Mother of 'Modern Family' actress loses custody temporarily amid abuse claims
The cast of 'Modern Family,' from left, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ariel Winter, Julie Bowen, Sofía Vergara, Sarah Hyland, Ty Burrell, background, Nolan Gould, Ed O'Neill, background second left, Rico Rodriguez, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, foreground purple dress, and Eric Stonestreet, right, winners of the best outstanding comedy series, pose backstage at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Nokia Theatre on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Jordan Strauss / Invision)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, November 7, 2012 6:31PM EST
LOS ANGELES -- The mother of "Modern Family" star Ariel Winter has temporarily lost custody of the actress amid claims she's been physically and emotionally abusive to the teenager, court records show.
The allegations are contained in a guardianship petition filed last month in Los Angeles by Winter's 34-year-old sister, Shanelle. A judge ordered the 14-year-old's mother, Chrisoula Workman, to stay away and have no contact with her daughter until a Nov. 20 hearing. Winter's sister, also a TV actress, was appointed as a temporary guardian but does not have access to Winter's earnings, according to the judge's order.
Winter, who started acting in films and TV shows at age 7, currently plays Alex Dunphy on the hit ABC comedy.
Winter's mother was accused in the filings of "ongoing physical abuse" described as slapping and hitting, as well as name-calling and personal insults. Reached by phone, Workman said she was in the process of hiring an attorney.
An independent attorney has been appointed to oversee Winter's interests in the case.
Attorneys handling the guardianship had sought to transfer control of the young star's earnings from an account her mother can access to a blocked account. A judge did not grant that request, but it may be renewed at a later date.
Winter has appeared in several TV series, including "ER" and "Phineas and Ferb," and movies such as "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," "Ice Age: The Meltdown" and "ParaNorman."
The filing was first reported by celebrity website TMZ.