Ariel Winter (Getty Images)
Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY
Ariel Winter's on-screen Modern Family is a laugh riot. But off-screen, her real modern family is troubled.
Winter's mother, Chris Workman, is denying allegations that she abused her actress daughter, 14, who plays smart Alex Dunphy on the hit ABC series.
Court papers filed on Oct. 3 claim Winter's mother, Chrisoula Workman, has been physically and emotionally abusive to her daughter.
"It's all untrue, it's all untrue," Chris Workman tells People.com.
In court papers, Winter accuses her mom of "ongoing physical abuse (slapping, hitting, pushing) and emotional abuse" that included name-calling and insults about her weight.
A judge granted Ariel's older sister, Shanelle Gray, temporary guardianship and ordered Workman not to contact her daughter until a Nov. 20 follow-up hearing.
Also at issue is money: E! reports that Winter wanted her sister to appointed Ariel's personal guardian and head of her estimated $500,000 estate, both for the teen's physical safety and because Workman is currently receiving the checks from her daughter's TV work and is in charge of her Coogan account (money that by California law is set aside for child actors for when they reach adulthood). Gray also alleges that Ariel is estranged from her father, Glenn, and he is incapable of properly caring for her.
But Workman tells People, "I have my doctor's letter that my daughter's never been abused. ... I have stylists' letters that she's never been abused."