By Carla Zanoni
An affair, family drama and cocaine may have contributed to the ultimate suicide death of the reality show chef and restaurateur Joseph Cerniglia, who leapt to his death from the George Washington Bridge this week.
Earlier this summer, Cerniglia was found nearly dead by police after a cocaine overdose, the New York Post reported.
Police found 39-year-old Cerniglia "sweating profusely, shaking and in need of medical assistance," reported the Record of Hackensack.
After being treated, Cerniglia, who was featured in a 2007 episode on Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares," was later arrested for being under the influence of narcotics, reported the Post.
Despite his marriage to Melissa Cerniglia, the chef was reportedly having an affair with his 27-year-old pastry chef, Jessica Marotta, before he jumped to his death on Monday, Sept. 27.
Rumors of a troubled family life and marriage surfaced as the family mourned Cerniglia’s death at a memorial service in Wayne, New Jersey, on Wednesday.
Family members said Cerniglia and his wife had "been separated for some time," reported the Post, but no legal documents were filed.
Melissa had settled a $12,500 lawsuit against Cerniglia’s father and stepmother after she claimed their dog had attacked her son in January 2007, the same year Cerniglia appeared on the Ramsey reality show.