This makes the Dunphy clan look downright functional. Ariel Winter, the 14-year-old who plays the adorably geeky Alex Dunphy on the ABC comedy, was removed from her mother’s care shortly after papers were filed in Los Angeles on Oct. 3 alleging that her mother-turned-manager, Chrisoula Workman, was physically and emotionally abusive. (The papers claim Winter’s mom has hit her, insulted her weight, and engaged in “vile name-calling.” The actress is temporarily in the custody of her older sister, Shanelle Gray, 34, and has continued work on the sitcom.)
In a response filed Nov. 8, Workman denied the charges and claimed that Winter fabricated the allegations because she disapproved of her daughter’s older boyfriend. “I have loved and cared for Ariel in all her physiological and emotional needs,” said Workman — who also served as “momager” for Gray (a soap opera vet) and her son Jimmy Workman, now 32, who played Pugsley Addams in the 1991 Addams Family movie. Winter and her family are due back in court on Nov. 20 to establish permanent guardianship.