“Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did,” the Italian actress, 42, wrote on Twitter. “His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds. 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.”
Bourdain died on Friday at the age of 61 of an apparent suicide, French police confirmed to PEOPLE.
The host of CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown was found unresponsive in his hotel room in France by close friend and French chef, Eric Ripert, according to CNN. Both were filming an upcoming episode of Bourdain’s award-winning show.
Argento and Bourdain met when the two collaborated on the Rome episode of Parts Unknown in 2016 and began dating a year later. She became heavily involved in his creative process, recently directing an upcoming episode of Parts Unknown set in Hong Kong. Bourdain would often consult her for her rich knowledge of music and film when putting together the series.
In the hours before news broke of Bourdain’s death, Argento was active on social media, sharing videos and photos on her Instagram story throughout the day — including one with the Rome geotag, which seemingly indicated she was not in the same country as Bourdain at the time of his death.
Argento’s most recent Instagram story, posted around three hours before Bourdain’s death was first reported, was a photo of herself wearing a ripped t-shirt that read: “F— EVERYONE.”
“You know who you are,” she captioned the post, which has since been deleted.
Speaking to PEOPLE earlier this year, Bourdain opened up about how he made long-distance work with the Rome-based actress amid his hectic travel schedule.
“I want to spend as much time with her as I can,” he said, explaining that he reserved about five days a month to spend with Ariane, his 11-year-old daughter with his ex-wife Ottavia Busia in New York, followed by trips to visit Argento in Italy.
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Asked if her presence has made him softer on and off set, Bourdain said, “I’m happier for sure. It’s nice to be with somebody who I see as a peer.”
“She’s been in this circus since she was nine,” he said. “She knows so much more about so many of the things that are important to me — music, books, film, the technical aspects of film, and just the weird state of celebrity, being somebody that people come up to. That’s something she’s dealt with a lot longer than me. I was 44 before that started happening. Whereas, it’s been like that for her since she was a kid.”
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Argento’s most recent photo with Bourdain was posted on May 27.
“It’s a wrap!” she captioned a black and white photo of the two. “#Firenze @partsunknowncnn @anthonybourdain #makearteveryday.”
Bourdain also liked a photo Argento posted to Instagram four days before his death.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).