Ariel Winter Removed from Mother's Custody After Hearing

At Tuesday's hearing, the 14-year-old Modern Family star was ordered to stay with her older sister until her case goes to trial

Modern Family star Ariel Winter will not be spending Thanksgiving with her allegedly abusive mother. On Tuesday, a judge ruled that Winter, 14, should remain under her older sister Shanelle Gray's temporary guardianship, until her case goes to trial in December.

Winter's mother, Chrisoula Workman, has been accused of physically and mentally abusing the teen actress by Gray, who is petitioning for permanent guardianship. In her court filing, Gray claimed that her younger sister was subject to "vile name calling, personal insults about [her and her weight], attempts to 'sexualize' a minor," and "deprivation of food" by their mother. Now, a report from child protective services has concluded that Workman was indeed emotionally abusive towards Ariel. Child protective services reached no conclusion about the alleged physical abuse -- which Gray described as pushing, shoving and slapping -- but the emotional abuse alone was enough to convince the judge that Winter should get out of that house. (Workman also has previous abuse claims against her; Gray, too, was removed from her home as a child.)

The ruling is a strike against Workman, who has claimed that Winter fabricated the abuse claims to get revenge on her mother after Workman forced Ariel to break up with her 18-year-old boyfriend. "She was telling me she was going to make me pay, and she has," Workman said during an October court hearing. 

But Gray's attorney painted a different picture during Tuesday's hearing, saying that people on the Modern Family set have expressed concern about their costar, even sneaking her food when her mother wouldn't let her eat. "Not for one second is this the picture of a rebellious teen," said the lawyer for the actress' sister.

Just to complicate matters, Ariel's father Glenn Workman has filed his own objection to Gray's guardianship, saying that he -- not his older daughter, and not his ex-wife -- should have custody of Winter. "I want to provide for her a calm loving home environment that is a retreat from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood; a place where she can think and relax without any distractions," Glenn Workman wrote in his own filing. "This whole situation has turned into a circus and places Ariel in a position she should not have to be in."

A trial will take place on Dec. 12 to determine whether Winter's sister should have permanent guardanship, which would also include control over Ariel's $500,000 estate.

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