Chrisoula Workman, mother of MODERN FAMILY actress Ariel Winter and ONE LIFE TO LIVE alum Shanelle Workman-Gray, is claiming that actor Matthew Borlenghi (ex-Brian, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Ziggy, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL) defamed her as an "abusive monster" on Los Angeles Times blog posting. According to the Courthouse News Service, Workman (aka Chrystal Workman) sued Borlenghi in Superior Court, alleging defamation and false light. She claims Borlenghi defamed her after she reported an 18-year old boy for allegedly having sex with her 14-year-old actress-daughter.
Workman states that Borlenghi works for her other actress-daughter, Shanelle Workman-Gray, who has petitioned to become the legal guardian of Ariel Winter, her 14-year old sister. Neither Winter nor Workman-Gray (or the Times) are parties to Workman's complaint against Borlenghi.
Workman claims that on Nov. 6, "the Los Angeles Times Internet blog section entitled 'L.A. NOW Southern California - This Just In' posted the blog entry 'Modern Family actress and boyfriend had unlawful sex, mom charges.'"
Workman says the blog stated: "Authorities are investigating an allegation by the mother of 'Modern Family' star Ariel Winter that her daughter's 18-year-old boyfriend had unlawful sex with the 14-year-old actress, according to sources familiar with the investigation."
Workman claims that in response to the story, Borlenghi posted this comment: "This is a total falsehood. 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. Having spent time with her, and seeing the way she acted adoringly towards the boy, these accusations are disgusting, just as she is."
Borlenghi identified himself as a principal of his own firm, but still works for Shanelle Workman-Gray's actors studio, Gray Studios L.A., Workman says in the complaint.
Workman temporarily lost custody of her 14-year-old daughter in November, after Workman-Gray filed the petition accusing her of verbal and physical abuse, according to press reports, including USA Today.
But in her new complaint, Workman cites statements from several friends who say they have never witnessed her verbally or physically abusing her daughter.
Winters plays Alex Dunphy on ABC's award-winning comedy MODERN FAMILY now in its fourth season. Workman-Gray played Flash on ONE LIFE TO LIVE and Gaby on THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL.
Workman is represented by Nick Pacheco of Mission Hills. She seeks costs and punitive damages for defamation and false light.