ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

Ariel Winter has always been open about the fact that she emancipated herself from her abusive mother, but now the 19-year-old actor is sharing more disturbing details about her mother's inappropriate behavior when she was a child.

In an intimate new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, opens up about her turbulent childhood under her relentless stage-mom, Crystal Workman, and some of the details are truly shocking.

Ariel, whose allegations against her mother included both physical and emotional abuse, was placed into into the temporary custody of her older sister, Shanelle Gray, by the courts when she was just 14-years-old. She hasn't spoken to her mother since then, and the new interview illuminates why Ariel felt forced to make the difficult decision.

Enforced Isolation From Her Peers

Ariel explained that she was discouraged from making friends with any of the other girls on the acting/pageant circuit "because females are competition — that's how some people see it." Naturally, this feeling of isolation must have had an impact on the young Winter, especially when you see how close she is to her onscreen family these days.

A Severely Restrictive Diet That Was Damaging Her Health

Ariel was just four-years-old when she began acting, and worryingly, The Hollywood Reporter states that food was "very, very restricted" from this point onward.

Winter's on-set teacher, Sharon Sacks, noticed that Ariel was not getting enough to eat from her mother and explained how she would often share lunch with the young actor to prevent her going hungry:

"I would order a couple lunches in my name so Ariel could eat one of them. I could tell she was hungry. Boiled chicken and cucumbers isn't going to do it for a growing kid."

Worrying Child Sexualization

In a bid to get her daughter noticed, Ariel states that her mother sexualized her from a worryingly early age with a range of provocative costumes unsuitable for a child her age:

"[I 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."

A Blatant Disregard For Education

Ariel was under huge pressure to land jobs from when she was a small child and this meant that her education suffered enormously. Although Ariel had a few tutors she describes as "amazing," she only attended half of kindergarten and half of second grade in regular school.

Years on, now the young star is determined to peruse education and was accepted into Yale and Princeton as well as UCLA this year, she explained:

"The reason I'm going to college is because I do want knowledge in another field. College isn't the college experience for me. I'm not going to be in a sorority, I'm not going to network, I'm not even really going to make my lifelong friends. I've had the career experience. I've had the experience of taking care of myself. I'm going to college because I genuinely want to learn."

Always The Professional

Despite everything she went through in her childhood and teenage years, Winter was always a consummate professional on set according to other members of the Modern Family crew.

Co-creator Steven Levitan told The Hollywood Reporter than, despite her troubles with her mother, Winter has always been top of her game:

"She brings a real intelligence to the role, and she delivers time and time again. There's nothing we've ever thrown at her that she hasn't been able to do."

Are you shocked to hear all the thing Ariel Winter went through at the hands of her own mother?

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)


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