In the wake of Anthony Bourdain's suicide, Rose McGowan is asking people not to place blame—on Bourdain himself or on his girlfriend, actress Asia Argento. "Anthony’s internal war was his war, but now she’s been left on the battlefield to take the bullets," McGowan wrote in a letter sent to the Hollywood Reporter and other outlets. "Do NOT do the sexist thing and burn a woman on the pyre of misplaced blame." Instead, wrote McGowan, who said Argento was sitting across from her as she composed the letter, people should learn about mental illness, depression, and suicide before hurting survivors by "judging that which we do not understand, that which can never fully be understood." Often when we lose someone we want to "lash out and blame," McGowan writes. "You must not sink to that level. Suicide is a horrible choice, but it is that person’s choice."
McGowan, who says Argento asked her to write the letter, added that when Bourdain met Argento, he told a mutual friend he had never before "met anyone who wanted to die more than him." But, McGowan says, Argento—who, along with McGowan, is one of Harvey Weinstein's accusers—got help. "Anthony’s depression didn’t let him, he put down his armor, and that was very much his choice. His decision, not hers. His depression won," McGowan writes. She later tweeted a message from Argento noting that Argento had asked McGowan "to be my voice, to help me shoulder this burden and write truth." "Please read these words and have mercy on our pain," she added. Ultimately, the women's plea is for an open dialogue about depression to be had: "There is no one to blame but the stigma of loneliness, the stigma of asking for help, the stigma of mental illness, the stigma of being famous and hurting." (Read more Anthony Bourdain stories.)