Anthony Bourdain's unexpected death at the age of 61 has had a profound impact on those who looked up to him as a friend, inspiration and leader. In addition to the thousands of fans who are now mourning his loss, he is also survived by a family who dearly loved him, including his ex-wife Ottavia Busia.
Bourdain and Busia wed in 2007 and got divorced in 2016. At the time of their separation Bourdain opened up about their relationship to People.
“My wife and I live, have lived, very separate lives for years,” he said. “There’s no drama here. We get along really, really well and it’s not a big lifestyle change happening here.”
Busia has not yet released a statement on her ex-husband's death.
Bourdain died Friday morning of an apparent suicide. He was found in a French hotel room where he was traveling to work on his CNN show, Parts Unknown. His friend, fellow chef Eric Ripert, was the one to find him unresponsive.
During their relationship, Busia did an interview with a blog called Married to a Chef, which gave her perspective on their lives. The couple had one daughter, Ariane.
The blog chronicled the difficulties of raising a daughter while both parents were working and traveling. Busia also worked in the restaurant industry and she recalled how that brought her closer with Bourdain.
"Working in the restaurant business was definitely what brought us together," she said. "We used to meet after my shift was over and we would stay up for hours drinking beers, talking about my day at work. Anybody else would have been bored to death, or horrified, but for him it was enjoyable and it would bring back memories of his days in the business."
She also shared little details from their marriage, such as the fact that Bourdain didn't cook for her. When asked what the best part of being married to a chef was, she surprisingly answered, "Not the food!"
"My husband doesn’t cook at home, although if you ask him he’ll tell you I don’t let him, or that I don’t appreciate his cooking, which might or might not be true," she quipped.
In the interview, Busia also revealed how her husband's increasing fame impacted their lives.
"When I first met my husband he wasn’t particularly famous, he was recognized in certain circles but people wouldn’t stop him in the street. His level of popularity has now definitely increased, he has written more books, he does speaking engagements, and his shows are broadcast all over the world," she said. "I have to admit at first, when people started asking for pictures or autographs pretty much everywhere, it was a little unsettling, now I’m the one who offers to take the picture if someone approaches him. I completely support everything he wants to do, whether it’s traveling to Libya, bungee jumping or writing a comic book."
Before marrying Busia, Bourdain was previously married to a woman named Nancy Putkoski from 1985 to 2005.
Photo credit: Getty Photos/Steve Mack
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).