Rose McGowan spoke out in an impassioned open letter on Monday on behalf of Anthony Bourdain’s girlfriend, Italian actress and activist Asia Argento, urging people affected by his suicide to not place blame on those left behind. While her letter was primarily directed toward mental health awareness and advocacy, she also revealed details about the couple’s partnership, which seems to have been on the unconventional side.
“Anthony and Asia had a free relationship, they loved without borders of traditional relationships, and they established the parameters of their relationship early on,” McGowan noted in her letter. “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.”
What exactly McGowan means by “free relationship” is unclear, but it seems Bourdain and Argento did not keep or expect ironclad ties on each other. Bourdain, who separated from his second wife Ottavia Busia in 2016, had never finalized his divorce, and was therefore still legally married to her at the time of his death.
Bourdain began dating Argento shortly after his split, and at the time told People magazine that he would never marry again — and that Argento, herself twice divorced, felt the same way. However, he added he was not opposed to living with her.
For her part, Argento seemed to be on board with an open relationship as well. According to TMZ, while Bourdain was shooting for Parts Unknown in France before his death, Argento was spotted holding hands with another man in Rome.
Bourdain met Argento in 2016 while shooting an episode of Parts Unknown in Rome. After she posted a statement on Instagram Friday, calling him “my love, my rock, my protector,” she was photographed leaving her home over the weekend with one of her two children.
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