was open with his demons, he even wrote a book about them. In the beginning of their relationship, Anthony told a mutual friend, ‘He’s never met anyone who wanted to die more than him’. And through a lot of this last year, Asia did want the pain to stop,” McGowan writes.
But in the end, despite all the happiness the couple shared, Bourdain’s depression caught up with him.
“… Over their time together, thankfully, she did the work to get help, so she could stay alive and live another day for her and her children. Anthony’s depression didn’t let him, he put down his armor, and that was very much his choice. His decision, not hers. His depression won,” she adds.
She said despite belonging to “a strong man doesn’t ask for help” generation, the TV show star reached out for help and “yet he did not take the doctor’s advice”.
McGowan also came in support of Argento, saying she is mourning the death of her love and blaming her for Bourdain’s suicide is unfair.
She said Argento had to face another monster in the suicide of her partner, after standing up to “her monster rapist” Harvey Weinstein.
“It is in no way fair or acceptable to blame her or anyone else, not even Anthony. 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 urged the media not to blame Argento for Bourdain’s death, who earlier said she was “beyond devastated” after his passing.
“There is no one to blame but the stigma of loneliness, the stigma of asking for help, the stigma of mental illness, the stigma of being famous and hurting.
“We must do more and be better. Anthony, our friend, would want it that way,” she added.
McGowan also shared a global list of suicide prevention hotline numbers.