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Ariel Winter

Breaks Down in Court

During Mom's Sappy Home Video

5/5/2014 9:04 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0505_arial_winters_chrystal_workman_tmz_3"Modern Family" star Ariel Winter broke down in tears in court just moments ago ... after her mom played a schmaltzy home video of Ariel's childhood memories.

Chrystal Workman played the video for the courtroom as a weird last ditch effort to get her daughter to change her mind about living with her older sister Shanelle ... instead of with her mom.

Chrystal told the court she would relinquish her bid to reclaim her parental rights over Ariel -- after a judge stripped her of custody in 2012 -- if Ariel agreed to watch the video ... which she did.

The home video contained piano instrumentals and pictures from Ariel's childhood -- as a baby, from school, of the whole family together, and more.

Ariel, Shanelle, Chrystal, and several other members of the Workman family were in tears as the video played -- but Ariel didn't change her mind ... and the judge signed off on Shanelle's permanent guardianship.

As we reported, Ariel had accused her mom back in 2012 of emotionally and physically abusing her. Ariel's been living with her older sister Shanelle ever since.

'Modern Family' Creator

Allegedly Uses Show Stationery

To Free Ariel

4/3/2014 3:54 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0403_ariel_winter_Steve-Levitan_tmz_getty"Modern Family" creator Steve Levitan is being dragged into Ariel Winter's gnarly custody battle ... and it's all because Steve allegedly wrote a letter to authorities saying she should be free -- ON "MODERN FAMILY" LETTERHEAD!

Ariel's mom Chrystal Workman filed court docs claiming Levitan recently wrote an emancipation letter to dependency court on her daughter's behalf -- and claims he had the nerve to write it on the show's stationery.

Workman says she wants to grill him in court for sticking his nose in family business.

We reached out to Levitan ... but he had no comment.

Ariel Winter

My Broken Family Can't Be Fixed

3/11/2014 1:46 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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"Modern Family" star Ariel Winter says she will never have a relationship again with her mom and her older brother ... this according to one of her text messages.

The text -- obtained by TMZ -- was filed in Ariel's guardianship case.  She was texting her older brother Jimmy who has sided with their mother in the battle over Ariel.

Ariel, who is now under the guardianship of her sister, wrote, "How dare you say you miss me ... if you really wanted to see anyone and cared, you'd do a 180."

And then she goes in for the kill:  "I'm sorry, what we've been through can't be fixed."

Ariel's mom filed the document, trying to prove Ariel suffers from PAS -- Parental Alienation Syndrome -- and their family is being destroyed as a result of the guardianship.

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Ariel Winter's Mom

Gunning for Entire 'Modern Family' Cast

2/13/2014 1:13 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0213_modern_family_abcAriel Winter's mom wants to drag the entire cast of "Modern Family" into a custody war ... trying to force them on the stand and tell the judge she's not a terrible mother. 

Chrystal Workman wants a small village of witnesses to testify, including Ed O'Neill, Julie Bowen, Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Angela Gould and Diane Rodriguez.

Workman also wants ABC Network Prez Paul Lee and show producer Steve Levitan.

In all, Workman wants to call 83 witnesses.

And get this ... she doesn't have a lawyer so she would be grilling them herself.

If it happens ... Ariel will turn 18 before the trial is over. Thing is ... the judge has pretty much made it clear ... ain't gonna happen.

Ariel Winter

Keep Your Hands Off My Money, Mommie Dearest

1/28/2014 12:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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"Modern Family" star Ariel Winter's mother got caught with her hand in the cookie jar ... allegedly breaking a court order by handling thousands of dollars worth of paychecks intended for her daughter.

Ariel's father Glenn Workman filed court docs claiming Chrystal Workman cashed one of Ariel's residual checks for $4,266.79 -- but here's the thing ... he's NOT accusing her of stealing the money.

According to the docs, Chrystal immediately deposited the money into an account for Ariel's production company. However, Ariel's dad says the 2012 agreement that gave him sole control of Ariel's finances prevents Chrystal from having anything to do with their daughter's earnings.

Glenn's worried Chrystal might have even fatter checks in her possession -- such as Ariel's "Modern Family" cheddar.

He's asking the court for a cease and desist order ... forcing her to hand over all checks, and blocking her from doing it again.


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Ariel Winter

Back In Court Fighting Mom

Now Dad's On My Side, Too

10/3/2013 12:18 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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"Modern Family" star Ariel Winter now says her father is taking HER side -- opposing her mother, Chrystal Workman, in the battle over Ariel.

Ariel says in court docs -- obtained by TMZ -- daddy Glenn is happy that her big sis Shanelle is Ariel's guardian.  Up to this point Glenn sided with his estranged wife. 

Ariel doesn't say why her dad has flip-flopped, but it's interesting ... he's not asking to become the responsible parent.  He's happy that Shanelle has assumed that role.

There was a hearing today ... nothing set in stone, but the judge said when everyone goes to court to fight it out over who gets custody of Ariel ... his inclination is that Ariel should NOT be forced to testify, because she's a 15-year-old girl and forcing her on the stand could be psychologically detrimental.

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Ariel Winter's Mom

DUMPED By Lawyer

She's Too Difficult

10/2/2013 10:07 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Ariel Winter
's mom now has a fool for a client -- herself -- because her lawyer just quit.

In legal docs, obtained by TMZ, attorney Roy Penuela says there's been a fundamental disagreement between him and Chrystal Workman ... so he wants out.

Chrystal is fighting to regain custody of the "Modern Family" star, who is now under the care of her older sister after claims of physical and emotional abuse.

Penuela says Chrystal has made it "unreasonably difficult" for him to do his job.  He's also apparently pissed over attorney's fees.

Score one for Ariel.

Ariel Winter's Mom

I Want to Grill Ariel's Shrink

About Oral Sex Chat

9/24/2013 6:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0923-ariel-mother-getty-tmz-3
Chrystal Workman says authorities falsely accused her of talking oral sex to her daughter, "Modern Family" star Ariel Winter -- and she wants to get to the bottom of the claims by putting Ariel's psychiatrist and her attorney on the hot seat.

In her latest legal filing, Chrystal says she wants her attorneys to depose the doc and lawyer in order to defend herself against allegations of sexual abuse she believes Ariel made against her.

According to the docs, 2 investigators from the Department of Children and Family Services interviewed Chrystal on June 19, 2013 -- and asked her if she ever had a conversation with Ariel regarding oral sex with her boyfriend.

In the papers, Chrystal also alleges the DCFS investigators asked if she'd ever given Ariel a very graphic demonstration regarding how to use Monistat 7.

We are paraphrasing, and heavily, because Chrystal's own words in the papers are just that graphic.

Chrystal claims DCFS cleared her of all the allegations of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse.

The upshot ... she now thinks she deserves the right to grill Ariel's attorney and psychiatrist as part of her defense.

The big thing standing in Chrystal's way, of course, is a little something called attorney-client privilege and physician-client privilege.

Ariel Winter

Mother Says Ariel

Claimed Sexual Abuse

9/12/2013 3:47 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0912-ariel-winter-crystal-workman-akmChrystal Workman continues making shocking claims in her bid to undo the court ruling that stripped her of custody of her daughter, Ariel Winter ... now she's raising strange allegations of sexual molestation.

Workman filed legal docs, obtained by TMZ, in which she claims her 15-year-old daughter has accused her of "sexual abuse or sexual molestation."  Workman says, "I adamantly deny these accusations."

Here's the problem ... The "Modern Family" star has never hinted at sexual molestation in her guardianship case.  She has only alleged physical and emotional abuse, so it's confounding as to why Workman is denying something that was never raised in court.

It's possible Workman is inartfully referring to an allegation by Ariel's boyfriend, Cameron Palatas, who said in his deposition, "Chrystal had wanted me to sleep in Ariel's bed."  Palatas was an adult at the time.

But there's more ... Workman also claims her other daughter gave her cancer.  Workman says of Shanelle Gray, who now has legal guardianship of Ariel, "I believe the reason I got cancer was from the stress of the situation Shanelle put me through of missing my child when she was not there..."

Ariel Winter's Brother

If Mom Can't Have Custody

Give It To Me!

8/15/2013 2:55 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Ariel Winter
's older brother has just filed legal docs asking to strip custody of the 15-year-old "Modern Family" actress from her sister ... and award it to him instead ... claiming the sis is an abysmal guardian.

Jimmy Workman -- who played Pugsley Addams in the 90s "Addams Family" movies -- filed the docs in L.A., calling Ariel's older sister Shanelle Gray a bad role model who sexualizes Ariel ... and exploits Ariel's fame and money to promote her acting school.

Jimmy says Shanelle has a history with drugs, has appeared in public "almost nude revealing her private parts," and is having Ariel spend exorbitant amounts of money on a party lifestyle.

What's worse ... Jimmy says Shanelle is poisoning Ariel against her family, especially her mother Chrystal Workman.

Since the court has refused to return custody to Chrystal -- after Ariel accused her of being emotionally abusive -- Jimmy is now asking for custody to be transferred to him.

Shanelle's lawyer Mike Kretzmer tells 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 Chrystal talk about repairing their fractured family, and then make allegations like this."

For the record, Ariel has basically said she wants nothing to do with her mom and loves being with Shanelle. A court date has been set for October.

Ariel Winter's Mom

Loses Bid to Reunite

With Daughter

7/31/2013 11:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Ariel Winter
's mother Chrystal Workman won't get the chance to reunite with her daughter ... at least for the foreseeable future, TMZ has learned.

Chrystal filed docs recently asking to get her daughter back -- after the court stripped her of custody last year -- but the judge in the case refused ... extending the temporary guardianship of Ariel's older sister Shanelle instead.

You'll recall, Shanelle has been Ariel's guardian since last year, when Chrystal lost custody over allegations that she was emotionally abusive to the 15-year-old "Modern Family" actress.

According to the new court order, Chrystal "presented no evidence that there were any changes or repair of damage to their relationship" -- which has completely fallen apart -- so the judge shot her down.

As we reported, Ariel wants nothing to do with Chrystal whatsoever, and says she loves being with her sister.

Per the order, Ariel will stay under Shanelle's guardianship ... at least pending the outcome of Chrystal's custody trial in September.

'Modern Family' Star

My Mother Is DEAD to Me

5/17/2013 3:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0517-tmz-ariel-winter"Modern Family" star Ariel Winter is throwing DISS after DISS at her birth mom ... making it clear, she wants NOTHING to do with her biological life-giver ever again.

As you know, 15-year-old Ariel has been at war with Chrystal Workman for the past year -- and even got a judge to strip her mother of custody in 2012 after claiming she was subjected to emotional abuse.

Now, Ariel is pouring salt in the wound -- by making public statements in which she makes it clear, her mother is dead to her ... and her older sister Shanelle has filled the emotional void.

When asked about her family yesterday, Winter told People.com, "My sister is the most amazing woman I've ever met in my life. If I could be half the woman she is ... she's kind of who I want to be like."

Did you catch the thinly veiled dig at her mom? If not, check out what she Instagrammed on Mother's Day:

"Happy Mother's Day to my amazing mister, Shanelle Gray. I know everyone is going to ask what a mister is, so I'll explain. It means mom/sister to me."

She continued, "She's my best friend ... She's also the most incredible mother. I am so blessed and lucky to have her."

Translation -- Ariel's over Chrystal ... and from what we're told, she has good reason. How's THAT for a modern family?

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Ariel Winter

I Didn't Pay a Penny

For My Sick New Home

4/24/2013 11:59 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0424-ariel-winter-FF15-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.

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