Ariel Winter’s mom denies abuse allegations; says she caught daughter with older man

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Ariel and her mom. (Splash News)

The bad blood between “Modern Family” actress Ariel Winter and her mother Chris Workman has only gotten worse. One day after it was revealed that the 14-year-old had been removed from her home because of alleged physical and emotional abuse, including slapping and withholding food, the stage mother has dropped a bombshell. Workman tells Celebuzz that Ariel only asked a judge to remove her from her mother’s care because of her relationship with an 18-year-old man.

In a statement, Workman says that she “caught them engaging in behavior that I feel my daughter is too young mentally and physically to understand. I put a stop to it immediately.” She adds that she pressed charges against the unknown teenager. It’s unclear if the man in question is Ariel’s boyfriend, 18-year-old actor Cameron Palatas. “I filed charges against him because legally he is an adult and if he wants to engage in adult behavior with a minor than he should also be ready to suffer adult consequences for his actions and poor judgment,” says Workman. “I will not apologize for protecting my daughter, as she means the world to me and I will always be there for her and I will always protect her to the best of my ability until the day I die.”

Workman also notes that her eldest daughter, Shanelle Gray, who accused her mother of similar abuse 20 years ago when she was a young actress, came “out of the woodwork” after it was reported that the cast members of “Modern Family” were getting pay raises. During the October 3 hearing, where a judge placed Ariel under the temporary care of her 34-year-old sister, it was also mandated that Gray take over her sister’s finances from Workman. “She has only seen her little sister maybe 10 times in the last 14 years,” says Workman of Gray, who never returned to the family home after spending two years in foster care as a teen.

“They have no relationship,” Workman says of her daughters, “and her motives are not out of love, but out of spite. She had problems as a child and she and I have maybe seen each other a dozen times in the last 20 years. I made a conscious decision years ago to distance her from the family because of the lies she told on me so many years ago. I never wanted her unstableness to effect [sic] Ariel or anyone else in the family.”

Workman is due back in court on November 20.

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