Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares Contestant Commits Suicide

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September 28, 2010 | 11:35am EST

A New Jersey restaurateur featured on celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s U.S. TV show Kitchen Nightmares has committed suicide.

Joseph Cerniglia, 39, was found floating in New York’s Hudson River last week after officials received a call about a man jumping off the city’s George Washington Bridge. His death was ruled a suicide, reports the New York Post.

Cerniglia, a married father of three, opened up about his personal troubles and debt-ridden Fair Lawn, New Jersey restaurant, Campania, when he appeared on Kitchen Nightmares in 2007.

He told the TV host, “I’m financially in trouble – the debt of the restaurant alone is overwhelming. My personal debt – wife, kids, mortgage – that’s a lot of debt. I owe my purveyors about $80,000 right now in cold, hard cash… I can’t see us going on another year.”

Cerniglia is the second chef to commit suicide after appearing on one of Ramsay’s cooking shows. Rachel Brown, 41, shot herself at her family’s Dallas, Texas home a year after appearing on Hell’s Kitchen in 2006.

Ramsay had not yet issued comment as WENN went to press.