Food Network host arrested after allegedly strangling ex-wife

 January 11, 2024

Food Network personality Darnell Ferguson has been arrested after allegedly strangling his ex-wife. 

The celebrity chef, 36, allegedly broke into the victim's home, choked her until she lost consciousness and threatened to kill her.

He was charged with burglary, strangulation, terroristic threatening, assault, menacing, criminal mischief and theft-receipt of a stolen credit or debit card.

During the January 2 break-in, Ferguson allegedly punched the walls before grabbing the victim and squeezing her neck until she passed out.

Food Network host charged

When she regained consciousness, Ferguson tore off her shorts, demanded to see her genitals and told her "she was his and no one else's."

The victim told police she feared she would be sexually assaulted.

"When victim regained consciousness, she was on the floor and [Darnell] then ripped off the victim's shorts, causing a scratch to victim's upper thigh," the arrest warrant says. "After ripping victim's shorts, [Darnell] demanded to see victim's private area and told victim she was his and no one else's."

Ferguson then grabbed the victim's credit cards and ID before fleeing the scene. St. Matthews Police took photographs of her injuries, which included "redness, scratches and pain to her neck and a scratch to her upper thigh," the arrest warrant says.

The police said there are limits to what they can share given the sensitivity of the case.

"In all our cases, we try to be transparent with the public and media. Given the sensitive nature of domestic violence incidents and the fact this is still an open investigation, we are restricted in the details which can be released regarding the circumstances and information about the victim."

Free on bail

Ferguson pled not guilty and was set free after posting a $10,000 bail Wednesday.

The victim, who shares three children with Fergusion, does not want to press charges, according to Ferguson's attorney. But prosecutors say it's not unusual for domestic violence victims to refuse cooperation with the authorities.

"They may think they want to reconcile but ... these are very serious allegations, and we have concerns," Assistant Jefferson County Attorney Cristin Southard said. "Recantation, minimizing, those are all parts of the cycle of domestic violence."

Ferguson, a former drug dealer, was in and out of jail six times before breaking into the restaurant business and eventually, a television career.

His last business, the Drippin' Crab, closed down in 2022.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based chef hosts Superchef Grudge Match.

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