SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. — The Food Network has pulled the 20th season of its “Worst Cooks in America” after last year’s winner was arrested in the murder of a 3-year-old girl.
Ariel Robinson, 29, and her 34-year-old husband, Jerry Robinson, were charged on Jan. 19 with homicide by child abuse in the death of their adopted daughter, Victoria Smith, WYFF reported, citing Greenville County jail records.
Ariel Robinson was the competition show’s Season 20 winner, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Arrest warrants allege the couple inflicted “a series of blunt force injuries” to the child, who died in a South Carolina hospital, WJW reported.
In a news release, the South Carolina’s Simpsonville Police Department confirmed a young victim was admitted to Prisma Health Richland Hospital and pronounced dead earlier this month after authorities found the child unresponsive. Investigators later concluded that “the victim’s death was the direct result of physical abuse.”
According to the Times, the “Worst Cooks” season featuring Robinson, who won $25,000, is no longer available to stream on Discovery+, Hulu or YouTube and episode recaps featuring that season’s contestants have been scrubbed from the Food Network’s website.
In an August 2020 interview, Robinson told WYFF that the competition show’s prize money would be used to help her and her husband care for the three children they had recently adopted.
“I just know that the Lord had his hands on me, and he had a purpose for me to go on there,” Robinson told the TV station following the win. “He knew we were going through this adoption, we really could use the money, and he just let everything work out for our good.”
If convicted, the Robinsons could face sentences of 20 years up to life in prison.