Rachael Ray's Family Feuding After Aunt's Death; Ray's Brother Defends Famous Sister

Celebrity chef Rachael Ray's family is in a feud after the death of her aunt, Geraldine Scuderi. Several family members have claimed that Ray was callous and her side of the family uncaring about the death, but Ray's brother is speaking out and defending his sister.

"It's sad that Rachael's getting dragged into this when she really has nothing to do with it," Emmanuel "Manny" Ray told Radar Online. "She works very hard, and not only does she work for herself, but everyone she cares about. The people that work for her, the people around her, including [Geraldine's] family. She's been very good to them and I'm sorry they've decided to degrade it for this."

Geraldine, 77, reportedly left the home of Ray's mother in order to feed the birds, and got locked out of the house. When she couldn't get back in, she was forced to stay in the cold and even though the official cause of death was listed as a heart attack, her daughter believes that the cold contributed to her death.

"My mother is dead today because (the) Ray family neglected her," Rachael's cousin, Gina Mesnick, told the National Enquirer. "I want the world to know the truth about them and just how they treat their own family… Mom was paid $300 to house-sit for her sister five days a week – but was never given a key."

Mesnick went on to state that there was security footage showing Geraldine trying to get back in the house. Ray's brother, though, has defended his sister and family.

"It's touchy," Manny told Radar. "I know that Gina is the one who kind of sparked this whole thing. It's upsetting. There were actually apologies made to us from certain people at the funeral [from the public backlash]. We love them dearly, and this is just one of those things that families go through."

Ray's reps told USA Today that she missed the funeral due to work commitments and that she and her family were "shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic and untimely passing of her aunt in late November. Rachael's mom was the nearest in age to Geraldine among her nine brothers and sisters, so of course they were extremely close and spoke daily. She was deeply loved and cared for by all."