Joe Cerniglia, owner of New Jersey restaurant Campania, killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge on Friday—and the reason everyone is talking about it is because Cerniglia was featured on an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, which makes him the second person to commit suicide after being featured on one of Gordon Ramsay’s reality shows, following the 2007 death by self-inflicted gunshot of Hell’s Kitchen contestant Rachel Brown.
Which doesn’t mean anything, really: Despite the New York Post’s citing of a rather unfortunately phrased quote from Ramsay (“Your business is about to fucking swim down the Hudson,” he told Cerniglia, whose body was later pulled from that very river), this is again little more than a coincidence—especially considering Ramsay seemed to have turned Cerniglia's restaurant into a “thriving” hit. By its very premise, Kitchen Nightmares regularly features people who are on the brink of personal tragedy, as the massively in-debt Cerniglia certainly was. Like the incident with Brown, this is just a sad ending to one person’s story, but their unfortunate connection to Ramsay does underscore, once again, how much reality television depends on desperate (and occasionally unstable) people.
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