The off-screen family drama continues for Modern Family star Ariel Winter. The 15-year-old, who plays brainy middle child Alex Dunphy on the hit ABC sitcom, has spent the better part of the last two years caught up in custody battles.
This sad saga began when Ariel’s mom, Chrisoula Workman, lost custody of her daughter in 2012 after allegations of physical and emotional abuse. Chrisoula’s attempts to regain custody last month also failed. In the meantime, custody was granted to Ariel’s sister, Shanelle Gray, an arrangement brother Jimmy Workman now wants changed.
Jimmy, who played Pugsley Addams in The Addams Family movies, claims Shanelle is no more equipped to raise Ariel than Chrisoula is. According to TMZ, Jimmy claims Shanelle “has a history of drugs, has appeared in public ‘almost nude revealing her private parts,’ and is having Ariel spend exorbitant amounts of money on a party lifestyle.” She is also “poisoning Ariel against her family, especially her mother.”
Shanelle’s lawyer Mike Kretzmer told TMZ, “The allegations are nothing new. We will handle them in court. Shanelle has taken excellent care of Ariel to date. It's interesting how Jimmy and [Chrisoula] talk about repairing their fractured family, and then make allegations like this.” The court date has been set for the fall.
For her part, Ariel seems happy with Shanelle. Just two weeks ago she shared a pic of the two of them together, writing “Happy birthday to the most amazing mister, (sister/mommy) on the planet @shanelle_gray ! I love you so much.”
We’re wishing Ariel the best as she rides out this storm!