No signs of foul play in Anthony Bourdain’s death, prosecutor says
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — There are no signs of foul play in the shocking death of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain at a French hotel, investigators said Saturday.
The award-winning television host, writer and cook was found dead on Friday morning in his room at a luxury hotel in the tiny village of Kaysersberg in France’s northeastern Alsace region. He appeared to have hanged himself in the bathroom, according to the prosecutor’s office of Colmar in Alsace region.
A medical expert concluded there were no other signs of violence on Bourdain’s body, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office told ABC News on Saturday.
“There is no element that makes us believe that someone came into the room at any moment,” the spokesperson said.
Toxicology tests were underway Saturday to determine if the 61-year-old American took any medications or other drugs before his death, in an effort to “help his family understand if anything led him to kill himself,” the spokesperson said.
Olivier Nasti, the chef and owner of Le Chambard, the hotel where Bourdain was staying, posted a statement in French on Twitter Friday night.
“It is with great respect for the chef, the author, the TV presenter, the visionary Anthony Bourdain that I send all my condolences to his family and the anonymous people around the world whom he made dream so much,” Nasti said. “Out of respect for his relatives and all his friends, my team and I wish to preserve his memory in silence. Finally, through these few words, it is the whole family of the French gastronomy that joins me, to renew our deep friendship to our bereaved American brothers.”
Bourdain was the host of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” which has aired on CNN since its premiere in 2013. The travel and food series, which features cuisines and stories from around the world, has won several Emmy Awards as well as a 2013 Peabody Award.
He leaves behind an 11-year-old daughter, Ariane Bourdain.
CNN confirmed Bourdain’s death in a statement Friday.
“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” the network said. “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.”
CNN reported that Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode for his hit series when close friend and French chef Eric Ripert found him unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning.
“Anthony was a dear friend,” Ripert told ABC News in a statement Friday. “He was an exceptional human being, so inspiring and generous. One of the great storytellers of our time who connected with so many. I wish him peace. My love and prayers are with his family, friends and loved ones.”
Bourdain’s mother, Gladys Bourdain, told The New York Times that Ripert had told her that “Tony had been in a dark mood these pats couple of days,” but she had no idea that her son might have been thinking of suicide.
“He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this,” Gladys Bourdain told The New York Times.
“He had everything,” she added. “Success beyond his wildest dreams. Money beyond his wildest dreams.”
An employee of the Wistub de la Petite Venise restaurant in Colmar told ABC News that Bourdain was there having lunch with Ripert on Monday.
“He seemed happy, cheerful, he was joking and enjoying himself,” the employee, who declined to give her name, said of Bourdain. “He had a choucroute for lunch.”
Bourdain posted a photo of the traditional Alsatian dish on his official Instagram account — his final post before his death.
On CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” Bourdain delved into different cultures across the globe by talking and sharing meals with locals. U.S. President Barack Obama famously appeared on an episode in Vietnam in 2016, during his final months in office. Obama and Bourdain discussed Vietnamese-American relations, among other things, while dining on grilled pork, noodles and beer at a small family-run restaurant in Hanoi.
Previously, Bourdain had hosted a TV show called “A Cook’s Tour” on the Food Network and then “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” and “The Layover” on the Travel Channel.
Born in New York City and raised in Leonia, New Jersey, Bourdain went on to graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978 and pursue a career in cooking. He ran a number of restaurant kitchens in New York City, but it was his best-selling nonfiction book in 2000, “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly,” that launched his path to stardom.
Anyone in crisis, or who knows someone in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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