Ariel Winter’s Sister Granted Guardianship: ‘The Judge Was Right,’ Says Ryan Smith

Ariel Winter's Mother
Ariel Winter's mother dishes about her court claim.
As the story continues to unfold in the abuse case involving Modern Family star Ariel Winter, Celebuzz turns to HLN’s Evening Express host Ryan Smith for insight into whether the judge was right in granting Ariel’s sister temporary guardianship.

On Oct. 3, court papers were filed on behalf of the 14-year-old actress against her mother, Chris Workman, alleging “ongoing 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.” Just three days later, Workman filed her own paperwork claiming that “she walked in the guest bedroom of her home and found her daughter, Ariel Winter Workman, in bed with boyfriend, [Name Redacted].”

Workman talked to Celebuzz about the allegations saying, “I filed charges against him because legally he is an adult and if he wants to engage in adult behavior with a minor than he should also be ready to suffer adult consequences for his actions and poor judgment.”

“I will not apologize for protecting my daughter, as she means the world to me and I will always be there for her and I will always protect her to the best of my ability until the day I die.”

Following these allegations, Winter was placed in the temporary guardianship of her 34-year-old sister, Shanelle Gray. An attorney for Gray has since told Los Angeles Superior Court judge Michael Levanas that Workman was a “terror on the set” of Modern Family. “The producers and others there have expressed grave concern.” The cast and crew behind the ABC hit series have declined to make an official statement since news of the on-going case made headlines.

So, was the judge right in granting Ariel’s sister temporary guardianship? “Temporary custody is given for good cause, and good cause includes things like physical and mental abuse,” Evening Express host Ryan Smith tells Celebuzz. “The judge was probably right to grant that.”

As for whether Gray was the right choice to be the guardian, Ryan says that she was the logical choice given that Ariel has a close relationship with her sister. “In some states, minors can actually choose or tell the court who they want to be their guardian because they want to stay in a similar family situation,” he explains.

The family is scheduled to be back in court on Tuesday, Nov. 20.