Food Network star who ‘beat adopted daughter, 3, to death’ claims girl died from drinking too much water

A FOOD Network star who allegedly beat her adopted daughter to death claimed that the girl died from drinking too much water.

Ariel Robinson, who starred in the Food Network's Worst Cooks in America, and her husband Jerry Robinson have both been arrested in connection with Victoria Smith's death.



During a virtual hearing on Friday, prosecutors said that the foster mom told first responders that she believed the three-year-old had drowned from drinking too much water, WHNS-TV reported.

She went on to claim that she performed the Heimlich maneuver on the child after believing she was choking, and pressed on her stomach, that probably caused bruising to the toddler's abdomen, according to the outlet.

However, the Greenville County Coroner's Office determined that Victoria died from blunt force injuries.

Ariel, 29, also claimed that bruising found on her daughter Victoria body was caused by her seven-year-old son.

Victoria died in January from multiple injuries caused by blunt force trauma, according to an autopsy.

She had dark bruises on her abdomen, abrasions on her face, and bruising on her back, ears, and both legs.

An arrest warrant for the couple said that they issued a "series of blunt force injuries" to the little girl, but each parent blamed someone else.

During the hearing, Ariel's defense claimed that, as well as the CPR the mom gave Victoria after she fell ill, bruising was partly caused by her brother.


On Friday, the judge denied Ariel Robinson's $40,000 request.

Ariel's husband Jerry, however, had a very different story to tell the court, and implicated his wife in Victoria's abuse.

During an interview with police, Jerry, 34, said that he had never hit Victoria, but Ariel would "spank" and "beat" the girl "with different things, including a belt, paddle, flip flop, or whatever."

Jerry said that his wife did hit the child on the day she passed away.

A judge presiding over Ariel's case ruled that she be held without bond on Friday.

The Robinsons had taken Victoria and her two brothers into their home last March, and were reportedly in the final phases of the adoption process.

They also have two sons of their own.

It's unclear at this time if any of the other children have been abused.

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