Anthony Bourdain

The culinary world felt the death of Anthony Bourdain in 2018 like a lightning bolt straight to the heart. He was 61, and his death was ruled a suicide. Fans couldn’t believe it happened, and fellow chefs around the world were distraught they’d never indulge in another meal with their pal Tony.

Bourdain did so much more than just teach the world about good food. He placed such a great importance on traveling to other cultures and exploring not just the local cuisine, but the local people and customs. According to him, that’s where happiness truly lies. "If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody." Perfectly said, Mr. Bourdain.

So, what happened? How could someone with so much to offer, someone who knew what it was like to climb their way up the ranks to Michelin-rated chef, someone who amassed such a loyal fan base, call it quits on life? Unfortunately, not every burning question in life has a satisfactory answer, but there are several "facts" floating around about his death that simply aren’t true, and this list works to clear up the worst of them.

These are the false facts about Anthony Bourdain’s death everyone thinks are true.

Anthony Bourdain died of a drug overdose

Anthony Bourdain

Relatively new fans of Anthony Bourdain and his work may not have known about the chef’s sordid past, but those who did read any of his books (or the many interviews he did on the topic) know all too well about his struggle with drugs, namely heroin. Because of that past, people were quick to assume some kind of substance crept into play at the time he died — and some of those rumors did get started pretty quickly once the announcement was made of his demise. However, toxicology reports indicated Anthony Bourdain was free of narcotics at the time of his death.

In a weird way, it almost makes his suicide sadder. If he was on drugs, it’s easy to assume the substances distorted his sense of reality and helped convince him the only way to escape his depression was death. But, the coroner’s report found nothing illegal in his system, which meant when he took his own life, it was something his sober mind came to terms with.

A picture of Asia Argento and another man drove Anthony Bourdain to suicide

Anthony Bourdain and Asia Argento

Before his death, Anthony Bourdain had not been shy about his love for his girlfriend, Asia Argentino, often opening up about being happier since the two had become an item. So, when it came to light that Argento was seen holding hands and hugging a French reporter just days before his death, people were quick to theorize heartbreak caused Anthony Bourdain’s suicide.

Argento, however, was quick to dispel those rumors, saying neither had been completely faithful to each other during their relationship — and they were both OK with it.

"It wasn’t a problem for us," Argento said to DailyMailTV (via USA Today). "He was a man who traveled 265 days a year. When we saw each other we took really great pleasure in each other’s company. But we are not children. We are grown-ups."

Argento went on to further deny the accusations hurled at her by many of Bourdain’s fans. "People say I murdered him. They say I killed him. … I understand that the world needs to find a reason. I would like to find a reason, too. I don’t have it."

Anthony Bourdain’s estate was worth millions of dollars

Bourdain lonesome

When someone who’s amassed the significant funds Bourdain did over his uber-successful career, one question at the time of their death always lingers: How much money were they worth exactly? There are so many variables that go into the total number, but the monetary value circling "la fortuna de Bourdain" is a bit murky.

Even though reports put Bourdain’s net worth reaching upwards of $16 million, his will told a much different monetary story. His estate was valued at $1.2 million, and he left nearly all of it to his daughter, Ariane. But, because she’s a minor, an unnamed guardian is set to protect the inheritance until she turns 18. Had she passed before the chef, everything would have gone to Myra Quizon, his daughter’s nanny.

Bourdain’s former wife, Ottavia Busia, received his frequent flyer miles (which he accumulated tons of throughout his travels), as well as furniture, books, and a slew of other personal items.

Where was Asia Argento’s piece of the pie in all this? We may never know.

Anthony Bourdain won’t supply the world any more entertaining literature

Bourdain's comics

Everything Bourdain wrote in his many books was unfiltered and raw, and not many authors are brave enough to let it all hang out for others to judge. The literary world sulked at the fact Bourdain won’t pump out any more stories for the world to absorb, but alas, he did, and they’re not at all what you’re thinking.

While Bourdain has a number of New York Times bestselling books to his name, several months after his death, a collection of comics called Hungry Ghosts hit shelves. You heard it right: comic books. Each story highlights his passion for all things food, Japanese culture, and most importantly, horror comics. Bourdain, along with a comic book producer named Joel Rose, hired top-notch artists to illustrate each story, and they’re as gruesome as they are personal to the chef.

For those who love Bourdain’s literary work living in the confines of a bestselling hardcover, these tales of culinary terror are a welcome detour that give a unique peek into his creativity.

Anthony Bourdain was happy after fame hit

Anthony Bourdain

When Anthony Bourdain’s book Kitchen Confidential took the literary world by storm and launched him into superstardom in 2007, his financial woes quickly disappeared, and the world of food and travel became his oyster. But, the fame and fortune, apparently, did little to his quell feelings of inadequacy and depression.

Fans who read an interview Bourdain gave with People not long before he died had no reason to think he was depressed. Bourdain said he was "happy in ways that I have not been in memory" and "happy in ways I didn’t think I ever would be, for sure."

Those who had been on the road with him, however, told a different story. As Bourdain’s fame and television ratings increased, his adventures became more about getting the necessary camera shots than actually mingling with the locals and truly learning about the culture surrounding him. "We chalked it up to being tired," one person who worked with him told Vanity Fair, "But the excitement of the road just wasn’t there for him anymore."

Anthony Bourdain had gotten past his suicidal tendencies

Anthony Bourdain

Sometimes the biggest smiles mask the deepest hurt, as was the case with Anthony Bourdain. So many people were shocked at the news of his suicide. He had talked about having suicidal tendencies in the past, which perhaps led everyone to believe those thoughts were behind him.

The social media posts from friends indicate no one saw this coming. Famed Noma chef Rene Redzepi was in disbelief. Both London chef Yotam Ottolengh and Jamie Oliver were left in shock. Gordon Ramsay, author Michael Ruhlman, and Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer were stunned.

Looking back to 2005, Bourdain visited the Caribbean islands to drown out his sorrows with alcohol and drugs after his first marriage to Nancy Putkoski ended. In his book Medium Raw (via Page Six), he recounts feeling "aimless and regularly suicidal" during his stay. He claimed that those thoughts dried up, it appears most people took him at his word. His actions, however, prove they were still very real.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).