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Mom of 'Modern Family' teen star accused of abuse

  • Article by: ANTHONY McCARTNEY
  • Associated Press
  • November 7, 2012 - 4:44 PM

LOS ANGELES - The mother of "Modern Family" star Ariel Winter has temporarily lost custody of the actress amid claims she's been physically and emotionally abusive to the teenager, court records show.

The allegations are contained in a guardianship petition filed last month in Los Angeles by Winter's 34-year-old sister, Shanelle. A judge ordered the 14-year-old's mother, Chrisoula Workman, to stay away and have no contact with her daughter until a Nov. 20 hearing. Winter's sister, also a TV actress, was appointed as a temporary guardian but does not have access to Winter's earnings, according to the judge's order.

Winter, who started acting in films and TV shows at age 7, currently plays Alex Dunphy on the hit ABC comedy.

Winter's mother was accused in the filings of "ongoing physical abuse" described as slapping and hitting, as well as name-calling and personal insults. Reached by phone, Workman said she was in the process of hiring an attorney.

An independent attorney has been appointed to oversee Winter's interests in the case.

Attorneys handling the guardianship had sought to transfer control of the young star's earnings from an account her mother can access to a blocked account. A judge did not grant that request, but it may be renewed at a later date.

Winter 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."

The filing was first reported by celebrity website TMZ.

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

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