A mother trying to get custody of a 14- year- old star of “Modern Family” has sued an actor for defamation.
Chrisoula Workman filed a defamation and false light suit against Matthew Borlenghi, an associate of her adult daughter, over him calling Workman an “abusive monster” in a Nov. 9 Los Angeles Times online story.
Workman claimed the comment falsely labeled her and that it has harmed her reputation during an ongoing custody struggle.
Shanelle Gray, Winter’s adult sister, currently has custody of Ariel Winter. Borlenghi teaches acting at a studio operated by Gray. Workman temporarily lost custody due to a judge’s order amid allegations she had physically and emotionally abused the star.
A trial begins Wednesday where Workman could completely lose custody of the star.
The story in question was on Workman’s allegations that Winter had an improper relationship with an 18-year-old.
Winter plays Alex Dunphy on “Modern Family” on ABC, and has appeared on “ER” and “Phineas and Ferb.” She also appeared in the films “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” “Ice Age: The Meltdown” and “ParaNorman.”
A suit filed by Gray on behalf of Winter estimates the 14- year- old’s wealth at $500,000, and charged Workman with being physically and emotionally abusive.