Rose McGowan has penned a statement pleading with people not to place blame on others following Anthony Bourdain's suicide.
The message was written on behalf of Asia Argento, Bourdain's girlfriend, who said McGowan wrote the lines at her request.
"On behalf of me and all who are hurting because of this unfathomable loss, I have asked the strongest woman I know, Rose McGowan, to be my voice, to help me shoulder this burden and write truth," she said in a separate statement.
"Please read these words and have mercy on our pain."
McGowan said Argento sat across the table from her as she composed the message, going on to call the Italian actress a "remarkable human and brave survivor."
Bourdain and Argento, who joins McGowan as one of dozens of Harvey Weinstein accusers, crossed paths in 2016, when she appeared on his show, Parts Unknown.
"(Argento) stood up to her monster rapist and now she has to stand up to yet another monster, suicide," McGowan wrote. "The suicide of her beloved lover and ally, Anthony Bourdain." Bourdain was a vocal #MeToo advocate, championing Argento's work with the movement.
CNN reported that Bourdain's friend, chef Eric Ripert, found him unresponsive in his hotel room in eastern France Friday where he was filming.
According to McGowan, Bourdain sought help before his death, but "did not take the doctor's advice."
She urged people not to blame Argento. "Do NOT do the sexist thing and burn a woman on the pyre of misplaced blame," she wrote.
"Anthony's internal war was his war, but now she's been left on the battlefield to take the bullets. It is in no way fair or acceptable to blame her or anyone else, not even Anthony."
Several media outlets reported that Argento had been photographed with someone else in Rome a few days before Bourdain's death, questioning whether the two were still together.
In the statement, McGowan said the pair had "a free relationship."
"They loved without borders of traditional relationships, and they established the parameters of their relationship early on. Asia is a free bird, and so was Anthony."
The statement is a change for McGowan who appeared angry with Bourdain in a tweet Friday that has since been deleted.
"Anthony I am so mad at you," she wrote after learning of his death. "You were so loved, the world is not better without you."
Bourdain's ex-wife, Ottavia Busia-Bourdain, who he was married to from 2007-2016, also spoke out about the loss on Instagram early Monday morning.
She shared a photo of their 11-year-old daughter, Ariane, behind a microphone onstage, clad in studded, knee-high boots. The photo was tagged at the music venue DROM, located in New York City.
"Our little girl had her concert today," she captioned the image, not mentioning Bourdain by name. "She was amazing. So strong and brave.
"She wore the boots you bought her," she added. "I hope you are having a good trip, wherever you are."
Bourdain's mother, Gladys Bourdain, has also spoken out about her son's death. In a phone interview with Today shared on Monday's broadcast, the former editor for The New York Times said there was "Not a one (sign), ever" that something was off.
Gladys, who said the last contact she received from her son came via a Mother's Day email, told the Times that, according to Ripert, "Tony had been in a dark mood these past couple of days." Still, she couldn't fathom why he would end his life.
"He had everything," she told the Times. "Success beyond his wildest dreams. Money beyond his wildest dreams."
Read McGowan's full letter below:
Dear Fellow Humans,
Sitting across from me is the remarkable human and brave survivor, Asia Argento, who has been through more than most could stand, and yet stand she does. She stood up to her monster rapist and now she has to stand up to yet another monster, suicide. The suicide of her beloved lover and ally, Anthony Bourdain. I write these truths because I have been asked to. I know so many around the world thought of Anthony Bourdain as a friend and when a friend dies, it hurts. Many of these people who lost their friend are wanting to lash out and blame. You must not sink to that level. Suicide is a horrible choice, but it is that persons choice.
When Anthony met Asia, it was instant chemistry. They laughed, they loved and he was her rock during the hardships of this last year. Anthony was open with his demons, he even wrote a book about them. In the beginning of their relationship, Anthony told a mutual friend, “Hes never met anyone who wanted to die more than him.” And through a lot of this last year, Asia did want the pain to stop. But heres 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. Anthonys depression didnt let him, he put down his armor, and that was very much his choice. His decision, not hers. His depression won. Anthony and Asia had a free relationship, they loved without borders of traditional relationships, and they established the parameters of their relationship early on. Asia is a free bird, and so was Anthony. Was. Such a terrible word to write. Ive heard from many that the past two years they were together were some of his happiest and that should give us all solace.
Anthony was 61, the same age my father was when he died. My father also suffered from intermittent deep depression, and like Anthony, was part of a “pull up your bootstraps and march on” generation. The a “strong man doesnt ask for help” generation. I know before Anthony died he reached out for help, and yet he did not take the doctors advice. And that has led us here, to this tragedy, to this loss, to this world of hurt. Do NOT do the sexist thing and burn a woman on the pyre of misplaced blame. Anthonys internal war was his war, but now shes been left on the battlefield to take the bullets. It is in no way fair or acceptable to blame her or anyone else, not even Anthony. We are asking you to be better, to look deeper, to read and learn about mental illness, suicide and depression before you make it worse for survivors by judging that which we do not understand, that which can never fully be understood. Sometimes we are stuck in the unknowable, and that is where we are now, a massive wave of darkness that threatens to swallow everyone in its wake.
As I watch Asia do her job on set today, I see a pillar of strength who continues to work to put food on her childrens table. I see Elizabeth Taylor carrying on filming Cat on a Hot Tin Roof despite her love, her husband, dying in a plane crash. I see all of us who have carried on. Please join me in sending healing energy to Anthony on his journey, and to all whove been left behind to journey on without him. There is no one to blame but the stigma of loneliness, the stigma of asking for help, the stigma of mental illness, the stigma of being famous and hurting.
We must do more and be better. Anthony, our friend, would want it that way.
To the media and to the random commenter, Anthony would never have wanted Asia to be hurt, Id like to think he would want us to have the collective conversation that needs to be had about depression. Blame is NOT a conversation, it is the shutting down of our collective growth. Which is where we are now. We have a choice as humans, shrink to our smaller, uglier selves, or be better and grow as only true Phoenixes can. I urge you to be that Phoenix.
With great sadness and even greater hope, I remain,
cc: Asia Argento
If you are considering suicide, reach out. We need you here. You matter. You exist. You count. There is help a phone call away, reach out.
Support is available, for those who may be distressed, by phoning Lifeline 13 11 14; beyondblue 1300 224 636; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800; Mensline 1300 789 978.
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