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Ariel Winter I Didn't Pay a Penny For My Sick New Home

4/24/2013 11:59 AM PDT
15-year-old "Modern Family" star Ariel Winter is moving on up ... into a big new house with her big sister ... and TMZ has learned, Ariel didn't pay a cent for it.

Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ, the San Fernando Valley house was paid for entirely by Ariel's sister Shanelle Gray and Shanelle's hubby David Barry Gray, a wealthy heir to the Pepsi fortune.  The couple has plenty of dough -- they're both working actors and have a successful business on the side.

TMZ broke the story ... Ariel refuses to even speak to her mother Chrystal Workman, who was stripped of her parental rights last year when a judge found she had been emotionally abusive.

Ariel Winter I WON'T Talk To My Mom

3/29/2013 12:09 PM PDT

Ariel Winter's lawyer told a judge today, the "Modern Family" star wants NOTHING to do with her mother ... and won't even sit in the same room with her.

Ariel's guardianship case was back in court, and mama Chrystal Workman complained ... her daughter refuses to do therapy with her mom.  Chrystal wanted the judge to force Ariel into therapy with her mom, but the judge nixed the request.

The judge said he couldn't force a teenager to have a relationship with her mom if she doesn't want it.  

As we previously reported .... 15-year-old Ariel is now under the guardianship of her sister Shanelle Gray, after Ariel complained she was being physically and emotionally abused by her mom.  The court found emotional abuse and stripped Chrystal of her parental rights.

Ariel hasn't spoken with her mom in 5 months -- when the guardianship was created.

'Modern Fam' Star Julie Bowen Time to Pick Sides in Ariel Winter Custody War

1/7/2013 7:45 AM PST

3:00 PM PT -- Sources directly connected with the cast and crew at "Modern Family" tell TMZ ... they're upset by the intimation that Julie is not supporting Ariel's current arrangement -- living with her sister.  We're told "the entire show" is behind the temporary guardianship and believes Ariel is better off.

The TMZ newsroom is DIVIDED!!!! And it's all over this clip of "Modern Family" star Julie Bowen commenting about the guardianship surrounding her co-star Ariel Winter.

Here's the deal -- Bowen was leaving a Golden Globes party in Hollywood last night when we asked if she was happy Ariel was removed from the custody of her mom and placed with her older sister.

Bowen's response was interesting ... "Ummmmmmm ... if she's happier, then I'm happier."

It wasn't a hard "yes" ... but it wasn't a "no" either.

Some people in the newsroom (Harvey) think the answer shows Julie believes Ariel's allegations that her mom was abusive ... and believes she's better off with her older sister.

But other people in the newsroom (everyone else) ... thinks the way Julie made the comment shows she DOESN'T think Ariel's better off ... and gave a politically correct, vanilla response to avoid revealing how she truly feels.

Listen to how Julie says it.  Then, we gotta ask ...

Ariel Winter I'm Going to School For the First Time

1/4/2013 7:00 AM PST
Ariel Winter's about to do something she's never done before -- attend high school like a normal kid, and get this ... she can't wait to go ... TMZ has learned.

The "Modern Family" star is now enrolled in a private school in the L.A. area and will start attending classes later this month ... sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ.

It's a big change for Ariel because we're told she's always been privately tutored.

According to our sources, producers at "Modern Family" are "thrilled" and will happily schedule shoots around the girl's classes.

We're told Ariel has been "flourishing" in her sister Shanelle Gray's home, where the rules are strict.  Sources say Ariel's happier than ever, and producers have noticed a big, positive change in her mood.

As we previously reported ... Shanelle became Ariel's temporary guardian after allegations surfaced that her mother, Chrystal Workman, was emotionally abusing her.

Ariel's attorney and father now have control over her considerable finances -- $75,000/episode -- as per a settlement hammered out last month.

We've got 2 words for Ariel: cafeteria lunches.  

Good luck!

Ariel Winter Feeling Like a Kid Again

12/28/2012 5:45 AM PST
With her guardianship situation settled for the moment, Ariel Winter spent yesterday acting like an actual 14-year-old girl by going go-karting in Burbank.

Winter's sister, Shanelle Gray, cemented her role as temporary legal guardian earlier this month, with her lawyer and dad now in control of her finances. 

A hearing to make the guardianship permanent is set for March.  Let's hope she gets in as much kid time as possible until then.

Ariel Winter Dad Now Controls Her Estate ... With Conditions

12/12/2012 10:45 AM PST
Breaking News

Ariel Winter
's dad now has control over her estate -- namely her finances -- which was part of the settlement struck today outside the courtroom ... BUT the dad can't make a move without dealing with a group of professional advisers who work directly for Ariel.

Glenn Workman just got the green light from the judge to manage Ariel's money. Interesting ... considering Glenn filed a declaration in the case calling Ariel "my retirement surprise child." But here's the deal ... Glenn can't make business decisions without first discussing them with Ariel's lawyer, Blair Berk and others. If he disagrees with the advisers, a judge is the tiebreaker.

Under the terms of the settlement, Ariel's sister, Shanelle, will remain the guardian of Ariel, meaning Ariel's mom, Chrystal, has been cut out of everything.

The move is temporary, but could become permanent in March.

The settlement was struck before a court fight over the guardianship ... a fight that promised to be ugly.

After today's settlement, Ariel's brother Jimmy Workman told reporters his family would be seeking therapy and counseling to get back together. Jimmy said his father is "happy and thrilled" with the settlement and so is his mom.

We also asked if Ariel's relationship with her older boyfriend would continue from here -- and Jimmy replied, "I hope it doesn't. This young man is over the age of 18. He should know better. It's completely disgusting that he does this."

Ariel Winter Settlement With Mom in the Works

12/12/2012 9:05 AM PST

9:14 AM PDT
:  Based on our sources and conversations at the courthouse, it's becoming clear ... Ariel's sister, Shanelle, will become her guardian and the mother will essentially lose custodial rights.

Sources tell us Ariel Winter and her mother, Chrystal Workman, have worked out a settlement in the "Modern Family" star's guardianship case -- and attorneys for both sides are hammering out details right now ... TMZ has learned.

We're told the lawyers are in the courthouse where a hearing was scheduled to go down today ... possibly to determine if Ariel's mom or her older sister Shanelle Gray would be granted permanent guardianship.

Chrystal is waiting outside the courtroom, and just said loudly ... "They're stripping everything from me."

Shanelle has been Ariel's guardian since allegations surfaced back in October that Chrystal was emotionally and physically abusing Ariel.

Story developing ...

Ariel Winter Back with Her Other 'Family'

12/10/2012 8:00 AM PST

While her mother and her sister battle it out for custody, 14-year-old Ariel Winter returned to the place where she's needed the most ... the "Modern Family" set.

Winter was spotted in L.A. a few days ago, taping a scene with castmate Sofia Vergara.

During the shoot, Winter was carrying a mystery cooler, Vergara was carrying an iPhone and the gay uncles probably were out doing something stereotypically flamboyant.

As we previously reported, Sofia ... just like Ariel's older sister Shanelle ... has posed for a few racy photos in her career, like the one below (taken last week).

Wait, what were we talking about ... ?

Ariel Winter's Sister Grilled Over Drug Use by Mom's Attorneys

12/10/2012 5:00 AM PST

Ariel Winter
's sister -- and current guardian -- sat down for a deposition with her mother's attorneys, and was hammered with questions about drug use ... TMZ has learned ... but the questions for the most part netted the history of your average Joan.

Shanelle Gray was grilled last week by Chrystal Workman's attorneys in the ongoing guardianship case for the "Modern Family" star -- and sources connected to Shanelle tell us she was asked if she ever took drugs ... specifically, cocaine.

We're told Shanelle said she tried cocaine only once -- either in 2005 or 2006 -- at a Hollywood party. She thought someone laced it with something bad ... because she got sick.

We're told Shanelle told the attorneys she went to the hospital as a precautionary measure, and was released that same night.

We're also told Shanelle copped to spending a "few days in jail" in Virgina, when she was 19  ... in connection with a reckless driving incident.

And our sources say Shanelle was asked if she ever got a DUI. We're told she said she was pulled over in LA in 2005 or 2006 and was given a ticket on a night when she had "one glass of wine." She says the judge eventually threw out the ticket because her blood alcohol level was so low.

Sources close to Chrystal tell us her attorneys plan to use Shanelle's depo info during the guardianship hearing ... in an attempt to show she is not a suitable role model or guardian for Ariel.

Ariel Winter's Mom Threatens to Sue Publicist Over Nude Photos Claim

12/7/2012 1:18 PM PST

Ariel Winter's mother, Chrystal Workman, has fired off a cease and desist letter to the publicist who claimed Chrystal demanded he leak nude photos of her eldest daughter -- however she does admit sending him scantily clad pics.

TMZ obtained a copy of the letter sent to Jonathan Hay ... in which Chrystal's attorney warns him to stop "making false and defamatory statements" because, "Ms. Workman never represented to Mr. Hay that nude pictures existed of her daughter Shanelle."

But in the same letter Workman admits sending Hay 2 photos of Shanelle Gray, which she says she found on the Internet -- and while they're not fully nude ... they are very revealing.

But it turns out the photos were NOT private or secret in any way ... they were taken at a cast party for "One Life to Live" by a professional photographer. FYI -- Shanelle was in the cast when the pics were taken.

In the cease and desist letter Workman's attorney says, "The attached email contains pictures which raise the question, to Ms. Workman, whether Shanelle is fit to be the guardian of a teenager."

As we previously reported, Hay had claimed Ariel's mother sent him nude photos which she wanted leaked to the public -- presumably to smear Shanelle ... who's taken guardianship of Ariel in the wake of allegations Chrystal was abusing the "Modern Family" star.

Hay has responded to Chrystal's letter with a letter of his own in which he claims Chrystal herself "described these photos to me as 'nude photos' before I even saw them." He also points out the photos "expose intimate parts of [Shanelle's] body."

Hay closes his letter with a major jab at Chrystal, saying ... "I feel terrible that a 14-year-old child has to suffer the consequences of her own mother's unfortunate decisions."

Ariel Winter's Mom -- I Do NOT Have Naked Photos of My Daughter

12/6/2012 1:55 PM PST

Ariel Winter
's mother Chrystal Workman insists ... she does NOT have any nudie pics of her daughter Shanelle Gray -- despite allegations Chrystal tried to leak them to the media.

Chrystal said, "I have no naked photos of my daughter."

As we previously reported, a Hollywood publicist named Jonathan Hay claims Chrystal contacted him this week, and said she had nude photos of Shanelle she wanted to secretly release to the public.

TMZ broke the story ... a judge awarded Shanelle guardianship of 14-year-old Ariel in October after allegations Chrystal was emotionally and physically abusing Ariel.

Hay claims he refused to help Chrystal because he felt she was trying to "sell out her daughter."

Ariel Winter Case Publicist Claims Mom Tried to Leak Nude Pics of Sister

12/5/2012 4:40 PM PST
Exclusive Details

Ariel Winter
's mother recently attempted to leak nude photos of Ariel's sister Shanelle Gray through a Hollywood publicist -- this according to the publicist himself, who could end up playing a critical role in the battle for custody of Ariel.

Jonathan Hay tells TMZ ... Chrystal Workman -- the "Modern Family" star's mother -- contacted him this week, and said she had nude photos of Shanelle she wanted to secretly release to the public.

TMZ broke the story ... a judge awarded Shanelle guardianship of 14-year-old Ariel in October after allegations Chrystal was emotionally and physically abusing Ariel.

Hay claims Chrystal hounded him all week about leaking the pics -- which he says are 8 or 9 years old -- but he refused because he felt like Chrystal was trying to "sell out her daughter" ... and he wanted to help Ariel.

Hay says he's already been contacted by a member of Ariel's legal team -- but adds at this point it's unclear how much of a role, if any, he will play in the case.

Hay says he would have no problem filing a declaration in support of Ariel -- but says he has not been asked to do so yet.

Ariel's case will be back in court on December 10.

Ariel Winter's Sister Money Isn't the Motive ... Because She's LOADED

11/22/2012 8:00 AM PST

Ariel Winter
's sister may have declared bankruptcy more than a decade ago, but her fortunes have changed dramatically ... as in there is no way in the world she needs Ariel's money ... TMZ has learned.

Shanelle Gray is married to David Barry Gray ... who is an heir to the Pepsi fortune. His grandfather was one of the founding members of Pepsi Cola.

David's grandfather, Philip Rubenstein, owned 23 of the original Pepsi plants and, with the help of a guy named Al Steele, took the company nationwide. Rubenstein served as the President of Pepsi Cola in the 1950s and amassed a fortune.

As for what happens to the untold millions of dollars ... Rubenstein died in 1997 and was survived by his wife, 2 daughters and 6 grandchildren, one of whom is David.   Rubenstein's wife died in 1998. Short story -- David -- an actor who played the role of Todd Palin in the Emmy-winning HBO movie "Game Change" -- is in line to inherit a big chunk of the family money.

Family dough aside, Shanelle and David are doing well with their 2 acting businesses  -- Gray Studios in L.A. and Gray Studios in Orange County. The business is so successful, it's expanding to NYC next year.

And Shanelle -- who gave up a fairly successful acting career to raise their 2 daughters -- is now back in the acting game and getting gigs.

Short story -- it seems Chrystal Workman, the mother of Ariel and Shanelle -- doesn't know much about her older daughter, who was taken away from her years ago and placed in foster care. It would seem she has no idea Shanelle is more financially secure than the entire cast of "Modern Family."
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