Mother of ‘Modern Family’ Star Ariel Winter Loses Control of Daughter’s Money, Career

By ABC News

Dec 13, 2012 12:00pm

The mother of the teen actress who plays Alex Dunphy in the hit sitcom “Modern Family” lost temporary control of her daughter’s finances and career Wednesday amid allegations of emotional and physical abuse.

Ariel Winter, 14, was removed from the home of her mother, Chrisoula Workman, in October. The teen has been living with her sister, 34-year-old Shanelle Gray, ever since.

Winter has said that her mother physically and emotionally abused her. Accusations had surfaced that, while on the set of  the popular ABC production, Workman berated her daughter and called her fat.

Workman denied the allegations, saying in a statement: “I love my daughter very much. 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.”

But Judge Michael I. Levanas ruled Wednesday that Workman stay away from any of Winter’s work sites unless she got written permission from Winter and from Gray, who was named the girl’s temporary guardian, according to court documents obtained by ABC News.

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The judge also ordered that Workman step down, for now, from her role as president and secretary of Winter Sky Entertainment, the family’s entertainment company, further ordering that Workman “have no contact with nor in any way interfere”  with her daughter’s professional relationships and business contacts.

Glenn Workman, Winter’s father and Chrisoula Workman’s estranged husband, will now help manage his daughter’s finances.  Winter reportedly makes $75,000 per week.

Speaking of the ruling, Sunny Hostin, an attorney not involved with the case, told ABC News: “It certainly says in no uncertain terms that her mother cannot be a part of her finances, a part of her work environment, a part of her projects, really a part of her life.”

The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services is urging the judge to give Gray permanent custody of her sister. Gray also claimed she was abused by Workman nearly two decades ago.

“The fact you have not one, but two children saying the same thing; no judge is going to look the other way,” Hostin said.

The Children and Family Services department concluded that Workman emotionally abused Winter, but called the claims of physical abuse “inconclusive.”

The judge also ordered therapy for the family. A court date on the issue is scheduled for March as a check-in on her guardianship status.

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