Anthony Bourdain Was 'Giddy' Just a Week Before His Death, Says Longtime CNN Coworker
Anthony Bourdainâs apparent suicide is a âcomplete shockâ to those who worked with him on his award-winning CNN show, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
âItâs such a shock we donât know where this is coming from, how this could possibly happen. When I was working with him last week he was giddy,â Karen Reynolds, director of CNN PR and Bourdainâs longtime publicist for Parts Unknown, tells PEOPLE on Friday.
âHe was effusive and happy about the Hong Kong episode that was all he could talk about weeks leading up to it, how it was like a high water mark for him,â Reynolds says of the June 3 episode directed by Bourdainâs girlfriend Asia Argento that featured Australian-Hong Kong cinematographer Christopher Doyle.
âHe was so happy. I didnât talk to him this week but all I know was he was so happy last week. I mean giddy,â she recalls. âHe was texting me and emailing me which he doesnât normally do about publicity for episodes but he was like, âThis is a high water mark, this is the best thing Iâve ever done.â He was so excited to be working with Christopher Doyle. I saw nothing that would indicate what happened like why this would happen. Weâre just floored. A complete shock.â
RELATED: Van Jones Says CNN Staff Was âStunned Into Silenceâ After News of Anthony Bourdainâs Death
On Friday, longtime friend and renowned chef Eric Ripert found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room in France. Ripert was in France with him to film an upcoming episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
âI never get into the personal stuff with him but the last I heard was he was excited and thrilled that Asia was part of the Hong Kong episode,â Reynolds says of Bourdain and Argentoâs relationship which first blossomed when they collaborated on the Rome episode of Parts Unknown in 2016. They began dating a year later.
âHe was so proud of her work and the fact that [Argento and Doyle] collaborated on that episode. Thatâs the last I heard from him and he was so happy. Itâs such a loss for all of us,â Reynolds shares.
A police spokesperson in Strasbourg confirmed Bourdainâs death to PEOPLE, but would not confirm the cause of death. The manner of death has been classified as a suicide.
WATCH: Remembering Anthony Bourdainâs Illustrious Life and Career
Amid the shock and sadness of Bourdainâs passing, Reynolds remembers her friend as a âgood personâ in addition to a great collaborator.
âHe wasnât typical. This is such a mystery. Everything was on the record and he was upfront he didnât shy away from any issue thatâs why this is so shocking,â she says.
On whether she had any indication that Bourdain, who was open about his struggle with drug addiction in the past, was using again, Reynolds explains, âNo not at all. He was just so happy with the work. He was so proud. You could see in the show itself how happy he is in the whole episode.â
RELATED: Padma Lakshmi, JosÃ© AndrÃ©s and More of Anthony Bourdainâs Close Friends Mourn His Death
On Sunday, just two days after Bourdainâs death, CNN will air the new episode of Parts Unknown set in Berlin.
âWhen Berlin airs Anderson Cooper is going to give an introduction before the episode airs. They were good friends,â Reynolds says, adding that Bourdainâs CNN colleagues are also understandably shocked.
âNo one can understand it. When a 61-year-old dies and somebody as vibrant as Tony, itâs so shocking and devastating which is what everybod y says but itâs the truth,â Reynolds says.
RELATED: âI Like Being a Father â" No, I Love Being a Father,â and Everything Else Anthony Bourdain Has Said About Daughter Ariane
Colmar, France, public prosecutor Christian de Rocquigny du Fayel told PEOPLE that Bourdain died by hanging at a luxury hotel in Kaysersberg called Le Chambard, and said, âat this stage, nothing suggests the intervention of a third party.â
In a statement provided to PEOPLE, the U.S. Embassy in Paris said, âWe can confirm the death of Anthony Bourdain in the Haut-Rhin department of France. We extend our sincere condolences to friends and family. We stand ready to provide appropriate consular s ervice. Out of respect for the family at this difficult time we have no further comment.â
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text âhelpâ to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.Source: Google News US Entertainment | Netizen 24 United States