‘Top Chef’ Star Justin Sutherland Arrested For Allegedly Threatening to Shoot Girlfriend; Food Network Star Denies Accusations But Will Enter Treatment Program

Trigger Warning: This story contains details of domestic violence that may be disturbing to some readers. 

Top Chef star Justin Sutherland is currently facing criminal charges for allegedly threatening to shoot his girlfriend last week, Page Six reports. 

According to the outlet, Justin– who has appeared on numerous food-focused reality shows including Fast Foodies and Chopped,as well as his own show, Taste the Culture with Justin Sutherland— is also accused of squeezing the (unnamed) woman’s neck during the incident, which occurred in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The celebrity chef was ultimately arrested and charged with one count of felony threats of violence–reckless disregard risk, according to a statement of probable cause. 

The criminal complaint obtained by the outlet claims that the victim informed police that Justin pointed a gun at her and struck her in the chest with it while allegedly shouting, “Don’t come back here or I am going to shoot you.”

She alleged that Justin then put his hands around her neck and squeezed for several seconds while allegedly stating, “I could kill you.” 

Justin has denied making the threats against his girlfriend, while his attorney, John Daly, told People that the victim’s complaint is “riddled with falsehoods” and that she only made the accusations against his client after realizing their “relationship was coming to an end.” 

“Mr. Sutherland vehemently denies all the allegations in the complaint,” he stated. “He never threatened to shoot anyone. He did not physically assault his girlfriend. He looks forward to the truth coming out as the court process unfolds.” 

In a statement issued to Bring Me the News, Justin denied that he committed the crime he’s accused of; however, he revealed that he is choosing to get professional help.

Over the weekend I found myself in a situation where I was taken into custody and accused of a crime,” Justin’s statement reads. “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. Notwithstanding, this incident has made me realize the urgent need to seek professional help and make significant changes in my life. I am committed to making amends and seeking treatment. Once again, I offer my sincerest apologies to everyone affected by my behavior.

“Thank you for your support and understanding during this difficult time while we wait for the truth to come forward and further prove my innocence.”

A rep for Chef Sutherland added to the statement, stressing that Justin is not a flight risk, or a danger to the community. The rep confirmed that Justin will “voluntarily enter a treatment facility to get the professional assistance necessary at this point in time.”

The rep did not reveal what type of treatment facility Justin would be heading to.

Justin– who appeared on Season 16 of ‘Top Chef’ (Top Chef: Kentucky) and won Iron Chef: America— has already lost one partnership because of the arrest. Bring Me the News reports that Mpls.St.Paul Magazine announced in an article posted Tuesday that it was cutting ties with Justin.

“Sutherland has been in partnership with on our fall barbecue festival, formerly known as Smoke Out, since 2018,” the article reads. “As of today, that partnership is dissolved, and we will be going forward with a food festival under a new name.” 


As fans may recall, Justin last made headlines back in July 2022 after he fell off of a boat and hit a propeller during a July 3 outing, sustaining severe injuries to his face, as well as his arm. At the time, the chef documented his road to recovery on social media, which required multiple surgeries. 

In February 2023, Justin showed off his new boat propeller tattoo.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Justin Sutherland (@chefjustinsutherland)

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!” he wrote in the photo caption. “This boat prop almost took my life. Now it’s a constant reminder of the gratitude I have to still be living, the immense amount of support I received during one of the hardest points in my life, and to live every day to its fullest. We aren’t promised tomorrow…..”

Justin was released without bail on Monday, and is facing a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine if he’s convicted of the crimes he’s been charged with.

RELATED STORY: Former Food Network Host Valerie Bertinelli Says “It’s Sad” The Network Isn’t “About Cooking & Learning Any Longer” 

(Photos: Instagram; Food Network) 

5 Responses

  1. Didn’t do anything wrong, but enters rehab. Sure Jan. Mpls has a long history of propping up criminals. Hopefully, that stops.

  2. this is a lot worse than what was reported here… read these two articles. he busted out her windshield 2 days earlier too. and according to many local women, hes (allegedly) raped and sodomized many women in previous years as well. once the probable cause affidavit is released, that will likely tell even more.



    praying his gf sees the light and gets out.

  3. They didn’t drug test him when he fell off the boat?
    Seems like a drug related incident to me.

    1. He ran. He was drunk not on drugs. MN covers his ass a lot. Maybe now they won’t, threatening your girlfriend with a gun doesn’t fit the MN star picture.

  4. This guy is a clown. For some reason a lot of the MPLS news outlets coddle him. Glad MPLS/St. Paul magazine cut ties. Now maybe more will see the light about what he’s really like. Ask anyone who’s ever worked for him, they hate him.

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