WHAT THE MEDIA REFUSES TO REPORT
The Asia Argento & Anthony Bourdain Timeline
February 20, 2017: Page Six confirms Anthony Bourdain and Asia Argento are dating.
May 16, 2017: Argento and Bourdain go public on Instagram.
April 17, 2018: French writer Huge Clément and Argento exchange words over Twitter. This is the first public contact between the two European celebrities. Clément starts “liking” Argento’s posts later that day.
May 19, 2018: Argento attends the Cannes Film Festival, where she gives a speech about Harvey Weinstein. Clément films the event from the audience and posts it on his social media. People respond with comments like “Goddess rising” and “This speech must have taken so much courage.”
May 26, 2018: Bourdain and Argento wrap up filming Parts Unknown in Florence.
May 27–June 1, 2018: Bourdain travels to France to film the next episode of his series, while Argento returns home to Rome.
Weekend of June 1, 2018: Argento and Clément are seen coming and going from the Hotel de Russie, where she and Bourdain had often stayed during his visits with her in Rome. They were photographed multiple times by various European paparazzi. However, the controversial photos would not surface publicly until June 5.
June 3, 2018: Parts Unknown airs the episode that Argento directed in Hong Kong. In the opening sequence, Bourdain is pictured alone on a ferry, writing in a journal while narrating his thoughts: “It is possible to fall in love with Asia, and to fall in love in Asia. I have done both.” An obvious yet very romantic gesture and nod to his girlfriend. That day, IndieWire publishes an interview with Bourdain where he talks extensively about Argento. Here is an excerpt:
For Bourdain, bringing Argento further into his professional world proved to be a natural extension of their bond. “Look, anytime I can get work out of Asia—even random suggestions, like when she calls me mid-show to make me aware of a Nigerian psychedelic rock scene of the mid-to-late-’70s—that’s a huge help to the show,” he said. “I’d love to have her a continuing director. I just don’t think we can afford her. But, my God, I’d love nothing more than to repeat the experience. She made it incredible.”
Bourdain’s relationship with Argento has overlapped with a dramatic chapter in her life, as the revelations about Weinstein’s behavior included her own disclosures in Ronan Farrow’s Pulitzer-winning story for the New Yorker. Argento endured traumatizing backlash from the media in her native Italy, and she fled the country as a result; she has been flinging a mixture of invective and messages of empowerment from her Twitter feed for months. “It’s been a huge part of our life,” Bourdain said. “As you can probably imagine, it’s been very hard and continues to be very hard for Asia, but at the same time, it’s inspiring. She’s at the center of a conversation with a lot of women who want to share. That’s something she takes really, really seriously.”
June 4, 2018: Bourdain uploads his last post on social media.
June 5, 2018: The paparazzi photos of Argento and Clément in a romantic embrace surface online in the Daily Mail and are printed in several European gossip magazines such as Public and Chi. Word spreads throughout the European press. A Twitter user named @RoosterJones3 tweets at Bourdain, “Hugo Clement banging your girl [sic].”
June 5, 2018, onward: Bourdain goes dark on social media. At some point during this time, Bourdain unfollows Argento, or she blocks him, which causes an automatic unfollow. We can never be sure which move caused him to unfollow her.
June 7, 2018: Bourdain misses his regular dinner with renowned chef Éric Ripert and other friends at his five-star French hotel.
June 8, 2018: Bourdain misses breakfast and there’s no response on his cell phone. A concerned Ripert has a receptionist unlock his hotel door and he is found dead by asphyxiation using the belt of his hotel bathrobe. (Three hours before Bourdain’s death, Argento posts a cryptic photo on her Instagram story. The post shows Argento wearing a Sid Vicious T-shirt with the words Fuck Everyone, which she captioned, “You know who you are.”)
June 12, 2018 – Page Six reports that the photographer who snapped the paparazzi shots of Argento and Clément admits he has regrets. “A picture is not worth a life,” he stated. “If that shot triggered suicide … this would make me suffer.”