Anthony Bourdain Texts Published In New Biography Reveal Grim Final Days: “I Hate My Fans…I Hate Being Famous…I Hate My Job”

  1. It’s odd to me how many people just can’t believe it, expect him to have been so happy because he had a “perfect life.” He had a history of addiction and mental illness. He was visibly miserable in many episodes of the later seasons of his show. He was a human being.

  2. I think that’s why I wasn’t shocked. By the end you could kind of tell that if he wasn’t for some reason completely obligated to be doing what he was doing he wouldn’t be

  3. He always seemed to have that punk rock angst of his youth. I feel bad he wasn’t able to master it. We each have our own journey and his work meant a lot to me.

  4. Yeah… I think people don’t realize how depression can cloud even the good things in life. It’s a horrible state to be in. Just think how hopeless someone has to feel to take his own life. The worst thing about depression is that it’s a compounding effect and it’s very easy to spiral out of control. RIP.

  5. You really don't know what's going on beneath the surface. I thought that guy was living the dream. Traveling the world eating amazing food, hanging out with the coolest people. And inside he was miserable.

  6. I’m taking it at face level as that’s how he felt in the moment and not necessarily how he was feeling for the span of his career. I’ve definitely spiraled into “I hate everything” when I’m in a bad spot.

  7. Bad company (people around not business) and seeing some people in horrendous conditions combined changed his outlook on life.

  8. That's often how mental issues work, you really have a distorted 'filter' in how you view everything. And worse - if you have what people see as the dream job/life and you're still not happy, that can really drain any hope you have.

  9. All those texts tell us is that he was miserable at the time those texts were being sent. There's no reason to extrapolate from that to say he was miserable all the time or that this was the normal way he felt.

  10. I recall reading a study saying people who have high dopamine lives such as doing intense things, spending high amounts of money, drug usage, and adrenaline junkies often spiral into deep depression because the basic things in life will no longer satisfy the dopamine need that makes us joyous through life. This is often why a lot of ex drug users go on to do marathon training , cordless mountain climbing or extreme sports because it’s the only thing that makes them “feel alive” sad but true. Not saying this is or isn’t the case for bourdain but sad story, he was my favorite guy to watch

  11. I recommend the doc Road Runner. To me it paints a picture of a man who sacrificed a lot for his career and couldn't settle down and craved love, especially in his later years.

  12. Mental illness can destroy a mind internally no matter what’s going on. Causes you to push away friends and family and have thoughts like these texts. Yet unlike other handicaps it’s typically invisible, so getting help is much harder.

  13. A sad ending was no surprise for a "former" addict who was clearly running away from reality, drinking and chain smoking his way across the Earth. Did you not read his works or listen to his words during his monologues? Guy was always in a dark hole. Trying to connect to all of humanity in the way he did was probably one of the few things keeping him going.

  14. You could tell he hated it all the way back to No Reservations. He’d travel to a third world country, witness people starving, children living in a literal dump eating garbage, and then go from there to a fancy restaurant and stuff his face for the camera. The fans never gave a shit about the dark side of things, they just wanted to hear him be witty and watch him eat food. He wanted to tell the story of the downtrodden and forgotten. He wanted you to see the dark side of things.

  15. 10 years ago, if someone was to tell me where I would be in 10 years I would not have believed it. I have exceeded every expectation I had for my life. I have a dream job situation, I make more money than I ever thought I would, my marriage and family life is great, I am fit and in shape.

  16. No matter what life you have you can’t always be “up”, there’s always “down” with it. I’d imagine it can be even harder to suffer the down times if you feel have no one to commiserate with, and if everyone thinks you’re living the great life it makes it even harder. Add depression on top of that and it can all end very badly. I’d think that level of celebrity can be very bad for some people. And you’re right of course, you can’t tell what people are really feeling, even those closest to you if they don’t express it.

  17. He was, early on. No Reservations was probably his highlight. It was a smaller show, in a less than ideal time-slot. Which gave him a lof of creative freedom. He could make his own jokes, he was allowed to nearly kill himself on an ATV. He was allowed to curse out the monarchy, and Henry Kissenger.

  18. I think he struggled with depression most of his life. Imagine being depressed and you keep thinking that achieving something you really want will somehow make you not depressed. Imagine having everything you ever wanted in life, and still waking up every morning depressed. It must be soul crushing after a while to realize that it will never end.

  19. He wrote and spoke around the edges of his depression. I know he talked a few times about how easy it was for him to spiral into self destructiveness. There have been quite a few stories of people meeting him and saying he was sweet and humble, but he always portrayed as sort of a cynical, asshole, jerk who was trying to be better. I think he battled self esteem issues his whole life, he talked a lot about having imposter syndrome.

  20. publishing someone's private messages when they were in absolute distress and about to commit suicide... what a way to make a profit. seriously nasty stuff

  21. Wasn't he on Chantix to help quit cigarettes? A drug that is well documented to cause extreme depression and suicidal thoughts?

  22. I’ll never forget taking Chantix. Not only the absolutely terrifying nightly nightmares, but one day I remember driving and thinking “what if I just drive my car right off this bridge..” yeah I went back to smoking. Took me two more years to quit for good but I did it cold turkey. Highly highly highly discourage ANYONE from taking it.

  23. Chantix would explain a lot. It can be like a suicide pill, causing horrible despair and hopelessness. If they don't know it's the pill causing it and that the effect will wear off, they might act on the suicidal urges. Very scary 'medicine'.

  24. My coworker at a pool and spa technician business talked about it, one month and he stopped taking it because of the suicidal thoughts and crazy dreams. DONT TAKE IT

  25. I tried Chantix and after three days I was so bad that my mom threw it away and bought me cigarettes and that extreme response helped me hang on until it was out of my system. She hated my smoking more than anything. But she could see that I was not long for this world with that stuff.

  26. I took Chantix. It did help me stop smoking and I haven’t picked it back up since (been about 7 years).

  27. My brother who has no history of depression or suicidal ideation was terrified of himself while on that stuff. He said he had the idea to kill himself but didn’t even want to. He stopped the meds and he’s been smoke free for years now.

  28. He was really in a "golden handcuffs" or "gilded cage" scenario. We all tell ourselves that he was quite literally living the dream, but the reality was that he was rushing through a bunch of exotic experiences under the constant eye of the camera. He made "friends" along the way, but how many of them were paid for their time and jostled along to fit the production schedule? I'm sure that Bourdain lived for his private moments, as squalid and hurried as they were. Probably alone with some booze in another anonymous hotel room.

  29. IMO: He also clearly didn’t feel like he “deserved” it all. Wether he was burdens by guilt or shame for past traumas or was the product of a tormented childhood or what, he just always seemed to have a deep sense of self loathing and discontent both for how the world “is” and how “it’s placed immense value on him”.

  30. I wonder if Bourdain alternated between manic highs and then the depressive lows. When you read about how ecstatic he was about his romance with Asia, it sounds like he was in a manic state of 'happiness' then when things started getting complicated, it triggered a crash to the depressive state.

  31. Have you read In the Weeds by Tom Vitale? He worked with Anthony for years as a producer and was on the road with him for a good bit of it. It was a pretty enlightening look into that life and how it took a toll on all of them.

  32. Argento was clearly a predator in the situation where she raped a minor so there’s a good chance she was probably emotionally/mentally abusing Bourdain too.

  33. Read or listen to the audiobook In the Weeds written by his close friend, a director and producer of his shows. It goes on about Tony in the moments off screen. It was refreshing, raw, and opened up a whole side on Tony I always expected, but finally got to hear about.

  34. I’d be miserable, but I’d tell myself that I just need to stick with it long enough to make some money and get out. Basically pull a Chapelle. I’m sure getting out is harder than it sounds though.

  35. Feel sorry for the guy. Great writer with a disarming demeanor and a penchant for underlining social issues in a non -preachy way. Wealth is one thing but fame like he had seems awful to me. I miss him.

  36. People don’t often think about how shitty fame can be. I think there’s a lot of dehumanization of celebrities as people who don’t have feelings or shouldn’t because they must have these great lives, but being really famous has to be a pretty alienating experience. Artists have made whole albums, movies, etc about it.

  37. I just assumed that’s how he felt when I watched his shows, because it was fairly obvious. That’s one reason his shows were successful. He showed up as himself. He didn’t put on a fake smile and some winning personality like most people would. He was talking about hard things and going to difficult places. I never once considered him a happy person. He was unapologetically melancholy. I really liked him, and It’s a shame people can’t just let him Rest In Peace.

  38. This is so incredibly at odds with how he was at his best. I hope that when I am gone nobody tries to make people remember me at my worst, lowest point. It doesn't matter if he really did say those things, depression like he experienced can destroy everything good. You wouldn't talk shit about a city that got burned to the ground because it doesn't have nice restaurants anymore, you'd lament that all the nice places got burned down.

  39. I agree. Would be much better to make a doc that weaves the whole picture together, so you can see the tragedy alongside this beautiful man and make it all fit together.

  40. I think those texts show with unflinching clarity what depression can do to people. I’ve become concerned that the general public has become only aware of depression as a concept, and not seeing the depths of sorrow many folks deal with. That guys whole being was in such pain, I was affected just reading those texts.

  41. I’m so conflicted. I agree with everything you said, and my first thought was that this could be a shocking window for people who don’t understand.

  42. This feels so shady and slimy. Covered in slime. Breaks your heart to read, though. He was a really cool, smart and unique person who made the world better. Depression is a motherfucker. It’s so sad he’s gone

  43. I was making $20,000 a month for a while and I was miserable. I’m a lot happier poor and struggling. When your poor you can blame money, when you have everything you are fucked.

  44. it’s fucked up that his texts in the midst of a profound depressive episode are being released. just saying

  45. Not surprising. No one commits suicide on a high note. What’s sad is that it could’ve been a passing moment of dark thoughts.

  46. Depression is a horrible illness that warps a person’s perception of reality. It’s painful and feels hopeless. Im sorry he had to go through that, and I will always love and respect the integrity and honesty he displayed in his shows.

  47. This is what people don’t get. It doesn’t matter who you are, mental illness is just as deadly. It doesn’t give a fuck if you’re a millionaire or a homeless. It always finds ways to turn what should be positive into negative.

  48. Morbid curiosity sucks. None of us need be privy to his personal pain. His suicide shouldn’t be anyone’s entertainment. IMHO

  49. He stayed at my hotel like 6 months before the end. Literally the coolest most laid back awesome human I've ever met.

  50. Damn, he was in a very dark place. Makes me sad that he got to this point, but honestly, it sounds like burnout. He should’ve just taken some time off and dealt with some mental health issues.

  51. There was something in the documentary about how when he was home, he just needed to work, and when he was working, he just need to be home.

  52. Odd that 'I hate my job, fans and being famous,' is the headline here, when other texts shed light on what really drove him over the edge-- the end of his romantic relationship.

  53. Honestly- You could just feel that Argento was bad for him. He was spiraling and her lack of concern and unreliability just was not what this man needed. He needed a home. He needed to stop and relax. But when you’re going downward it’s very hard to see that you can put the breaks on everything. I miss him so much and feel so very sad that he left…but I can understand where he was.

  54. I was really close friends with someone very famous. He, too, seemed to fully embrace fame, fans, and his public persona -- but he would eventually get so burned out, and would say shit like what Bourdain said. It was the truth in that moment, but those moments didn't last too terribly long. I think a big issue for both of these celebrities is that feeling of no escape. They are recognized everywhere and expected to be perpetually enthusiastic about fans and photographers. My friend was amazed and appalled that people were comfortable interrupting whatever he was doing for a conversation or autograph, aggressively asking bizarre personal questions, criticizing or complimenting his performance as if he cared about a missed shot two weeks ago or a lost game the month before. He didn't. Sometimes he just wanted what he couldn't have: to go out in the world anonymously. To shop, hang out, eat, drink, or whatever, without being accosted, without a crowd.

  55. There are places he could have moved where nobody knew who he even was. He could have started over, growing a beard and cooking in some street food booth in Seoul. But it sounds like he just couldn't relocate his mind.

  56. Jesus Christ what type of piece of shit would write something so awful (I don’t mean Anthony, I mean the people publishing this book). His wife is helping publish this shit? That’s fucking gross.

  57. fuck this scummy article. RIP Uncle Tony, it would’ve been a honour to have him spit at me or cuss me out, he was a good dude and a dick and that’s why we will always love him.

  58. I don’t have any copies of my Bourdain books at this point bc I’ve lent them out to so many people at work. And I’m so happy with that. He made the industry a better place and all this new news is so sad

  59. I think it shows how you can be rich and famous and still be a miserable cunt. Very valuable to the public discourse about suicide. He got a life most people dream about but he was not content.

  60. So relatable. I was a celebrity for ten years overseas. I did the works, talk shows, dating life on the cover of magazines and in the newspapers, my face on billboards advertising for major cell phone service providers, etc it was the loneliest I’ve ever been in my life, non stop judgment and criticism of anything I did, good or bad. Now I live in the US and thanks to Americans living in a bubble, my past is irrelevant here, I barely even pop up on google searches anymore, it’s the best thing to happen to me, gaining my anonymity back.

  61. This sounds very interesting! Would you mind sharing what general region of the world it was in? Not even the country, I’m just curious if it was in a completely foreign market or if it was English-speaking and would have some intersection with US advertising.

  62. If we go off recent documentaries, we can see that not all was gravy. Shit was tumbling, home life, I guess. Not enjoying the grind as it was currently. Sad. You want Bourdain to think of himself the way we do but it wasn’t the case. Behind the scenes, hopefully will give wife and daughter a bit of solace and distraction.

  63. Pretty stereotypical depression. I hate everything and everyone when I’m in a deep depression. Even cute puppies and dogs I want to love and play with them but my mind and energy gets so bogged down I just can’t bring myself to.

  64. He obviously cared. The deference he showed everyone is a tribute to that. He was at a low when he texted this and mental unhealth is a bitch.

  65. He had a holden vibe. He always seemed to brace finality as if to soak it all in one more time for the spectacle. Money and success don't buy you family life outside of stability and I think he may have regretted being a TV star but making this proclamation he was a writer and it's all about the food. Notoriety brings recognition and while the extra business can be a blessing, the extra attention can really overwhelm the small offbeat places he enjoyed. He wanted to be profound, and punk, but he figured out he was the man. He said the f word, smoked, wore leather jackets, and hung out with the president in Vietnam like its regular ass shit getting pho with Obama in Vietnam. He was selfish and didn't take care of himself. Dude didn't have to work a lick after the 2nd show. He could have put his name on a fucking bag of peanuts and a restaurant and it would have sold out easily just for his opinion. I resent so much that I admired his sulky and spoiled ramblings. It's sooo sad. I don't like the God like sage status he gets with meme quotes. He got and did what he wanted and he threw it away.

  66. As someone who tried the same quit smoking product AB was on I wouldn't be surprised if it played a role in his suicide, I had major side effects while on it from being emotional to extremely aggressive behaviour (non violent luckily) that almost led to divorce.

  67. I met him at a work function where he was a special guest. His hatred of being there was palpable. Sad to know he was probably going through these feelings and those events contributed to it.

  68. This feels like a big violation of a dead sad man’s privacy and inner thoughts that interestingly hs seems to be actively telling us he wouldn’t appreciate

  69. Depressed man with history of substance abuse and unstable romantic relationships has negative thoughts shortly before his suicide. This is not news.

  70. That chick he was dating that also hijacked one of the episodes of No Reservations she directed, really messed him up. She was doing some shady shit and was seeing another guy and paps had pics of them. He was already depressed. Dont think he really hated his fans.

  71. “I am not spiteful. I am not jealous that you have been with another man. I do not own you. You are free. As I said. As I promised. As I truly meant. But you were careless. You were reckless with my heart. My life.”

  72. And, alcohol is horrible for mental health. It surprised me that the documentary glossed over the fact that he drank all the time.

  73. Wow. This article is certainly published in bad taste. To those in the comments screeching, "oOh bOo-hOo hE gOt tO tRaVeL tHo" clearly do not understand how severe depression works. As if having money and fame would somehow cure his mental state.

  74. When a person comes down from being high on cocaine, they can become very grumpy and hate everything, everyone and their own life.

  75. I truly believe there is a great deal more of this dynamic than people realize. I've read a number of accounts of famous people, who hated being famous. A good example of this was Kurt Cobain, he never intended or wanted to be famous. Once he reached his pinnacle of fame, he hated it. Subsequently, he met a similar demise as Bourdain.

  76. Depression will suck every last bit away. I loved cooking and baking to the point I own textbooks on fermentation, bread, pastries, etc. the last year I’ve found nothing but more pain and hopelessness in what I loved. My only solace is the 4 hours or so I get every day after a shift to either drink myself to sleep or just stare blankly into nothing. Can’t bring myself to indulge in my few hobbies I have left/can afford.

  77. The older I get the more thankful I am for never becoming famous for anything. So many kids want to be stars and be famous, but I steadily realized that being famous must really suck for most. You start to understand why actors or musicians get caught screaming and attacking paparazzis. Having people you know nothing about expressing so much care and admiration for you must get tiring and depressing. Feeling like you have countless people out in the world that you need to maintain a good image and role model for. Sounds like Hell

  78. This just serves as a reminder that on the outside this man had the perfect job and life travel talk to people hang out with friends and easy great food.

  79. I know I couldn’t handle being famous. I value peace and quiet far too much. The peace of being alone and unnoticed, even in a public setting is one of the greatest things.

  80. I’ve suffered from severe depression and I can say at my worst, I hated everything and everyone, including myself, I doubt he felt this way when his head was in the right space, and this article makes me even sadder for him knowing he was suffering that much.

  81. The most brilliant people have the most convincing demons. As someone whose struggled with suicide my entire life, and has attempted it multiple times, my only advice is to talk. Talk to the people that love you. The only way to begin healing is to get the feelings and thoughts that are eating you alive inside, outside.

  82. This just makes me so sad because what I loved about his show is because it made me think that wherever we are there's a shared humanity, even if it's through something as simple as a love of food.

  83. This is so sad. Having struggled with mental health issues, I relate too much, and it’s just tough to hear it from someone famous, respected and accomplished.

  84. You were fucking awesome Anthony. I loved watching you. You brought a lot of joy into the hearts of many people with your show/personality. Thank you for everything.

  85. Mans been dead how long? Y’all never heard of Rest In Peace? Why is he still in the news constantly? Let the man rest finally, obviously he had a troubled soul, suicide is usually preceded by that. Give the man a break.

  86. Depression blinds you to the good in your life. It also makes you feel like you’ll be stuck in depression forever. It lies to you.

  87. Sadly, doesn't surprise me. He was a malcontent. He even described himself that way. . Not happy unless he's got something to be unhappy about, and unleash some snarky vitriolic prose about it. .

  88. I am exactly like him. It sucks. Well except for the suicide thing. I wouldn’t do that. But I totally get that nothing makes him happy.

  89. Reading the article.. I truly believe we do not need to know all this. This is so private, so personal.. being a celebrity does not justify this level of violation.

  90. "In an email to the Times, Argento wrote that she had not read the book, adding 'I wrote clearly to [Leerhsen] that he could not publish anything I said to him.'"

  91. Dude gets paid to travel around the world and eat exotic foods. If he killed himself because he hated his job how the fuck I am supposed to live with my shitty minimum wage job at Wendy's.

  92. Sad but no matter the facts that might be present the family of any deceased celebrity doesn’t want their loved ones reputation being somewhat changed when unsavory parts are exposed. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any book, article, or biopic that’s been embraced by the family even if it was done with good intentions. The author was trying to give an accurate portrayal of a notable personality that died tragically. If they neglected to try to shine a light on the issues going on in his final days it would just be a puff piece which is more fiction than reality.

  93. Amazing how so many people have issues they're going thru. If asked, I'd guess about 25% of Americans would rather not be here than deal with life, as well as their own daily demons.

  94. I have always loved his shows and his sincerity in talking to all the local people and sharing a meal that they prepared for him. No matter what they served, he ate it and shared in the rich humanity of connection thru a meal with a friend . Bonding with another culture. I think it was his sincerity that made his show so richly rewarding to watch. Uplifting. When he committed suicide it was like Robin Williams suicide. I found myself flat footed and devastated like they were both personal friends of mine. Never met either of them, but they brought me joy and were and are a part of my life like they are to all of us. I will always love Anthony Bourdain & Robin Williams.

  95. Watching his shows it seemed obvious he was in conflict with his public persona. Trying to keep up with the restaurant culture macho bravado while constantly providing heavily-scripted content for multiple platforms was visibly exhausting.

  96. Don’t read this article or the texts. Don’t buy the exploitative biography. It’s none of our business. He clearly didn’t want to share this with the world.

  97. How awful to exploit him this way. He was depressed. Mental health is inside work. Just because a person does something you think you'd be happy doing doesn't have any relevance to how they process emotions and cope with life's challenges.

  98. The short and curly version of this, and Alan Rickman’s diary details…don’t write anything down. Don’t text anyone. You never know when a private discussion…or your own diary…will be tricked out by those closest to you. This isn’t entertainment, this is bullshit.

  99. Yea these publishers and the ex-wife should be shamed for this. It hasn’t even been 10 years. Genuinely disgusting.

  100. Not that this would have changed anything at all. I’ve lost most of my family and a few friends to disease drugs or suicide. I will, until I am blue in the face, never leave a conversation with a loved one on a negative note. I don’t think it would have ever changed anything but trust me, that memory of what you said to them will live in your head for life. Good or bad.

  101. Depression sucks. I’d love to have a job like that, mind you I’d suck at it. It goes to show you never know what someone is going through internally. RIP.

  102. Why the fuck is this being released? He was miserable and people say stuff they might not mean, or at least an exaggerated version of their feelings.

  103. As a person who suffers from depression, these are common symptoms. I generalized it a lot until I got my meds sorted out. But it felt "dark" when I was at my lowest.

  104. It is really filthy and wrong to publish stuff like about someone who was going through so much. Tony was in a lot of pain, and those of us who've gone through or known and loved those who've been fighting horrible bouts of depression understand that the person will lash out at everything and everyone.

  105. He was just a normal dude fighting demons we all face. I cannot imagine if I had to be famous, and be depressed and having to smile and act like things were fine day after day after day. I know also he had an addiction (in recovery) and that just adds another layer to the whole depression thing bc now you have shame involved.

  106. I don’t care what he said in a moment of despair over a text message. In this world of instant gratification, we’ve all succumbed to hyperbole.

  107. Totally get it. He was an amazing human being, but I can see where his lack of anonymity would have been a burden. I’ll always cherish his advice regarding travel. It inspired me to see Bangkok and explore on foot with a guide the old town and actually meet the people living there, 10/10 would recommend and do it again. Thank you Antony.

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