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Gordon Ramsay Reality Show Contestant Found Dead In Hudson River

The body of a man who was once featured on Gordon Ramsay's 'Kitchen Nightmares' reality show has been found in New York City's Hudson river.

Joseph Cerniglia, 39, the chef-owner of 'Campania' in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, was pulled from the water on Friday of last week after police responded to a 911 call -- not long after another caller reported seeing a man jump from the George Washington Bridge.

It took a couple of days for authorities to identify the body as that of said of Cerniglia. The cause of death is still under investigation, but "no criminality" is suspected.

If the case is ruled a suicide, Joseph would become the second Gordon Ramsay reality show participant to commit suicide.

Rachel Brown, who competed on 'Hell's Kitchen', shot herself to death in her family's Dallas home in 2007 -- one year after coming in fifth on the show.

Cerniglia was facing deep debt while struggling to keep his New Jersey restaurant, when he appeared on 'Kitchen Nightmares' in 2007.

"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," he told Ramsay on the episode. "I owe my purveyors about $80,000 right now in cold, hard cash... I can't see us going on another year."

"Your business is about to f---king swim down the Hudson," Ramsay said eerily.

Cerniglia's family posted a message on his Facebook page "to thank all of the friends who have sent their condolences." They also asked for donations to support his widow and their three sons.

September 28, 2010 |

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