Mom of 'Modern Family''s Ariel Winter Speaks About Family Drama
She's a teenage star on the hit show Modern Family. Ariel Winter plays the brainy member of the dysfunctional family on the highly-rated sitcom.
Ariel is one of TV's highest-paid teen actresses, making a reported $70,000 an episode. But today she's center stage in a real-life family drama, as she's in a bizarre battle with her mother, who she accuses of abusing her.
Now, for the first time, Ariel's mother, Crystal Workman, is speaking out in an exclusive interview you'll see only on INSIDE EDITION.
Crystal told INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret, "I have never abused Ariel in any way shape or form."
Moret asked, "Have you ever physically abused your daughter?"
"Never," answered Crystal.
"Have you ever emotionally abused you daughter?" asked Moret.
Crystal responded, "Never. If emotional abuse is, that you cannot have your boyfriend on top of you, that you cannot do those kind of things, if that's emotional abuse...I don't think it is."
Crystal claims she caught her 14-year-old daughter was lying on a bed with her then 18-year-old boyfriend actor Cameron Palatas.
Moret asked, "They weren't having sex, but it was certainly sexual?"
"Very sexual," she said.
Crystal says she ordered the boy out of her house and ordered her daughter to break up with him.
"At that point she told me I could not break her up, that she was in love, and when I just reprimanded her that she could not see Cameron Palatas for a week, they both ran away like Romeo and Juliet," explained Crystal.
Ariel then went to court to break away from her mom. In court papers, Ariel accused her mother of "slapping, hitting and pushing" her.
And you're not going to believe what happened next. Ariel asked the judge to allow her 35-year-old sister, Shanelle Gray, to have full custody, and the judge agreed.
Moret asked, "Do you feel like you have been portrayed as a monster?"
"Yes, I do and it's just so unfair," said Crystal. "I'm like every mother in America. When I have to reprimand my child, I do."
Now, Ariel's brother, Jimmy Workman who played Pugsley in the Addams Family movies has also jumped into the custody battle. He tells INSIDE EDITION he supports his mother and has asked the judge to award him custody because he claims Shanelle is a bad influence on Ariel.
Shanelle's attorney says, "Shanelle has taken excellent care of Ariel. The allegations are nothing new. We will handle them in court."
Crystal's lawyer, Roy Penuela, says people are trying to take Ariel away because of her money.
"I think the motivation behind having so much intense interest in Ariel is, in my opinion, motivated by the fact that she's a successful actress making money," said Penuela.
Crystal hasn't seen her daughter in over a year. Later this month they'll come face-to-face when a judge decides whether the mom should lose custody of her celebrity daughter for good.
Moret asked, "Are you afraid of the day when you go to court and face your daughter? Are you nervous about seeing her there?"
"You know what? I will take seeing her any way I can get her. I'll take seeing her any way I can get her. Yeah," said Crystal.