Ottavia Busia’s Love Story With Anthony Bourdain, Why They Got Divorced and Her Career Path

Ottavia Busia is an Italian Mixed Martial Artist who has thrived in other areas, but she is most known for her relationship with the late American television personality, Anthony Bourdain. Busia gained a lot of attention for featuring in several episodes of Anthony’s show. Her late ex-husband, Anthony Bourdain, was an author, travel documentarian, and celebrated chef. He was popular for his numerous culinary/travel television shows like Travel Channel’s No Reservations (2005-2012) and CNN’s Parts Unknown (2013-2018).

Bourdain committed suicide by hanging on June 8, 2018, while on location for Parts Unknown, precisely in his room at the Hotel Chambard in Kaysersberg-Vignoble, France. The incident was a shock to many and continues to raise thousands of questions that border on his love life with many wanting to know more about his estranged wife who happens to be Ottavia Busia.

Ottavia Busia Met Anthony Bourdain Through His Friend, Eric Ripert 

Also a chef, author, and television personality, it is easy to see why Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain were friends. As the story goes, Ripert was the consulting chef for Geisha Restaurant at the time Ottavia Busia worked there. He felt that the two would get along and so he introduced Ottavia to Anthony, and it was love at first sight.

The experience they both have in the cooking business helped in bringing them closer and they started dating without much ado. Things happened very quickly for the two as they got matching tattoos on their shoulders just after their second date and were ready to become life partners thereafter.

After dating for a short period, Ottavia Busia married Anthony Bourdain on the 20th of April 2007. She became Bourdain’s second wife as he had been married to Nancy Putkoski from 1985 to 2005.

Anthony Bourdain
image source

Lifestyle Changes and Professional Responsibilities Led to Their Separation

Busia had described her marital relationship with Bourdain as “unconventional” since they spent most part of their lives without each other. This was because her husband spent the greater portion of his time on his job. It is said that he stayed away for as much as 250 days a year.

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Being away almost always made it difficult for the marriage to thrive. The differences in their interests continued to widen, and Bourdain pointed this out on several occasions. For instance, he told People that he and Ottavia Busia had led “very separate lives for years” while confirming the news of their separation. Stressing that there is no drama central to their decision to part ways, he added that they get along well and were only dealing with big lifestyle changes.

Ottavia echoed his sentiments in a statement she issued to Page Six. She related that the separation is a result of professional decisions she and Bourdain had made. Noting that what they had had, had been an “unconventional relationship”, she reiterated that they harbored no animosity towards each other.

Their Divorce Hadn’t Been Finalized When Bourdain Passed

The couple finally parted ways mutually in 2016 but were yet to effect a divorce before Bourdain died in 2018. Prior to his death, Ottavia and Anthony maintained a cordial relationship and still regarded themselves as a family despite living separately.

Meanwhile, the latter started dating American actress and film producer, Asia Argento, before his demise. He, however, made it clear they will never marry. He got along with Argento because they had similar work interests and busy schedules.

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Meet Ariane, Ottavia Busia’s Daughter With The Late Celebrity Chef

Ottavia Busia had a daughter with Anthony Bourdain named Ariane. She was born in 2007, the same year the couple married. At 4, Ottavia started taking her daughter to Judo and Jiu-jitsu classes. She currently lives with Ariane in New York City where Ariane is presently attending high school.

Ottavia Busia
Ottavia Busia and Anthony Bourdain (left); their daughter Ariane Bourdain performing at DROM (left)

Ariane Bourdain is part of a band; she performed at DROM in NYC, a few months after her father’s sudden death. When he was alive, Anthony Bourdain loved Ariane very dearly, always speaking of her with much passion and tenderness.

She was in fact, the brightest side of his life. Now, Ariane is the major beneficiary of his wealth which is an estimated $1.6 million estate.

What She Did for a Living Before Becoming an MMA Fighter

Ottavia Busia was born in Sardinia Island, Italy. Her birth date is not available at the moment. However, she was possibly born around the late 1970s since several sources claim that Bourdain, who died at 61, was 22 years older than her.

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Busia grew up in a small town called Lombardy, located in northern Italy. She was pursuing a dentistry career until 2000 when she could no longer resist the urge to join a U.S-based rock band she had earlier fallen in love with. She consequently relocated to the United States.

On getting to the States, Busia worked in various restaurants to make ends meet including Sette Moma, Orsay, Le Bernardin, Café des Artistes, Serafina, and lastly, Geisha where she worked as general manager. Prior to her relocation, she had worked as a waitress in a pizzeria in Italy.

She Embraced MMA to Regain Her Pre-pregnancy Body But Got Stuck

Ottavia Busia’s probably never imagined she would settle for a career in mixed martial arts but pregnancy can be a life-changing experience in a lot of ways.

You don’t need to be told that a woman’s body is bound to face many transformations while they are pregnant. Some of these changes like weight gain and belly bulge can be very visible. So it was for Busia after she gave birth to her daughter Ariane in 2007.

Unhappy with what has become of her body, Ottavia decided to do something about it. She learned that going through mixed martial arts training would help her regain her body, so she embraced it; however, she never imagined that she would come to embrace it as a career.

The initial goal was to get back in shape but at some point, Busia thought it wise to pick up some self-defense skills. She, however, fell in love with the sport and started training in Jiu-jitsu. According to Busia, this has changed her life a lot, both physically and mentally, boosting her confidence in ways she is very proud of.

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