"Modern Family" actress Ariel Winter's mom denies abuse claims
Ariel Winter attends the premiere of "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1" at The Paley Center for Media, in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sept. 24, 2012. / AP
The mother of "Modern Family" actress Ariel Winter has denied accusations she was physically and emotionally abusive to her 14-year-old daughter and is asking a judge to reject an attempt to strip her of custody.
Chrisoula Workman filed an objection to guardianship proceedings for the actress on Thursday and states she would be willing to undergo joint counseling with her daughter if it helped resolve the case.
Winter, who plays middle child Alex Dunphy on the hit ABC sitcom, has been living with older sister Shanelle Gray since early October, when a judge temporarily stripped Workman of custody and ordered her to have no contact with her daughter until a Nov. 20 hearing.
The ruling came after attorneys for Gray stated in court filings that Winter has been the subject of ongoing physical and emotional abuse, enduring slaps and insults from her mother.
"I have never slapped or hit Ariel," Workman wrote in a court declaration. "I love Ariel very much and will do whatever is in her best interest."
She called recent family turmoil the result of "a teenager's rebellion."
"The court granted a temporary guardianship and I think any rational person will realize that the court simply doesn't see the sky falling but has some basis for granting a temporary guardianship," said attorney Michael Kretzmer, who represents Gray. "The matter hasn't been fully adjudicated and everybody will have their chance."
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department confirmed to E! News that there is an open investigation being conducted by their special victims unit, but would not disclose any details because Winter is a minor.
The court has appointed an independent attorney to represent the interests of Winter, who has been an actress since age 7. She 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."
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