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Guardianship extended for ‘Modern Family’ star
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge determined Tuesday that teen actress Ariel Winter’s mother should not regain custody of the “Modern Family” star and that the 14-year-old should remain in her sister’s care for the next several weeks.
The judge set a Dec. 12 trial date to determine whether Winter should be placed in a permanent guardianship.
“I guarantee if it stays here, it will get better,” the judge said. He said the Department of Children and Family Services could still choose to file its own case, which would remove it from his jurisdiction.
Winter’s mother has denied all accusations that she was abusive to her daughter.
“Even the judge today agreed that reunification is so important for a family, and while Ariel is still temporarily with her sister for now, we remain hopeful she will be home soon,” Chrisoula and Glenn Workman wrote in a statement released Tuesday evening.
Levanas said Glenn Workman’s filing was in conflict with statements he gave to investigators and that he could not give him custody of the young actress. He also noted that Glenn Workman described his estranged wife to investigators as “controlling and driven.”
“A controlling mother does not mean she’s unfit,” Chrisoula Workman’s attorney Anita Gumm said in court Tuesday. Gumm said after the hearing that the allegations of emotional abuse would also be proven false.
Gray was also taken from Chrisoula Workman’s care in the 1990s amid accusations of abuse. Chrisoula Workman contends Gray was a rebellious teen who left home and that she is contending with a similar situation with Winter, who has been acting since age 7 and stars as Alex Dunphy on the hit ABC series “Modern Family.”
“Not for one second is this the picture of a rebellious teen,” Kretzmer said during the hearing.
“The allegations made by Ariel are false,” said Gumm. “We really feel she’s just a rebellious teen and wants her independence. It’s our hope that the court terminates the guardianship. Both parents want Ariel home. Shanelle is not suitable to be a guardian.”
Guardianship cases in California are public record. Attorneys for Winter’s sister requested the case and its proceedings be sealed, but a judge refused. The case was filed under Winter’s birth name, Ariel Workman, in part to avoid attention.
Although The Associated Press does not generally name underage victims of abuse, Winter’s name is being used because it is included in the public guardianship case.
“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. “This whole situation has turned into a circus and places Ariel in a position she should not have to be in.”
Winter’s credits include appearances on several TV series, including “ER” and “Phineas and Ferb,” and movies such as “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” “Ice Age: The Meltdown” and “ParaNorman.”
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP.
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