A French official tells the New York Times that Bourdain had no narcotics in his system when he committed suicide two weeks ago. The only substance found was a trace of a nonnarcotic medicine in a therapeutic dose, Christian de Rocquigny, the local prosecutor in charge of the investigation, reveals to the outlet. Police ruled the author and TV host’s death a suicide by hanging.
Bourdain candidly talked about using heroin, cocaine, crack, and methadone while trying to make it in the culinary world in New York City. He got clean around 1990, but still drank alcohol.
“Most people who kick heroin and cocaine have to give up on everything. Maybe because my experiences were so awful in the end, I’ve never been tempted to relapse,” he wrote in his memoir, Kitchen Confidential. “You see me drink myself stupid on my show all the time. And I have a lot of fun doing that. But I’m not sitting at home having a cocktail. Never, ever. I don’t ever drink in my house. … When I indulge, I indulge. But I don’t let it bleed over into the rest of my life.”
Bourdain was found on June 8 in his hotel bathroom in Kaysersberg, a small village in France. He was filming an episode of his award-winning CNN show, Parts Unknown, with close friend and French-born chef, Eric Ripert. Bourdain was 61.
Bourdain was cremated in France a few days after his death. According to the New York Times, his remains and travel belongings were sent to his only sibling, younger brother Christopher Bourdain. His mother said the family will likely have a small, private ceremony of some kind: “He would want as little fuss as possible.”
A spokeswoman for Bourdain’s estranged wife, Ottavia Bourdain, tells the outlet there are no plans for a public memorial “at this time.” Ottavia is the mother of 11-year-old Ariane Bourdain — Anthony’s only child. Although Ottavia and Anthony were separated — he was dating Italian actress and #MeToo activist Asia Argento at the time of his death — they were amicable.
Argento has understandably had an emotional few weeks. On Friday, she shared a photo of her love.
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