Ariel Winter's Sister Granted Permanent Custody After Rape & Abuse Allegations

Ariel WinterRemember all that drama from about a year and a half ago with Modern Family actress Ariel Winter, when the then-14-year-old alleged that her mother was abusing her? A judge removed her from the home and placed her with her sister Shanelle Gray, who had been estranged from their mother for nearly 20 years for similar allegations.

Ariel Winter (now 16) has been with her sis ever since, and a judge has finally granted Shanelle permenant guardianship. Financial guardianship will reportedly stay with Ariel's father Glenn Workman until she turns 18 in January 2016.

This has got to be such a relief for the sisters. Whatever happened back home happened back home, but it's obvious they were both desperate to get away from their mom. Now they can finally relax a little knowing that the custody arrangement is as set in stone as it possibly can be in the California legal system.

It's been quite a drama-filled ride, as their mom, Crystal Workman, cried statutory rape after Ariel filed charges of abuse, claiming that her teenage daughter was only trying to get back at her for attempting to end the sexual relationship between her and her 18-year-old boyfriend. No word on if the sex actually happened, by the way, but sucks for mom to bring it up regardless.

Then last summer, Ariel's brother Jimmy Workman filed papers so he could get custody, claiming that Shanelle was a bad role model and was "poisoning Winter against her mother."

I love the girls' lawyer's response to that hiccup:

The allegations are nothing new ... We will handle them in court. Shanelle has taken excellent care of Ariel to date. It's interesting how Jimmy and Chrystal talk about repairing their fractured family, and then make allegations like this.

Indeed. Well, it seems like things are going well for the sister in the midst of an unfortunate and tragic family fracturing. Ariel told Teen Vogue in March 2013 that she's loving life with Shanelle. She said, "My life is definitely more normal -- and that'll help me grow up like I'm supposed to ... like, I always wanted to be a dancer, and now I'm taking dance classes. And I didn't have many friends. It was all about work. Nowadays, my sister's like, 'You're supposed to have friends. You're supposed to go out on Friday and Saturday nights.'"

Just last month she posted the sweet photo above of her and her sister to Instagram with a long love note expressing her gratitude to her big sis. She wrote, "You've done so much for me, and changed your entire life in the blink of an eye just to keep me safe, show me love, and adopt me into your, now our, beautiful family. I am forever grateful to you and am the luckiest girl in the world to call you my sister."

Sounds like a pretty normal and healthy teen life, even for a TV star. Maybe especially for a TV star.

Do you think it's sometimes better for an older sibling to raise a child than a parent?


Image via Ariel Winter/Instagram

celebrity, celebrity gossip