Houston Chronicle

McGowan calls for depression discourse after Bourdain’s death


Actress Rose McGowan echoed calls for a broad conversati­on about depression and mental illness in an open letter Monday about her friend Asia Argento, an actress, and Argento’s partner, Anthony Bourdain, who killed himself last week.

“To the media and to the random commenter, Anthony would never have wanted Asia to be hurt; I’d like to think he would want us to have the collective conversati­on that needs to be had about depression,” she wrote.

In the letter, addressed to “fellow humans,” McGowan said that neither Argento nor Bourdain, the famous food writer and television host, deserved blame for his death.

“Anthony’s internal war was his war, but now she’s been left on the battlefiel­d to take the bullets,” she wrote. “It is in no way fair or acceptable to blame her or anyone else, not even Anthony.”

Bourdain, whose 2000 memoir about the secret lives of restaurant workers sparked a second career as a journalist and food expert, died Friday in a hotel in France. He was 61.

In the letter, McGowan said that the pair, who had been dating about two years, “loved without borders of traditiona­l relationsh­ips.”

“Asia is a free bird, and so was Anthony,” McGowan wrote.

In the letter, McGowan said Bourdain had supported Argento through the process of going public with accusation­s of sexual violence against film producer Harvey Weinstein, a process that included being shamed in the Italian media after telling her story in the New Yorker.

“In the beginning of their relationsh­ip, Anthony told a mutual friend, ‘He’s never met anyone who wanted to die more than him,’ ” McGowan wrote. “And through a lot of this last year, Asia did want the pain to stop. But here’s the thing, 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.”

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