Report Finding 'Modern Family' Star Ariel Winter Was Emotionally Abused Presented in Court
UPDATED: The parents of the actress have issued a statement calling for the "reunification" of the family.
The guardianship battle over Modern Family star Ariel Winter continues.
A judge ruled Tuesday that the 14-year-old actress would remain in a temporary guardianship with her adult sister for several more weeks after the court was presented with a report finding evidence she had been abused by her mother.
The L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services report recommends a judge permanently strip guardianship from Winter's mother, finding Chrystal Workman emotionally abused her, TMZ reports. Allegations of physical abuse were found to be “inconclusive.”
Winter was removed from her home Oct. 3 amid allegations of abuse and placed in a temporary guardianship with her 34-year-old sister, Shanelle Workman. Her sister, also an actress, was removed from Chrystal Workman’s care under similar allegations 20 years ago and was placed in foster care for two years.
Chrystal Workman is accused of belittling her daughter’s looks, saying "her ears were too big and she looked ugly in her clothes," as well as restricting her diet, according to TMZ sources.
On Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas set a Dec. 12 court date to determine if the guardianship with Shanelle Workman would be made permanent.
Giving Winter's sister a permanent guardianship has been contested by Winter’s father, Glenn Workman, who argued late Monday that his income was adequate to support both him and his daughter, even if she were not working. He also alleged Ariel’s older sister was trying to manipulate her into turning against the rest of the family.
Chrystal Workman, who is estranged from Winter's father and her elder daughter, made similar allegations in a statement last week:
"As for my estranged daughter, who has come out of the woodwork once it was announced that the kids on the show got a big raise recently, I will only say this, she has only seen her little sister maybe 10 times in the last 14 years, they have no relationship, and her motives are not out of love, but out of spite," she said in a statement last week.
On Tuesday, she and Winter's father issued a joint statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
“We want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. We feel that today was a small victory for our family. We are one step closer to reuniting with our daughter and we were both in court today to let her know we love her and will always be there for her," the statement reads. “Even the judge today agreed that reunification is so important for a family and while Ariel is still temporarily with her sister for now, we remain hopeful that she will be home soon.”
Winter has played Alex Dunphy on ABC's Modern Family since the show's launch in 2009. She also voices the title role in Disney’s animated movie Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess, which premiered Nov. 18 on Disney Channel.
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