No 'physical abuse' found in 'Modern Family' probe, source says
After several days of investigation, detectives don't believe documentable crimes occurred in the public battle between "Modern Family" actress Ariel Winter and her mother, a law enforcement source said.
L.A. County sheriff's officials have spent the last week probing accusations against Winter and her mother. They plan to submit their findings to prosecutors.
But the sources said they are doubtful any charges will be filed.
Winter's mother claims that her daughter's 18-year-old boyfriend had unlawful sex with the 14-year-old actress. Winter is claiming her mother, Chrisoula Workman, physically abused her.
One source said it is clear the mother and daughter had a rocky relationship. But the source added: "There is no evidence of physical abuse."
The investigations began last month after a judge awarded temporary guardianship of Ariel, whose real name is Ariel Workman, to her adult sister, Shanelle Gray, also an actress. Ariel, through her sister's attorney, alleged in a court filing that she was subject to ongoing physical and mental abuse by her mother.
Three days after Ariel took legal action to split from her mother, Chrisoula Workman reported on Oct. 6 to the sheriff's Crescenta Valley station that her daughter's 18-year-old boyfriend had unlawful sex with the underage actress.Chrisoula Workman contends she discovered her daughter in the guest bedroom of her Montrose home on Sept. 24 in bed with a young man, believed to be 18, according to sources not authorized to discuss the investigation.
The young man was described as the teenage actress' boyfriend of several months, according to the sources. According to sources, both the teenagers have denied doing anything unlawful.
"It's all untrue, it's all untrue," Chrisoula Workman told People magazine. "I have my doctor's letter that my daughter's never been abused. ... I have stylists' letters that she's never been abused."
She added in an interview with E!: "I would never abuse her in any way, and I have always tried my best to always protect her and do what is right for her. My daughter is in a business that requires you to grow up fast. It's hard enough being a teenage girl, but it's even harder when you are in the public eye. However, because you are in the public eye, it doesn't mean you are no longer in need of good parenting."
A judge last month ordered the actress' mother to stay away from Ariel and have no contact with the minor, pending a Nov. 20 hearing on the guardianship and control of at least $500,000 in assets.
"Minor Ariel Workman has been a victim of on-going physical abuse (slapping, hitting, pushing) and emotional abuse (vile name-calling, personal insults about minor and minor's weight, attempts to sexualize minor, deprivation of food etc.) for an extended period of time by the minor’s mother, Chrisoula Workman," her attorneys said in a petition for guardianship.
As is standard practice in such cases, an attorney is representing the interests of the young actress. To protect her earnings and existing assets, lawyers are seeking to move her money to accounts off-limits to her mother.
-- Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein
Photo: Actress Ariel Winter in September. Credit: Richard Shotwell / Invision