Ariel Winter, Mom, Chris Workman

Mr Photoman / Splash News

Ariel Winter's mom insists she is the one who has her daughter's best interests at heart.

"I love my daughter very much," Chrisoula Workman said Thursday in a statement to E! News in the wake of allegations brought by Ariel's older sister in court documents that she has been physically and emotionally abusive toward to the 14-year-old Modern Family actress.

"I would never abuse her in any way and I have always tried my best to always protect her and do what is right for her. My daughter is in a business that requires you to grow up fast. It's hard enough being a teenage girl, but it's even harder when you are in the public eye.  However, because you are in the public eye, it doesn't mean you are no longer in need of good parenting."

Ariel's big sis, Shanelle Gray, was appointed the teen's temporary guardian on Oct. 3 and a hearing on her petition to make the arrangement permanent is scheduled for Nov. 20.

"As for my estranged daughter, who has come out of the woodwork once it was announced that the kids on the show got a big raise recently, I will only say this, she has only seen her little sister maybe ten times in the last fourteen years, they have no relationship and her motives are not out of love, but out of spite," Workman alleges, claiming that she has only seen Shanelle about a dozen times in the last 20 years.  

"I made a conscious decision years ago to distance her from the family because of the lies she told on me so many years ago. I never wanted her unstableness to effect [sic] Ariel or anyone else in the family. My biggest nightmare is now being played out in the public arena for people to make judgments on me and my daughter and our family...I only hope that as quickly as this blew up, that it will go away just as fast and Ariel will come home and we can move forward with love as a family…"

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department has confirmed to E! that there is an open investigation being conducted by their special victims unit but would not release any details because Ariel is a minor.

A family source tells E! News that Workman was blindsided by Gray's guardianship filing and that she had been with Ariel earlier that same day.

"After she was served, Chris was given an hour and forty five minutes to get to court. It came out of the blue," the source says.

Workman has said that she and her daughter have butted heads over Ariel's relationship with 18-year-old actor Cameron Palatas. Calls to him for comment have not been returned.

"I love my sister and my family and hope this goes away," Ariel's brother, former child actor Jimmy Workman, tells E! News. "All of this abuse did not happen. If it did happen, I would have been removed myself. I never saw my mom lay a hand on either of my sisters and neither has my father. I am not going to blame anyone in particular, but I think this is disgusting and it sickens me. My mother has never been a child abuser. She misses her daughter, but now she is not allowed within a 100 yards of her." 

Jimmy also told Entertainment Tonight that the family dustup was "over a boy that is overage, dating my little sister, and my family had no idea about until the end part of it."

"Chris is not a child abuser," the family source tells us. "This is the problem of a young girl who falls in love with someone who is not of her own age. People are paying for it now."

"Ariel is allergic to a lot of things and is always going to the doctors office," the insider adds. "If there had been any abuse there would have been recorded incidents. There has not been one scratch, bruise or dent on that girl. She has walked numerous red carpets and there has been nothing on her. She is constantly having physicals and regular checkups and there would be reports if that was the case."

"Ariel is a normal little girl who is very talented. She is growing up and like every girl argues with her mom. This happens. Mothers and daughters bicker all the time. Her family loves her to death."

The source says that Shanelle did not have a close relationship with Ariel until two or three months ago.

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