The mother of Ariel Winter, a young star of ABC’s “Modern Family,” is denying allegations that she physically and mentally abused her daughter.
“It’s all untrue, it’s all untrue,” Chrisoula Workman told People magazine. “I have my doctor’s letter that my daughter’s never been abused. ... I have stylists’ letters that she’s never been abused.” She added in an interview with E!: “I would never abuse her in any way, and I have always tried my best to always protect her and do what is right for her. My daughter is in a business that requires you to grow up fast. It’s hard enough being a teenage girl, but it’s even harder when you are in the public eye. However, because you are in the public eye, it doesn’t mean you are no longer in need of good parenting.” A temporary guardianship for Winter, 14, whose real name is Ariel Workman, has been granted to her sister, Shanelle Gray, also an actress, after Winter alleged in a court filing that she was subject to ongoing abuse. A judge last month ordered the actress’ mother to stay away from Winter and have no contact with the minor pending a Nov. 20 hearing on the guardianship and control of at least $500,000 in assets. “Minor Ariel Workman has been a victim of on-going physical abuse (slapping, hitting, pushing) and emotional abuse (vile name calling, personal insults about minor and minor’s weight, attempts to sexualize minor, deprivation of food etc.) for an extended period of time by the minor’s mother, Chrisoula Workman. ...,” her attorneys said in a petition for guardianship. Winter, who first began acting as a seven-year-old, plays Alex Dunphy, the brainy, bespectacled member of the Dunphy clan in “Modern Family.”
As is standard practice in such cases, an attorney is representing the interests of the young actress. To protect her earnings and existing assets, lawyers are seeking to move her money to accounts off-limits to her mother.