The 14 year old was removed from her mother Crystal Workman's home by a U.S. judge following claims of ongoing physical and emotional abuse. During a legal hearing in Los Angeles last month (Oct12), the young actress stated she was subjected to "slapping, hitting, pushing" and "vile name-calling and personal insults" for an extended period of time.
Winter's mother has vehemently denied the accusations, and now she claims her alleged attempt to stop the actress dating an older man is the root of the drama.
In a statement to Celebuzz.com, Workman writes, "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.
"My fourteen-year-old daughter has been dating an eighteen-and-a-half-year-old man, and when I caught them engaging in behaviour that I feel my daughter is too young mentally and physically to understand and fully grasp I put a stop to it immediately.
"Being a teenager 'in love' I thought (Ariel) would cry and sulk and eventually her broken heart would heal. I would have never of dreamed, that she would take it to this level."
Workman claims she took legal action against the unidentified 18 year old over fears for her daughter.
She adds, "I filed charges against him because legally he is an adult and if he wants to engage in adult behaviour with a minor then he should also be ready to suffer adult consequences for his actions."
Winter's sister Shanelle Gray has been granted temporary guardianship of the teenager, who has also obtained a protective order against her mum. It will remain in effect until a court hearing set for 20 November (12).
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