Ariel Winter, the 14-year-old actress who portrays Alex Dunphy on TV’s ABC comedy hit “Modern Family,” was ordered removed from her family home yesterday based upon allegations of emotional and physical parental abuse. Court papers were filed accusing the teen’s mother, Crystal Workman, of “ongoing physical abuse.”
The nature of the abuse was described as slapping, hitting, pushing – plus name-calling and personal insults regarding the 14-year-old’s weight.
TMZ reported that an Oct. 3 guardianship hearing resulted in Ariel’s mother temporarily losing custody of her daughter. Additionally, Crystal Workman was ordered to stay 100 yards away from the young actress and not to have any contact with her until the next court hearing scheduled for Nov. 20.
The judge also decreed that Ariel be placed under the temporary care and guardianship of her older sister Shanelle Workman who is also an actress.
It’s also been reported that the older sister Shanelle was removed from her mother’s home almost twenty years ago under similar abusive circumstances. Shanelle was not only removed from Crystal Workman’s home, but also ended up in foster care for more than two years.
Shanelle Workman never returned to her mother’s home.
USA Today quoted Crystal Workman as saying “it’s all untrue, it’s all untrue.”
There’s also the sticky issue of the young actress’s earnings and estate, valued at approximately $500,000.
The mom is the one receiving her 14-year-old daughter’s checks from the “Modern Family” TV show, and is also in charge of her daughter’s estate earnings. By law, all child actors must have money set aside in a Coogan account which is to be saved for them until they reach adulthood. Crystal Workman has access to that account.
An independent attorney has been appointed to oversee Winter’s interests in the case.
Ariel Winter had her first acting job in a Cool Whip commercial at age six, and picked up her first television role at age 7 in an episode of “Listen Up!”
For more on Ariel, see the video accompanying this article.
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