Anthony Bourdain Had No Narcotics in System at Time of Death

Anthony Bourdain had no narcotics in his system when he took his own life in France earlier this month, The New York Times reports.

The celebrity chef, journalist and TV show host was found dead in his hotel room by suicide on June 8. He was 61.

Christian de Rocquigny, the French prosecutor in charge of the investigation, told the Times in a text message Friday that Bourdain had no narcotics in his system at the time of his death, aside from a trace of a non-narcotic medicine in a therapeutic dose.

Throughout his career, Bourdain had been open about his past struggles with substance abuse, admitting in a 2014 episode of Parts Unknown that focused on the opioid epidemic that he bought his first bag of heroin on the Lower East Side in 1980 when he was 24 years old.

Bourdain had been in Kaysersberg, France, filming his CNN show Parts Unknown with Eric Ripert, the chef of Le Barnardin in New York. Bourdain had skipped dinner the evening before his body was discovered in his hotel bathroom. When he did not arrive for breakfast with Ripert the next morning, a receptionist went into his room and found his body.

Bourdain was cremated in France last week and his remains were then sent back to his younger brother, Christopher, in the United States. His mother, Gladys Bourdain, said the family will likely have a private ceremony in his memory.

"He would want as little fuss as possible," she said, telling the Times she plans on getting "Tony" tattooed in small letters on the inside of her wrist as a memorial to her late son. Despite her not being fond of Bourdain's tattoos, which chronicled his culinary adventures, she plans on using his tattoo artist for her first and last tattoo.

Kimberly Witherspoon, Bourdain's longtime agent who said she was authorized to speak for Bourdain's wife, Ottavia Bourdain, said there are no plans for a public memorial.

The couple shared an 11-year-old daughter and had been amicably separated since 2016, during which time Bourdain became romantically involved with Italian actress Asia Argento.

Argento has been publicly grieving her boyfriend via social media, sharing suicide awareness posts and blunt messages with her Instagram followers.

This week, 10 days after Bourdain's suicide, Argento shared a message to her followers saying "Life is a bitch and then you die."

Shortly after the news of his death, Argento mourned him in an emotional letter.

"Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did. His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspires so many, and his generosity knew no bounds," she wrote on Instagram. "He was my love, my rock, my protector. I am beyond devastated. My thoughts are with his family. I would ask that you respect their privacy and mine."


Bourdain and Argento's close friend, actress Rose McGowan, wrote an open letter about Bourdain's death last week, writing that he sought professional help before he died but "did not take the doctor's advice."

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).