Modern Family star Ariel Winter broke down in tears in court on Monday (05May14) as her mother staged a last-ditch attempt to win back custody of her estranged daughter.
Chrystal Workman played home video footage featuring clips of the actress' childhood as she attempted to persuade the TV star to change her mind about living with her older sister Shanelle following a family bust-up in 2012. Her mum told the court she would relinquish her bid to reclaim her parental rights over Ariel if her daughter agreed to watch the video.
Her ploy didn't work, despite the tears, and Winter refused to go home, prompting a judge to sign off on Shanelle's permanent guardianship, according to TMZ.com. Ariel and her mother split after the actress accused her of emotionally and physically abusing her.
Ariel Winter's estranged mother has launched a new legal attack on her daughter, accusing the teen actress of physical abuse. The Modern Family star was removed from Chrystal Workman's care last year (12) amid allegations of emotional abuse, and in July (13), a judge ruled the youngster should continue to stay under the temporary guardianship of her older sister Shanelle.
Winter has previously made it clear to authorities that she does not want any contact with her mum.
Now Workman, aka Chrisoula Workman, has lodged new papers in a California court, vehemently denying her daughter's account of abuse and detailing her own claims against the 15 year old.
In the papers, obtained by Eonline.com, her lawyers allege that Winter "hurled false accusations of abuse against Chrisoula" in a "willy-nilly fashion" after a dispute over her romance with 19-year-old Cameron Palatas, who the teen has since split from.
Workman claims her daughter has lashed out at her on numerous occasions, and she has included supporting statements from Winter's father, Glenn Workman, in a bid to back up her accusations.
Winter's mother is demanding the star sit for a deposition ahead of a planned guardianship court date on 3 October (13).
The 14 year old's sister Shanelle Gray was granted temporary guardianship of the actress in October (12), amid claims the teen was being physically and emotionally abused at home by their mum Chrystal Workman.
The family has been locked in a bitter custody battle ever since and the case was due to head to trial on Wednesday (12Dec12), but an agreement has now been reached, according to the Associated Press.
Winter will continue living with her sibling until at least their next court date on 29 March (13) and her dad, Glenn Workman, who is estranged from his wife, will look after her finances.
The decision comes nearly a month after the TV star's father filed legal papers objecting to Shanelle's guardianship, stating, "I am physically, emotionally, and financially capable of caring for my daughter, without limitation. No evidence has been produced that suggests any detriment to Ariel associated with my father-daughter relationship with her... I am a frugal and modest person with a moderate income who doesn't need Ariel's income to survive."
Meanwhile, Crystal has vehemently denied the accusations against her, telling Celebuzz.com, "I love my daughter very much. I would never abuse her in anyway and I have always tried my best to always protect her and do what is right for her."
The embattled mum insists problems between her and her daughter began when she spoke out about the young actress' romance with an 18-year-old boyfriend.
Chrystal Workman's lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday (10Dec12), stems from a comment Borlenghi is said to have posted online in response to a Los Angeles Times blog story detailing the teen star's family drama.
The article included an allegation by Workman that her daughter's 18-year-old boyfriend had unlawful sex with the 14-year-old actress.
According to the suit, Borlenghi wrote in response, "This is a total falsehood. The mother is grasping and clawing to find a way not to lose her money-maker, and hide the fact that she is an abusive monster. Having spent time with her, and seeing the way she acted adoringly towards the boy, (these) accusations are disgusting, just as she is."
Workman refutes Borlenghi's allegation in her complaint, which seeks unspecified damages and suit costs.
Winter, who plays Alex Dunphy on the Emmy Award-winning show, was placed in the care of her older sister Shanelle Gray after accusing her mum of subjecting her to emotional and physical abuse.
A trial to decide whether Workman will permanently lose custody of Winter is scheduled to start on Wednesday (12Dec12).
The Modern Family star is at the centre of a custody battle after accusing Workman of subjecting her to emotional and physical abuse.
The 14 year old, who plays Alex Dunphy on the Emmy Award-winning show, was placed in the care of her older sister in October (12), and now the case is back in the headlines after publicist Jonathan Hay claimed he had been contacted by Workman and asked to secretly help spread explicit photos of Shanelle to members of the media.
He rejected Workman's reported proposal, but now her lawyers are stepping in to shut him up, reports TMZ.com.
Attorney Nick Pacheco sent a formal demand to Hay on Thursday (06Dec12), requesting he stop making "false and defamatory statements" regarding Workman and her guardianship troubles.
Workman has admitted to questioning whether Shanelle was fit to serve as Winter's guardian by sending two old images of her scantily-clad daughter, which she claims to have found on the internet. However, the embattled mum denies ever suggesting Hay leak them.
Two weeks after Modern Family star was removed from her mother's home following abuse accusations and temporary guardianship was awarded to her sister Shanelle Gray, the family appeared in a Los Angeles County Superior Court Tuesday. And during the hearing, Judge Michael Levanas ruled that Winter is to remain with her sister, People reports.
During the hearing, a Department of Children and Family Services report was presented and it said that the organization had found evidence that Chrisoula Workman, Winter's mom, had emotionally abused her daughter. But, the report also said that Winter's physical abuse accusations were "unsubstantial." The report suggested that Gray be awarded permanent guardianship.
While Workman's attorney tried to get the judge to grant guardianship to Winter's father, Levanas ruled that Winter is better off with her sister. Winter's parents have been separated and her father has not been residing in the family home, so this was the best decision in the judge's eyes. "I have questions about the nature and strength of the relationship with her father," Levanas said.
Levanas has also set a trial date to resolve the matter of Winter's permanent custody.
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[Photo Credit: Adriana M. Barraza/Wenn]
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Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services bosses have told the judge overseeing the teenage actress' guardianship case to let her stay with her older sister indefinitely after concluding that the girls' mother, Chrystal Workman, committed emotional abuse.
DCFS investigators are so determined to keep mother and daughter apart, they have offered to make Winter a ward of the state if the judge rules against awarding Shanelle Gray a permanent guardianship.
In court on Tuesday (20Nov12), Gray's lawyer told the judge his client is keen for her parents and her little sister to undergo family therapy sessions to resolve their issues, according to TMZ.com.
A trial date to determine guardianship has yet to be set.
Gray was granted temporary custody of her sister at the beginning of October (12).
The siblings' mother and other members of the Workman family previously insisted Winter left home to be with Gray after an altercation over a boyfriend.
She denied her daughter's claims that she subjected the actress to ongoing physical and emotional abuse including "vile name-calling" and "slapping, hitting and pushing".
The Modern Family star has accused her mum Crystal Workman of physical and emotional abuse, and the 14 year old's sister Shanelle Workman was subsequently appointed her temporary guardian.
The siblings' dad Glenn Workman has submitted legal papers objecting to Shanelle's guardianship, ahead of a court hearing into the matter in Los Angeles on Tuesday (20Nov12).
In the filing, obtained by TMZ.com, he states, "I am physically, emotionally, and financially capable of caring for my daughter, without limitation. No evidence has been produced that suggests any detriment to Ariel associated with my father-daughter relationship with her...
"I am a frugal and modest person with a moderate income who doesn't need Ariel's income to survive."
Glenn does not comment on the abuse allegations, except to say Crystal's relationship with Ariel is strained, and adds, "I believe Ariel has demonstrated a lot of maturity and is at an age now that she should have more control over her finances."
Meanwhile, Ariel's brother, Jimmy Workman, has also penned a declaration asking the court system to help mend the family's problems.
He writes, "I have never seen any physical or emotional abuse in the home of my parents regarding Ariel. I have seen normal mother and daughter arguments and banter back and forth but nothing more... My position is not to take sides with anyone, but to get this family back where it belongs."
The Modern Family star, 14, has been removed from her home and placed in the temporary custody of her 34-year-old sister Shanelle.
But Bowen tells In Touch magazine she had no idea the teenager was so troubled.
She says, "Never have I seen (what's being reported). That was never my experience (with Ariel and her mum). I watch the news and that's all new to me."
Bowen and Winter have been close for the past three years as co-stars on Modern Family.
Winter's real mum, Crystal Workman, insists her daughter is only retaliating against her attempts to break up the young star and her 18-year-old boyfriend.
James Batistas insists his daughter Chrystal Workman is a "very good mother to all the children" and that he never witnessed any abuse of the Modern Family star.
Winter stated in court last month (Oct12) that she was subjected to ongoing physical and emotional abuse including "vile name calling" and "slapping, hitting and pushing", which Workman denies.
The 14 year old was removed form her mother's home following the allegations and her older sister Shanelle Workman now has temporary guardianship
In a declaration filed in the guardianship case, Batistas writes, "I have never seen any abuse from my daughter or son-in-law towards my granddaughters neither physical nor emotionally."
In the document, Batistas adds that Shanelle lived with him when she was 16 after she also accused her mother of abuse, nearly 20 years ago.
Shanelle was in the foster care system for more than two years before Batistas took custody and moved her to his home in Virginia, according to TMZ.com
Batistas ended his statement by insisting he wants to see his family reunited.