On November 19, 2012, in Department 11 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Judge Michael I. Levanas was set to determine whether the Ariel Winter, the 14-year-old teen star of “Modern Family,” should continue living with Shanelle Gray, her adult sister. Shanelle Gray has had temporary guardianship of the actress since October 3, 2012, when Judge Levanas temporarily stripped Chrisoula Workman of custody of her daughter. The issue is ultimately the “Modern Family” star should stay away from her mother, who has been described in court documents as physically and emotionally abusive.
Workman has denied all accusations of abuse and filed more than two dozen declarations from friends, acquaintances, stylists and others saying they never witnessed any abuse. Winter’s father, Glenn Workman, also filed an objection to the guardianship, stating he wants a better relationship with his daughter and would be willing to care for her.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael I. Levanas said a county Department of Children and Family Services report found that allegations that Winter’s mother emotionally abused her were substantiated, while the department found physical abuse allegations inconclusive.
A trial to determine whether Gray gains permanent guardianship of her sister has been scheduled for December 12, 2012. Judge Levanas said the case would be removed from his courtroom if the Department of Children and Family Services filed its own case.