Asia Argento is opening up about the death of her late boyfriend, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, saying Bourdain’s suicide earlier this year left her “angry” at first.
“I was angry [at him], yes, for abandoning me, my kids,” the Italian actress and director, told The Daily Mail. “But now it’s been replaced just by this loss, this hole, that cannot be filled by anything.”
This is the first time Argento has talked about the relationship between Bourdain and her two children, 10-year-old Nicola and 17-year-old Anna, both from previous relationships. Bourdain left behind daughter Ariane, with estranged wife Ottavia Busia.
In her interview, Argento also addressed the intense trolling she faced on social media following Bourdain’s death.
“People say I killed him,” she said. “I understand that the world needs to find a reason. I would like to find a reason, too.”
Since Bourdain’s death in June, Argento has been been the target of social media trolls who accused Argento of being unfaithful to Bourdain before he died. The backlash was so intense, at least 45 fellow sexual assault survivors singed a letter of support for Argento in July calling out internet trolls for their “vicious” online attacks on Argento.
“People need to think that he killed himself [for] something like this.” She said, “He cheated on me, too.”
“It wasn’t a problem with us,” Argento went on to say. “He was a man who traveled 265 days a year. When we saw each other, we took really great pleasure in each other’s presence. We are not children. I cannot think of Anthony as somebody who would do an extreme gesture for this, who suffered like that. What I do feel terrible about is that he had so much pain inside of him and I didn’t see it. I did not see it. And for that, I will feel guilty for the rest of my life.”
Argento said she first heard of his suicide after receiving a phone call from his manager.
“It was very quick,” she said “He just told me, ‘Anthony took his life.’ And I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t cry. And then I started screaming. I felt like I was in the abyss.”
The interview was the first time the Italian actress and #MeToo activist has spoken out since being accused of sexually assaulting her former co-star Jimmy Bennett in a Marina del Rey hotel room when he was just 17 years old. The age of consent in California is 18.
The New York Times reported in August that Argento, who was one of the first to publicly accuse movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, secretly agreed to give Bennett $380,000 in hush money payments in April.
Argento initially denied she had slept with Bennett, calling the Times report “absolutely false.” But she later changed her story, saying she was the one who was assaulted by Bennett, after texts surrendered by Rose McGowan’s partner, model Rain Dove, showed Argento admitted to the sexual encounter. (Argento is expected to address Bennett’s accusation and her now strained relationship with McGowan to the Daily Mail on Tuesday.
Argento’s interview with the Daily Mail comes after CNN announced that it was pilling the episodes of Parts Unknown featuring Argento, following Bennett’s accusations.
Watch clips of Argento’s interview with DailyMailTV below.