A Los Angeles judge ruled today that Modern Family star Ariel Winter will remain in the custody of her older sister Shanelle Gray, but despite the disappointing decision the 14-year-old’s parents remain hopeful their family feud will be resolved soon.
“We want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers,” Chrystal and Glenn Workman said in a statement obtained by Celebuzz. “We feel that today was a small victory for our family. We are one step closer to reuniting with our daughter and we were both in court today to let her know we love her and will always be there for her.”
“Even the judge today agreed that reunification is so important for a family and while Ariel is still temporarily with her sister for now, we remain hopeful that she will be home soon.”
Though Winter’s parents are separated, Glenn’s attorney recommended Tuesday during the court hearing that he move back into their family home and his estranged wife could move out, which Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas denied, according to a report on People.
In a report provided to the court, the Department of Children and Family Services found evidence of emotional abuse by Ariel’s mother. However, the young star’s allegations of physical abuse were “unsubstantiated.”
Chrystal’s attorney Anita Gumm stated, “We implore the court to send the kid to her dad. Being a controlling mother doesn’t mean [my client] is unfit.” Gumm also claimed Gray is “too young” to care for her younger sister, also suggesting Gray has ulterior motives for looking after Winter, a notion that the judge also dismissed.
Levanas said, ”I don’t think she has ulterior motives,” referencing ”eloquent” statements made by Gray at a prior hearing about the family’s need to heal from this public ordeal.
Winter’s family drama began when court papers were filed Oct. 3 on behalf of the actress against her mother 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].”
As Celebuzz exclusively reported, Workman has claimed the real reason her daughter went to court was because she attempted to break-up her daughter and her older boyfriend.
A future trial will be held to determine whether Gray will be granted permanent guardianship of Winter.