According to a report by TMZ, Ariel’s mum Chrisoula Workman was a known troublemaker on the sidelines of the popular sitcom, often interfering with production. Producers sought to ban her from the set due to her controlling behaviour.
A source said Chrisoula “made Ariel's life a living hell,” and “would sit on set and watch Ariel like a hawk.”
Crew also alleged that Chrisoula would criticize Ariel’s appearance – from her fashion and weight to the size of her ears - restricting her diet to raw vegetables and egg whites.
“The mum's obsession with Ariel's diet was so extreme ... crew members contrived a plan to "sneak" the 14-year-old food (like grilled cheese sandwiches) when her mum wasn't looking,” TMZ reported.
Chrisoula has denied abusing her daughter, but is forbidden to contact her until things are settled in court.
Ariel has been removed from her mother’s care and is pursuing a guardianship arrangement with her older sister Shanelle Gray.
TMZ’s source remarked: "I'm so happy for Ariel that she went to the extreme and got out from under that miserable woman's care."