Asia Argento, Anthony Bourdain's girlfriend of two years, has broken her silence on the chef and CNN host's death.
"Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did," she wrote in a statement released on Twitter Friday. "His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds."
"He was my love, my rock, my protector," she continued. "I am beyond devastated. My thoughts are with his family. I would ask that you respect their privacy and mine."
On Friday, CNN confirmed that Bourdain died of an apparent suicide at age 61. The award-winning Parts Unknown host was reportedly found dead by his close friend Eric Ripert inside of his hotel room.
The network's statement read:
"It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain. His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time."
Argento, an Italian-born actress, first met Bourdain when she appeared on an episode of the CNN travel series that was filmed in Rome during season eight. Since then, she and Bourdain started dating and continued to collaborate on the show.
Most recently, Argento shared on social media that she directed an episode that was filmed in Hong Kong. "@anthonybourdain on the Star Ferry to Kowloon at night. I directed the new episode for @partsunknowncnn, airing this Sunday night on @cnn," Argento wrote on May 30.
On June 3, Bourdain also tweeted a behind-the-scenes video that showed him, Argento and director Chris Doyle dancing in-between filming.
Bourdain was a fierce supporter of Argento and the #MeToo movement after she shared her personal experience with Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. In a Medium essay, he wrote:
“In these current circumstances, one must pick a side. I stand unhesitatingly and unwaveringly with the women. Not out of virtue, or integrity, or high moral outrage?—?as much as I’d like to say so?—?but because late in life, I met one extraordinary woman with a particularly awful story to tell, who introduced me to other extraordinary women with equally awful stories.”
Suicide is not the answer. If you ever find yourself in need of help, call Hopeline: (02) 804-4673; 0917-558-4673.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.