Ariel Winter's mom sues actor for defamation
- Photo: Nikki Nelson/WENN1 of 14
- Photo: GettyImages.com2 of 14
- Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage3 of 14
- Photo: AXELLE WOUSSEN/Bauer-Griffin4 of 14
- Photo: Alexandra Wyman/WireImage5 of 14
- Photo: Jordan Strauss/WireImage6 of 14
- Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage7 of 14
- Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage8 of 14
- Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage9 of 14
- Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage10 of 14
- Photo: PHIL MCCARTEN/Invision/AP11 of 14
- Photo: DT2/WENN12 of 14
- Photo: Jeff Vespa/WireImage.com13 of 14
More Celeb News
- Fox Renews 'New Girl,' 'Mindy Project,' 'Brooklyn Nine-MSNEntertainment 3/7/2014 4:00:00 PM
- 'One Tree Hill's' Robert Buckley Joins CW Pilot 'iZombie&apoMSNEntertainment 3/7/2014 4:00:00 PM
- Paramount to Honor Oracle Co-Founder Larry Ellison at Gala Benefiting Cancer Research at USCMSNEntertainment 3/7/2014 3:52:00 PM
- Exclusive: The Blacklist Casts Tom's "Brother" MSNEntertainment 3/7/2014 3:42:00 PM
- Black Sails: Is Billy Dead?MSNEntertainment 3/7/2014 3:28:00 PM
- Fox Renews 'New Girl,' 'Mindy Project,' 'Brooklyn Nine-
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The mother of "Modern Family" actress Ariel Winter sued an associate of her adult daughter for defamation Monday, claiming he falsely labeled her an "abusive monster" in an online comment about a custody struggle for the teenage star.
Chrisoula Workman filed the defamation and false light lawsuit against Matthew Borlenghi, claiming his comment attached to a Nov. 9 Los Angeles Times online story was false and has harmed her reputation.
Borlenghi is an actor who teaches at a studio operated by Shanelle Gray, Winter's adult sister who currently has custody of the 14-year-old actress. A judge temporarily stripped Workman of custody amid allegations she had been physically and emotionally abusive to the star.
A trial on whether Workman will be fully stripped of custody is scheduled to begin Wednesday.
Borlenghi said he had not yet seen the lawsuit and declined to say whether he posted a comment about the story on the Times website. The story centered on Workman's allegations that Winter was having an improper relationship with an 18-year-old actor.
RELATED: BING: Famous custody battles
"This is a total falsehood," the comment attributed to Borlenghi states. "The mother is grasping and clawing to find a way not to lose her money-maker, and hide the fact that she is an abusive monster."
The comment cites personal interactions with Workman for forming the opinions in the post.
Workman's lawsuit includes several pages of sworn declarations from tutors and other friends and associates denying she has been abusive to her daughter. The declarations have been filed in the guardianship case and may be considered by a judge who has to determine whether to allow Gray to continue caring for her sister.
A judge said last month that child protective investigators had evidence of emotional abuse toward Winter.
Workman has denied she has been abusive toward her daughter.
Guardianship cases in California are public record. Attorneys for Winter's sister requested the case and its proceedings be sealed, but a judge refused. The case was filed under Winter's birth name, Ariel Workman, in part to avoid attention.
Although The Associated Press does not generally name underage victims of abuse, Winter's name is being used because it is included in the public guardianship case.
Get out the vote
From Mila Kunis to Mary-Kate Olsen, get the scoop on all the engagements in Hollywood on Replay.Watch Video »
Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Heidi Klum all get an F on this week's Fashion Offenders.Watch Video »
From Katy Perry and John Mayer to Paula Patton and Robin Thicke, get the scoop on all the breakups in Hollywood.Watch Video »
The Rock flexes massive muscle while getting sentimental on Celebs Gone Social hosted by Wonderwall editor Chris Gardner.Watch Video »
Get the scoop on Julianne's hunky Canadian hockey beau on Replay hosted by Wonderwall's Kirby Kristen.Watch Video »
Where are they?
See where the cast of "Cruel Intentions" is today.Watch Video »
From Crowd Ignite