LOS ANGELES -- A judge is scheduled to wade into the messy familydynamics of teen actress Ariel Winter and determine whether the Modern Family star should stay away from her mother, who has been described in court filings as physically and emotionally abusive.
Ata hearing Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas will considerwhether the 14-year-old should continue living with her sister, who hastemporary guardianship of the actress.
The judge will have moreinformation to consider than he did on Oct. 3, when he temporarilystripped Chrisoula Workman of custody of her daughter. Workman hasdenied all accusations of abuse and filed more than two dozendeclarations from friends, acquaintances, stylists and others who saythey've never witnessed any abuse.
Winter'sfather, Glenn Workman, also filed an objection to the guardianship lateMonday, stating he wants a better relationship with his daughter andwould be willing to care for her.
Winter has been in the care ofher adult sister, Shanelle Gray, who was removed from ChrisoulaWorkman's care in the 1990s amid accusations of abuse. Chrisoula Workmancontends Gray was a rebellious teen who left home and that she iscontending with a similar situation with Winter, who has been actingsince age 7 and currently stars as Alex Dunphy on the hit ABC series"Modern Family."
People on the show's set are concerned aboutWinter's wellbeing and have been sneaking her food, according toin-court statements by Gray's attorney, Michael Kretzmer.
Gray's filing states Chrisoula Workman has repeatedly slapped Winter and engaged in emotional abuse, including name-calling.
"Theallegations made by Ariel are false," said Chrisoula Workman's attorneyAnita Gumm. "We really feel she's just a rebellious teen and wants herindependence. It's our hope that the court terminates the guardianship.Both parents want Ariel home. Shanelle is not suitable to be aguardian."
Glenn Workman's filing Monday does not address theabuse allegations, but states he believes his daughter should bereturned to live with Chrisoula Workman, or that he be allowed to raiseher.
"I want to provide for her a calm loving home environmentthat is a retreat from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood; a place whereshe can think and relax without any distractions," Glenn Workman wrote."This whole situation has turned into a circus and places Ariel in aposition she should not have to be in."
Kretzmer declined to comment on Glenn Workman's filing.
Hehas previously told The Associated Press that it is unfortunate thatthe case became public, but that Winter was removed from her mother'scustody for good reasons. "The court granted a temporary guardianship,and I think any rational person will realize that the court simplydoesn't see the sky falling but has some basis for granting a temporaryguardianship," he said last week.
During a contentious courthearing Workman lashed out at Gray, called Kretzmer a moron and accusedWinter of screaming her and hitting her.
"I think what we've gotis a situation that's not healthy, at least for a temporary ... basis,"Levanas said in early October. He ordered child welfare workers toconduct an investigation and appointed an attorney to represent Winter'sinterests.
Workman's attorney has also scheduled a deposition ofGray for early December, and a review of Winter's finances will beconducted. Currently, Gray has no access to Winter's money, some ofwhich should be in a special account meant to protect the earnings ofchild actors.
Gumm and Workman have cited Gray's finances as areason why she should not be granted guardianship of her sister. ButKretzmer denied last week that money was an issue in the case.
"There'sno truth whatsoever to Shanelle obtaining this guardianship forpurposes of advancing her career or for some other personal gain,"Kretzmer said. "Shanelle is successful and has done very well in her ownrights. This is a tragedy for her, too."
Winter has been acting since age 7, appearing in several TV series, including ER and Phineas and Ferb, and movies such as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Ice Age: The Meltdown and ParaNorman.