“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,” McGowan’s letter continued. “You must not sink to that level. Suicide is a horrible choice, but it is that person’s choice.”
Ms Argento and Ms Bourdain had “instant chemistry,” serving as each other’s rocks during their individual struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts.
“In the beginning of their relationship, Anthony told a mutual friend, ‘He’s 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,” McGowan continued. “ … 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, he put down his armour, and that was very much his choice. His decision, not hers. His depression won.”
Before his death, Bourdain “reached out for help” but didn’t take his doctor’s advice, McGowan said, advising fans and followers not to blame Ms Argento.
“Do NOT do the sexist thing and burn a woman on the pyre of misplaced blame. Anthony’s internal war was his war, but now she’s been left on the battlefield to take the bullets,” she continued. “It is in no way fair or acceptable to blame her or anyone else, not even Anthony.”
McGowan described Argento as a “pillar of strength” who “who continues to work to put food on her children’s 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,” she wrote. “Please join me in sending healing energy to Anthony on his journey, and to all who’ve 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.”
If you or someone you love is in crisis or needs support right now, please callLifeline on 13 11 14 or BeyondBlue on 1300 224 636. If it is an emergency please call 000.
This article was originally published in the New York Post and has been reproduced here with permission.