'Our hearts are broken': Surgeon ex-husband of ABC News health reporter Dr. Jennifer Ashton jumps to his death from the George Washington bridge

The ex-husband of ABC News' Chief Women's Health Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton tragically took his own life on Saturday in New Jersey.

Dr. Robert C. Ashton Jr., 52, a noted thoracic surgeon, tragically jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge, The Fort Lee Daily Voice reported. 

Authorities said his body was recovered from an area of 'Palisades Interstate Park along the Hudson known as Hazard's Dock shortly after he jumped around 8:40am on Saturday.'

Sources tell DailyMail.com Robert and Jennifer, who was previously a contributor to The Doctors and was named the first-ever Chief Women's Health Correspondent for The Dr. Oz Show in 2016, amicably divorced and remained friends.

He was the thoracic surgery director at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and chief thoracic surgeon at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Robert had reportedly lived across the street from Jennifer's home, as they have two teenage children, Alex and Chloe, together.

In making the announcement about his death on social media, Jennifer wrote a heartbreaking post about his 'generosity and kindness.'

'Our hearts r (sic) broken that the father of my teenage children took his own life yesterday,' she wrote.

'As an MD he helped so many and we will remember his warmth generosity and kindness.

'We know that many families struggle everyday with depression while others like us don’t have any warning.

'We hope by sharing some of Rob’s story it will save others the heartache we feel. You are never alone. Pls (sic) get help. May he Rest In Peace'.

In a note ABC News president James Goldston sent to staff, he wrote: 'Team - I have very sad news to share. Dr Jen Ashton's ex-husband, Rob, passed away suddenly this weekend, taking his own life yesterday.

'He leaves behind his beloved family, including their two teenage children. Rob was deeply loved by his family and friends and the countless people he helped in his many years as a physician.

'Jen and her children are heartbroken, but they know many families struggle with depression, some for years while others, like them, have no warning.

'They hope by sharing some of Rob's story it will save others the heartache they feel.

'Jen is taking this time to grieve and care for her family. Please join me in keeping them all in your thoughts and prayers. James'.

Robert received his medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and had been in practice for more than 20 years.

Jennifer is a board-certified practicing obstetrician and gynecologist, who is affectionately referred to as your all-in-one 'BFF/Ob-Gyn', according to her website.

She earned her medical degree from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in 2000, and a Master's of Science Degree in Nutrition from Columbia University in 2016.

The mother-of-two is the author of three books, as she also has a private medical practice she founded in New Jersey.

Tragic: Dr. Robert C. Ashton Jr., the ex-husband of ABC News' Chief Women's Health Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton (pictured together above) tragically took his own life on Saturday in New Jersey

Surgeon jumps from bridge after divorce from TV personality wife

A top local surgeon and the ex-husband of ABC News’ chief women’s health correspondent killed himself by leaping off the George Washington Bridge, it was reported Sunday.

Dr. Robert Ashton, 52 — who was divorced from Dr. Jennifer Ashton two weeks ago — jumped from the span around 8:40 a.m. Saturday, the Fort Lee Daily Voice said.

The pair lived across the street from each other in Fort Lee, which is in the shadow of the bridge.

“Our hearts r broken that the father of my teenage children took his own life yesterday,” Jennifer Ashton wrote on her Facebook page Sunday.

“As an MD he helped so many and we will remember his warmth generosity and kindness.”

Although she didn’t specify what drove her ex to suicide, Jennifer Ashton said his death should serve as a wake-up call to anyone with a loved one suffering from depression.

“We know that many families struggle everyday with depression while others like us don’t have any warning,” she wrote. “We hope by sharing some of Rob’s story it will save others the heartache we feel. You are never alone. Pls get help. May he Rest In Peace.”

Robert Ashton had been a thoracic surgery director at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, according to the Daily Voice, and chief thoracic surgeon at Hackensack University Medical Center.

His body was recovered at Hazard’s Dock in Palisades Interstate Park.


ABC Health Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton's Ex-Husband Commits Suicide: 'Our Hearts Are Broken'

The man who jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge on Saturday has been identified as the ex-husband of an ABC News’ health correspondent, PEOPLE confirms.

Thoracic surgeon and Fort Lee, New Jersey resident Dr. Robert C. Ashton, 52, jumped at around 8:40 a.m., a Port Authority Police spokesperson told PEOPLE.

His body was later recovered from an area of Palisades Interstate Park along the Hudson River known as Hazard’s Dock, according to the Fort Lee Daily Voice.

According to the local outlet, his death came two weeks after his divorce from TV medical personality Dr. Jennifer Ashton, who serves as ABC News’ chief women’s health correspondent.

Jennifer, 47, took to Instagram on Sunday to share a heartfelt tribute.

“Our hearts [are] broken that the father of my teenage children took his own life yesterday,” she wrote. “As an MD he helped so many and we will remember his warmth, generosity and kindness. We know that many families struggle everyday with depression while others like us don’t have any warning. We hope by sharing some of Rob’s story it will save others the heartache we feel. You are never alone.”

“[Please] get help,” she pleaded. “May Rob Rest In Peace, forever in our hearts.”

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