“Now, the anger kept me alive because otherwise this desperation has no end,” the Italian actress said during part one of the sit-down segment, which aired on Monday.
Argento went on to say that she was particularly upset with the TV host because she felt as though he had abandoned her children, with whom Bourdain apparently had close relationships. Bourdain committed suicide in June. He was 61.
“And then, I was angry [at him], yes, for abandoning my kids,” Argento continued. “But now it’s been replaced just by this loss, this hole, that cannot be filled by anything.”
Argento also claimed that her former friend Rose McGowan’s partner, Rain Dove, had told her Bourdain had died after injecting heroin in his neck with a Russian prostitute and that she was given fake ashes that Dove claimed to Bourdain’s remains.
The actress also reacted to the hateful comments and social media trolling she endured after Bourdain took his own life: “People say I killed him. I understand that the world needs to find a reason. I would like to find a reason, too.”
In response to allegations that Argento had not been faithful to Bourdain, she replied, “People need to think that he killed himself [for] something like this.” She then claimed, “He cheated on me, too.”
“It wasn’t a problem with us,” Argento added. “He was a man who traveled 265 days a year. When we saw each other, we took really great pleasure in each other’s presence. We are not children. I cannot think of Anthony as somebody who would do an extreme gesture for this, who suffered like that. What I do feel terrible about is that he had so much pain inside of him and I didn’t see it. I did not see it. And for that, I will feel guilty for the rest of my life.”
Argento then revealed how she learned of Bourdain’s death. “I received a phone call from his manager,” she recalled. “And it was very quick. He just told me, ‘Anthony took his life.’ And I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t cry. And then I started screaming. I felt like I was in the abyss.”
Argento and Bourdain began dating after meeting on the set of his CNN series, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, in 2016. Prior to her relationship with Bourdain, Argento was married to director Michele Civetta, with whom she shares a son, Nicola, 10. She also shares a 17-year-old daughter, Anna, with her musician ex Marco Castoldi. Bourdain was the father of daughter Ariane, 11, with estranged wife Ottavia Busia.
Argento’s interview with DailyMailTV is her first since she was accused in August of sexually assaulting former child actor Jimmy Bennett in a California hotel room when he was just 17. (The age of consent in California is 18.)
Argento has vehemently denied Bennett’s allegations. “I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false,” she said in a previous statement. “I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.”
Argento — who made headlines earlier this year for speaking out against her accused rapist Harvey Weinstein in a searing speech at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival — was once revered as a leading voice in the #MeToo movement. Bourdain often offered public support for her and for Weinstein’s other victims.
According to a report in The New York Times, Argento paid off Bennett, now 22, in a $380,000 settlement. Her interview with DailyMailTV comes weeks after CNN announced that it will no longer air the episodes of Parts Unknown that she had previously participated in alongside Bourdain, due to the sexual assault allegations made against her. The network has also removed the episodes from its CNN Go streaming service.
“In light of the recent news reports about Asia Argento, CNN will discontinue airing past episodes of Parts Unknown that included her, until further notice,” a spokesperson for the network told BuzzFeed News in a statement.
Back in June, Argento broke her silence on Bourdain’s death in an emotional Twitter message. “Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did. His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds,” she wrote at the time. “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.”
Watch part of Argento’s interview with DailyMailTV below.
Sept. 25, 6:06 p.m. PT: Updated with details about Rain Dove’s claims that Bourdain died while injecting heroin.