Anthony Bourdain's Ex Says Daughter, 11, Is 'Brave' As She Performs at Concert After Chef's Death
Anthony Bourdain's 11-year-old daughter took the stage over the weekend with a reminder of her father, just days after he was discovered dead at 61
Anthony Bourdain‘s 11-year-old daughter took the stage over the weekend with a reminder of her father, just days after he was discovered dead at 61 on Friday morning in France from an apparent suicide.
In her first post on social media since Bourdain’s death, the chef and TV host’s ex-wife Ottavia Busia shared a photo of their only child, Ariane, with a microphone in her hand at DROM, a music venue in New York City.
“Our little girl had her concert today. She was amazing. So strong and brave. She wore the boots you bought her,” Busia captioned the shot, pointing out her daughter’s pair of studded black boots. “I hope you are having a good trip, wherever you are.”
A source who worked closely with Bourdain previously told PEOPLE exclusively that the late celebrity chef saw fatherhood as one of the bright spots of his life.
“It was quite evident that Tony was a ‘lighter’ human being around his daughter,” said the source. “When he spoke about her, his eyes danced. He talked about her constantly.”
During what would be his final interview with PEOPLE, Bourdain noted that it was important he never shot in two cities back-to-back for his CNN series Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown so he could spend five days a month with Ariane, who lives with Busia in New York.
Bourdain also said in February that he felt “some responsibility” to “at least try to live” since his daughter, Ariane, was born.
“I also do feel I have things to live for,” he explained. “There have been times, honestly, in my life that I figured, ‘I’ve had a good run — why not just do this stupid thing, this selfish thing… jump off a cliff into water of indeterminate depth,'” he said, recalling something he said he’d once done for his Travel Channel show.
He also described how, before his daughter’s arrival, he would “go to places” where “I was, frankly, asking for trouble. It was a daredevil move.”
But now, “in retrospect, I don’t know that I would do that today — now that I’m a dad or reasonably happy.”
Bourdain maintained a close relationship with Busia. The two were married for nine years, but the TV host’s busy schedule contributed to their split in 2016.
“My wife and I live, have lived, very separate lives for years,” Bourdain told PEOPLE at the time. “There’s no drama here. We get along really, really well and it’s not a big lifestyle change happening here.”
Speaking with PEOPLE, French prosecutor Christian de Rocquigny previously said there was no evidence of violence in Bourdain’s death.
In an interview with the New York Times hours after the news of Bourdain’s death, his mother Gladys Bourdain said she had no indication that her son may have been thinking about suicide.
“He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this,” she told the publication.
Gladys also said she spoke to Ripert, who told her that “Tony had been in a dark mood these past couple of days.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “help” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.