You know her as smart, sassy and the most clever Dunphy. Alex from ABC’s sitcom, Modern Family, is a heart-winner. But when the limelight went off, the things were harder than you can imagine for Ariel Winter, who plays Alex.
With a strict mom (actually strict is not the right word, cruel is), Ariel’s childhood was stripped away from her. She was made to starve, dress in a provocative way, not allowed to have friends and every bit sexualised by her own mom, Crystal Workman.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Winter recalled her childhood, which she calls as a bad chapter.
Thank you so much @hollywoodreporter and Strawberry Saroyan for a beautiful feature💗 I'd also just like to add, I'm so lucky for all the love and support I have around me. One person who wasn't mentioned much for that love and support is my father. He is one of the closest people in my life– I'm very lucky to have you dad! I love you. Thank you for being there for me always and being so amazing💘 I also want to share the love with my wonderful fans who are constantly supportive and kind. Couldn't appreciate you more! ❤️ #hollywoodreporter
“I went through a really rough period, a really bad chapter.”
Winter was sexualised from the age of 7. She was dressed in…
“…the smallest miniskirts, sailor suits, low-cut things, the shortest dresses you’ve ever seen. People thought I was 24 when I was 12. If there was going to be a nude scene when I was that age, my mother would have a thousand percent said yes.“
Talking more about her childhood, Ariel cited instances to The Hollywood Reporter. The interview read,
It was her on-set tutor, Sharon Sacks, who saw the struggle and noticed sleep deprivation. She said,
It was in 2012 after Ariel was ready for emancipation from her mom (her dad was not around during her childhood), Sharon called L.A.’s Child Protective Services and explained Winter’s situation to them. Ariel was then placed in foster care with her sister Shanelle, who took her in.
“Ariel told me she was ready. She was very scared. She knew the consequences.”
Winter’s case went on in court for two years, after which, in 2014, Shanelle was granted her custody and she was emancipated from her mom in 2015. Life opened its doors for Winter and she went into therapy and is now on medication to treat depression. She started attending L.A.’s elite, Campbell Hall.
Despite going through all this, Ariel respects the people that hurt her.
“Even though I wish I had a better childhood, I wouldn’t trade it, because it made me who I am today. I still respect the people that hurt me.”
Winter hasn’t spoken to her mother in five years. She’s now going to start college at UCLA because she has a penchant for learning.
Kudos to you, Ariel! It’s great to see a young 19-year-old fighting life’s battles so bravely.