A New Jersey restaurateur once featured on Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares — who was told by the TV chef, 43, that his debt-ridden eatery was "about to swim down the Hudson" — has committed suicide.
The body of 39-year-old Joseph Cerniglia was found floating in the river after jumping off the George Washington Bridge in NYC, the New York Post reports.
Cerniglia, a married dad of three, owned Campania in Fair Lawn, NY, and was said to be deep in debt.
While on Kitchen Nightmares, the hotheaded Ramsey once told Cerniglia: "Why did you become a chef-owner if you haven't a clue how to run a business?"
On the show, Cerniglia lamented, "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." Sobbing on the show, his wife added, "If this business fails, we will lose everything."
Cerniglia's family posted a message on his Facebook page, thanking "all of the friends that have sent their condolences" and asking that donations be sent to support his widow and their three sons.
Cerniglia is the second chef to commit suicide after appearing on one of Ramsay's cooking shows.
Rachel Brown, 41, shot herself in her family's Dallas home a year after appearing on 2006's Hell's Kitchen.
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