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'Modern Family' Star Alleges Abuse; Mom Denies Charges

The mother of a 14-year-old star of the hit ABC sitcom "Modern Family" is denying allegations that she abused her daughter, actress Ariel Winter (real name Ariel Workman) by hitting her, insulting her weight, and depriving her of food. Instead, says mother Chris Workman, the allegations are falsified because Ariel, who plays Alex Dunphy on the show, wants to continue a romantic relationship with an 18-year-old man. has more on the allegations and the guardianship proceedings that are resulting:

"Since I have asked Ariel to end her relationship ... she has been bad-mouthing me and spreading rumors and lies about me to substantiate this Guardianship proceeding," the mother said in documents filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court. "Ariel is young and does not understand the severity of the consequences of her actions...."

Last month, a Los Angeles judge ordered the young actress to be placed in temporary guardianship of her older sister, Shanelle Gray....

"Ariel is upset and is using her sister's vulnerabilities to her advantage so she can see her boyfriend," Workman said in the court documents. "I caught Ariel and (the teen) engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior, which is when I became adamant that she end her relationship with him. Out of concern for Ariel, I notified the police since Ariel is a minor."

Image: Ariel Winter, via Helga Esteb /