Ariel Winter plays studious, down-to-earth Alex Dunphy on ABC’s "Modern Family," but the actress may not be as innocent as the character she plays on TV, according to court documents filed by her mother.
Her mom, Chrisoula Workman, says she caught the 14-year-old engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior with her 18-year-old Disney-star boyfriend Cameron Palatas and the incident sparked a bitter custody battle.
Last month, a judge granted Shanelle Gray, Winter’s adult sister, temporary guardianship of the 14-year-old because Gray made allegations that Workman was physically and emotionally abusing her daughter.
Workman is objecting to the abuse claims, and court documents she filed last week say that her relationship with her daughter soured when she demanded that Winter stop seeing Palatas after catching them in a sexual act.
“Despite Ariel’s occupation, she is still a growing teenager experiencing hormonal changes and desires. This became evident when I caught Ariel and Cameron engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior, which is when I became adamant that she end her relationship with him. Out of concern for Ariel. I notified the police since Ariel is a minor and Cameron is over 18 years of age. Ariel is rebelling and using this Guardianship to get out from underneath my guidance and supervision to her sister’s care, which would in essence allow her to continue her relationship with Cameron,” wrote Workman in her petition objecting to Gray’s guardianship.
Workman also claims in her petition that she has an estranged relationship with Gray, and Winter is using her relationship problems with Gray to remove herself from her custody.
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“Over the past 14 years, I have seen Shanelle no more than 20 times, and Ariel has seen Shanelle no more than 14 times, if that. Additionally, I have never abused Ariel, and Shanelle’s allegations of abuse are clearly fabricated as she has not had a relationship with either of us to know or assess me and Ariel’s relationship,” wrote Workman. “Shanelle is an aspiring actress, who has not had as much success as Ariel and thus is using this as an opportunity to get her 'foot in the door.'"
READ FOR YOURSELF: Workman’s petition objecting to Gray’s guardianship
A hearing is scheduled for November 20 to determine who will be Winter’s guardian.