"I know before Anthony died he reached out for help, and yet he did not take the doctor's advice. And that has led us here, to this tragedy, to this loss, to this world of hurt," McGowan, 44, wrote in the letter, which multiple media outlets published Monday.
McGowan also opened up about Bourdain's relationship with her close friend and fellow #MeToo advocate Asia Argento. She was recently photographed holding hands with French reporter Hugo Clément, though the photographer of those photos has since pulled them off the internet. McGowan begged readers to blame neither Argento nor Bourdain for his death.
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 [Argento has] 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.
McGowan, one of the most outspoken#MeToo advocates, explained that she wrote the letter while sitting across from Argento, who she called a "remarkable human and brave savior." Argento, like McGowan, has claimed that she was raped by Harvey Weinstein.
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 person's choice.
McGowan also wrote of Argento and Bourdain's "free relationship," saying they had "instant chemistry" and that Argento had been "her rock during her hardships of this last year.
"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 wrote. "…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 armor, and that was very much his choice. His decision, not hers. His depression won."
McGowan has been speaking out about his sudden death ever since, alternately mourning his loss and expressing fury at him for taking his own life. Saturday morning, she shared a screenshot of Argento's most recent Instagram post featuring Bourdain, writing, "Through space and time, Anthony. Your love will find you again."
On Friday, she posted a tearful video that has since been deleted of herself speaking directly to the Parts Unknown memory.
"Anthony I am so mad at you," McGowan wrote. "You were so loved, the world is not better without you. I have a message for those considering suicide as a solution to a temporary problem. Please call a hotline. Please reach out. Asia needed you, Anthony. We needed you. Please come back."
Argento posted her own message on Instagram on Friday.0comments
"Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did," she wrote. "His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds. 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."
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).