On Friday, 42-year-old Argento responded to Bourdain's death with a post on both Twitter and Instagram.
"Anthony gave all of himself in everything that he did," she wrote. "His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds. He was my love, my my protector."
She continued: "My thoughts are with his family. I would ask that you respect their privacy and mine."
In an interview with IndieWire, which was published less than a week ago, Bourdain opened up about getting to work with Argento for his show, Parts Unknown.
"Look, anytime I can get work out of Asia — even random suggestions, like when she calls me mid-show to make me aware of a Nigerian psychedelic rock scene of the mid-to-late-’70s — that’s a huge help to the show," he said. "I’d love to have her a continuing director. I just don’t think we can afford her. But, my god, I’d love nothing more than to repeat the experience. She made it incredible."
Since beginning a relationship with Argento — a Harvey Weinstein accuser — in 2016, Bourdain had become an outspoken advocate of the #MeToo movement. In the same interview, Bourdain praised Argento's much lauded speech at Cannes last month, which was a rousing proclamation against Weinstein and others like him.
"From the second she said she’d been invited to present an award, I knew it would be a nuclear bomb," Bourdain revealed. "I was so proud of her. It was absolutely fearless to walk right into the lion’s den and say what she said, the way she said it. It was an incredibly powerful moment, I thought. I am honored to know someone who has the strength and fearlessness to do something like that."
In an essay on Medium posted last December, Bourdain spoke of how Argento inspired him to speak out.
"In these current circumstances, one must pick a side. I stand unhesitatingly and unwaveringly with the women. Not out of virtue, or integrity, or high moral outrage — as much as I’d like to say so — but because late in life, I met one extraordinary woman with a particularly awful story to tell, who introduced me to other extraordinary women with equally awful stories," he wrote. "I am grateful to them for their courage, and inspired by them. That doesn’t make me any more enlightened than any other man who has begun listening and paying attention. It does makes me, I hope, slightly less stupid."
Bourdain continued: "Right now, nothing else matters but women’s stories of what it’s like in the industry I have loved and celebrated for nearly 30 years — and our willingness, as human beings, citizens, men and women alike, to hear them out, fully, and in a way that other women can feel secure enough, and have faith enough that they, too, can tell their stories."