A lawyer for Winter’s sister Shannon Gray, 34, who has temporary custody of Ariel, 14, says the ABC sitcom came close to firing Ariel “because of the mother’s harassment and interference,” according to People magazine.
Ariel’s mother Chrisoula Workman has been accused of physically and emotionally abusing her daughter, allegations which she denies. But evidence is mounting — from the set of the hit ABC comedy — that would appear to substantiate Winter’s version of the story.
“She has been a terror on the set,” lawyer Michael Kretzmer told a Los Angeles Superior Court judge of Winter’s mother, according to People. “The producers and others there have expressed grave concern.”
He also added that he has “detailed horror stories” from the show’s cast members that suggest Workman’s behavior goes well beyond unruly stage mom status.
“The child is, apparently, slapped, hit, pushed – not so as to leave marks. Mother is smart enough not to do that,” the transcript reportedly reads.
In the court documents, Workman is also accused of dressing her daughter in a provocative way that’s inappropriate for her age.
The family’s troubles were dragged into the headlines when a judge removed Ariel from her mother’s home last week when the abuse allegations came out in court after an emergency hearing was called Oct. 3.
Workman, as well as Ariel’s brother, have denied the abuse allegations. “I’m an amazing mother,” Workman said. Her version of things claim she’s just protecting her daughter, and she alleges that Ariel made up the allegations out of spite because her mom is banning her from seeing her older boyfriend.
“I caught my daughter with her boyfriend in bed,” Workman told the court. “She’s 14 – he’s 18. And I threw him out, and I broke them up,” she said. “And ever since I did that, I’ve paid. And, you know, I had to do it.”
The family is scheduled for a hearing Nov. 20, where a judge will decide on the matter.