Anthony Bourdain was first married to his high school sweetheart, but divorced after 20 years of marriage. Next he married Ottavia Busia, but in 2016 the two announced their amicable split. Since early 2017 he’s been dating actress and director Asia Argento. Will the two get married eventually?
Table of Contents
Married to his high school sweetheart
World-famous travelling chef Anthony Bourdain was first married in 1985. He married his high school girlfriend Nancy Putkoski. That was long before fame and fortune found him. Indeed, it was only in the second half of this 20-year marriage that he really made a name for himself.
Not much is known about his first marriage. Anthony and Nancy never had children together, which is somewhat strange, especially considering that he went on to have a daughter with his second wife. Perhaps building a career was more important than building a family. After all, in the end, he and Nancy did divorce and in hindsight, it doesn’t sound as if it was entirely amicable.
Anthony once admitted that after an episode where he thought he might die, he wrote his first ex-wife a lengthy letter apologizing for his behaviour and how things ended. He said that it was impossible to make amends, but at least he wanted to acknowledge that he had made mistakes.
A divorce followed by his second marriage
After staying married for two decades, Nancy and Anthony eventually parted ways. Why, how or what the specifics may have been is unknown. There’s no indication that Anthony was unfaithful, but his career may have put a strain on his marriage.
We don’t know what happened to Nancy after the divorce in 2005. Anthony quickly moved on to dating his second wife, who was introduced to him by a mutual friend.
It took him and Ottavia Busia, who is also in the restaurant business but later became a mixed martial artist as well, only a few dates before they got themselves matching tattoos. And a few dates after that they were engaged to be married. That was in April 2007. And several months after that their daughter Ariane was born.
This couple certainly didn’t pull any punches and progressed very quickly through the early stages of their marriage.
Nine years together yet apart
When he and Ottavia married he was already two years into his show No Reservations, which took him all over the globe. Ottavia must have had an idea what she got herself into when she married him. His first show, A Cook’s Tour, had already been immensely popular and No Reservations ran through until 2012, for another five years. Anthony is famous for being a travelling chef and that who Ottavia married.
It is difficult to maintain a close relationship when you are separated 250 days per year. For some couples, it works and absence does make the heart grow fonder. But for some, it ultimately leads to the demise of their relationship.
Ottavia and Anthony held their family together, at least on paper, for nine years. But by the time they officially announced their divorce in September 2016, they had already lived very separate lives for many years.
An amicable divorce
Anthony announced his divorce from Ottavia rather low key. He said at the time: “My wife and I live, have lived, very separate lives for years. There’s no drama here. We get along really, really well and it’s not a big lifestyle change happening here.”
He added that nobody felt like a victim in the divorce, that there was no injured party. The two appear to have arrived at this decision together and somewhat inevitably. When you hear them talking about each other you have to admire the immense support and respect they seem to have for the other. Each acknowledging that their career choices kept them apart and that they still support each other in all their endeavours. At the same time, they are devoted co-parents.
“As a family, I think we’ve done a really good job and we’re doing a really good job and would like to keep it that way”, Bourdain said and meant it.
Ottavia added: “Nothing has changed. We love each other. We respect the decision the other has made. And we’ll always consider ourselves a family.”
It doesn’t really get more amicable than that and that’s great in many ways. It means their daughter continues to have two parents who don’t really live together but love and respect each other and take care of her.
It’s not entirely clear how and when the divorce was finalized, but Anthony has certainly moved on since.
Dating Asia Argento
Early in 2017, Anthony was seen out and about with Asia Argento. The two had met on one episode on one of his shows and apparently hit it off right away. Anthony heaped praise on her on social media and some wondered whether there may not be more to it than a professional relationship.
When the two were seen out and about getting cosy rumours made the rounds, but for the time being the two didn’t comment. In May 2017 they confirmed their relationship via Instagram and that was that.
Asia is an actress as well as a filmmaker. She’s Italian, just like his last wife, and looking at her it seems rather obvious that Anthony has a type. She’s a very accomplished woman in her own right and apparently quite used to the travelling lifestyle herself.
Indeed, what we have seen of the two of them was often in different locations around the world. Not long ago they were seen cuddling up in Hong Kong, still going strong together.
Whether or not Anthony Bourdain might go down the aisle a third time is an open question at this time. He seems quite happy for the time being and perhaps he has learned from his previous two marriages that it’s not a ring or a certificate that make a solid relationship. But there is certainly something inherently romantic about marrying the person you love. Hopefully, this one will last.