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Hughes' daughter defends him against new abuse claims

In 2010, former child star Sarah Monahan accused Hughes - who played her father in hit sitcom Hey Dad! - of acting inappropriately towards her during filming in the early 1990s, a claim he vehemently denied.

Hughes' niece Melinda O'Donnell came forward over the weekend (12-13Mar11) with her own allegations, accusing the veteran star of indecently touching her when she was a child.

Now Hughes' daughter Jessica has spoken out about the claims, insisting money is the real motive behind the accusations.

She says in a statement, ""I am appalled and outraged about claims made on national television regarding my father and my childhood...

""My father is a good man and I have had nothing but a happy, safe and supportive family life. I have no doubt that the allegations against my father are untrue.

""For my father to have his reputation destroyed for the sake of a ratings war is something no reasonable person should find acceptable. One has to question the motives of people reportedly paid to give interviews now, having never spoken before.

""I hope my father takes the appropriate action against the people who have jumped on this apparently lucrative bandwagon for their 15 minutes of fame.""

Monahan has threatened to take legal action against Hughes as police still continue to investigate her claims, while the actor has also threatened to sue over the allegations.