One of the last interviews Anthony Bourdain gave before his suicide last month was published over the weekend, a sprawling conversation touching on politics, travel, work, and the cause he took up devoutly before he passed at 61: the #MeToo movement. Bourdain was a fervently outspoken male ally, defending victims and calling out their alleged abusers—and in a February interview with Popula, published Monday, he was as bold and incisive as ever.
Bourdain spent part of the interview fantasizing about Harvey Weinstein's death, telling journalist Maria Bustillos that "as much as I’d like to see him, you know, beaten to death in his cell," he had other ideas about what would happen to the alleged serial abuser:
My theory of how he goes is uh, he’s brushing his teeth in a bathroom, he’s naked in his famous bathrobe, which is flapping open, he’s holding his cell phone in one hand because you never know who on the Weinstein board has betrayed him recently, and he’s brushing his teeth—he suddenly gets a massive fucking stroke—he stumbles backwards into the bathtub, where he finds himself um, with his robe open feet sticking out of the tub, and in his last moments of consciousness as he scrolls through his contacts list trying to figure out who he can call, who will actually answer the phone.
And he dies that way, knowing that no one will help him and that he is not looking his finest at time of death.
One of the first people to come forward and accuse Weinstein of rape was Asia Argento, Bourdain's girlfriend of two years. In December of 2017, Bourdain wrote about meeting "one extraordinary woman with a particularly awful story to tell," describing how it led him to "stand unhesitatingly and unwaveringly" with accusers in the #MeToo movement—something he did, as Popula's interview makes clear, up until the last months of his life.
He went on to slam both Bill and Hillary Clinton in the interview, calling the former president a "piece of shit" for trying to discredit Monica Lewinsky and denying several other sexual assault allegations against him.
Bill Clinton, look, the bimbo eruptions—it was fucking monstrous. That would not have flown today. A piece of shit. Entitled, rapey, gropey, grabby, disgusting, and the way that he—and she—destroyed these women and the way that everyone went along, and, and are blind to this! Screamingly apparent hypocrisy and venality. How you can on the one hand howl at the moon about all these other predators. And not at least look back. OK, let’s say, well, it was all consensual: powerful men, starstruck women, okay fine, let’s accept it at its most charitable interpretation. Fine. He is a very charming man, I met him, he’s fucking magnetic.
As is she. When you’re in the room, you think wow, she’s really warm and nice and funny. But the way they efficiently dismantled, destroyed, and shamelessly discredited these women for speaking their truth is unforgivable.
In the months before he died, Bourdain passionately spoke out against alleged abusers, standing in solidarity with the #MeToo movement and calling out both celebrities and internet trolls. He was ardent in his defense of women's voices and stories, and for what could be the last time, it's refreshing to hear that voice again.
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