Ariel Winter was removed from her home more than a month ago after allegations of abuse were lodged, but in the past week, the story has become a media frenzy, thanks largely to the Modern Family star’s mother and her willingness to speak publically. Via a statement and some comments to the press made after Ariel’s sister was awarded custody, mom Chrystal Workman has claimed she found her daughter in bed with eighteen-year-old actor Cameron Palatas.

If Ariel is to be believed, however, that never happened. The teen hasn’t spoken to the media about the ordeal she’s going through, but according to TMZ, she’s been telling friends her relationship with Palatas never became intimate, and her mom is just using it as a way to save face.

According to The New York Daily News, the relationship between Winter and Palatas ended “way before” the court dates began. That doesn’t necessarily mean shady business never went down, but if true, it’s not exactly a help to Workman’s case, especially since she allegedly didn’t file a police report alleging inappropriate touching until five days after she lost custody.

This case needs to be resolved sooner rather than later. It’s not in anyone’s best interests to be on the front pages everyday. Ariel needs to be in a stable, long-term situation where she’s safe and comfortable. Here’s to hoping that’s achieved later this month during the next court date.

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