Celebrity chef Justin Sutherland criminally charged in alleged domestic incident

 July 7, 2024

A well-known personality from the culinary and entertainment worlds has found himself facing potentially serious legal trouble in the wake of a recent domestic incident.

Celebrity chef Justin Sutherland, whose credits include stints as a judge on Top Chef and Chopped and as a contestant in Iron Chef America, has been charged with a felony tied to an assault and a threat to shoot his girlfriend, which some say could have ultimately ended in her murder, as CBS News reports.

Details of incident

It was on Monday that the Ramsey County Attorney's Office leveled the aforementioned charge against Ramsay in response to a call made to police on Friday evening about a man who was reportedly standing outside a building with a gun.

According to the caller, the individual in question, later identified as Sutherland, was wielding the weapon and that a female nearby “appeared to be in distress.”

Another caller revealed that the woman was speaking on the phone to her sister, declaring that her boyfriend was attempting to kill her, at which point the male grabbed the device and threw it onto the ground.

Police arrived on the scene, spotted Sutherland, and after a brief interaction, took him into custody.

A subsequent interview with Sutherland's girlfriend contained her allegation that the celebrated chef had put his hands around her throat and choked her for several seconds before he grabbed a gun, pointed in her direction, and threatened to pull the trigger.

Career fallout begins

Though Sutherland's journey through the justice system on this charge has just begun, the damage to his career is already starting to unfold.

As Deadline reports, a St. Paul nonprofit organization announced last week that it is dissolving its partnership with the chef, which was meant to foster a new concept for an endeavor known as Golden Thyme Coffee and Cafe.

That news came on the heels of word from Mpls.St. Paul Magazine that it had also ended its partnership with Sutherland.

Since 2018, the magazine and the chef had worked collaboratively on a yearly barbecue festival known as “Smoke Out,” but the publication now intends to move forward with a new event under a new name.

Sutherland responds

Through his attorney, Sutherland has denied that any physical attack on his girlfriend occurred and stated that the allegations against him were false.

In a statement issued from his team, Sutherland said, “Over the weekend, I found myself in a situation where I was taken into custody and accused of a crime. I deeply regret putting myself in that position and the pain and distress caused to those around me. I sincerely apologize to my family, friends, and fans. I am innocent of these charges and look forward to using the judicial system to prove my innocence.”

If he is ultimately convicted on the charge he currently faces, Sutherland could be given a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and/or a fine upwards of $10,000, in addition to the devastating professional consequences with which he has already been hit.

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