Ariel Winter’s Story of Abuse, Triumph, and Hollywood Success

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Ariel Winter was only 11 years old when she was cast as Alex Dunphy on Modern Family. Her mother, Crystal Workman, was her manager and always accompanied her on set.

According to cast and crew, Workman was often critical of Winter’s weight and performance, and her behavior became so disruptive that the producers wanted to ban her from the set.

Ariel Winter, 10, and Nicolas Ellia, 11, attend the world premiere of the 2008 sports action comedy film Speed RacerAriel Winter, 10, and Nicolas Ellia, 11, attend the world premiere of the 2008 sports action comedy film Speed Racer in Los Angeles on April 26, 2008 (Credit: Carlos Diaz / INFphoto)

At 14, Ariel was placed under the temporary custody of her older sister, Shanelle Gray, by the courts due to the extreme strain on her relationship with her mother.

Physical and emotional abuse allegations were raised during an emergency guardianship hearing in 2012, prompting the custody change.

Ariel Winter's sister, Shanelle Workman, became her legal guardian in 2013 after Ariel accused her mother, Chrisoula Workman, of physical and emotional abuseAriel Winter’s sister, Shanelle Workman, became her legal guardian in 2013 after Ariel accused her mother, Chrisoula Workman, of physical and emotional abuse (Credit: Jennifer Graylock / INFphoto)

Ariel described being sexualized from a very young age, recounting instances of inappropriate clothing choices and pressure to participate in nude scenes as a child.

My mother would dress me 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.

In a 2017 Hollywood Reporter interview, actress Ariel Winter shared her journey to emancipation from her mother, Crystal Workman, highlighting her challenging experiences while working as a young actress.

Ariel revealed that she was forbidden from befriending other girls due to a perception of competition among females. She also disclosed that her access to food was severely limited during her early performing years.

Ariel Winter with her father, Glenn Workman, and her boyfriend, Levi Meaden, at the "Dog Years" Premiere during the 2017 Tribeca Film FestivalAriel Winter with her father, Glenn Workman, and her boyfriend, Levi Meaden, at the “Dog Years” Premiere during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival at Cinepolis Chelsea on April 22, 2017, in New York City (Credit: Nancy Rivera / INSTARimages)

Ariel’s mother, Crystal, has consistently denied these allegations, maintaining her innocence. Ariel emancipated herself at 15 and is not believed to be in contact with her mother, Crystal Workman.

“I didn’t start this battle. I haven’t seen her in three and a half years,” Crystal said in an April 2016 interview with Inside Edition.

“I don’t know why she is bringing this up. I think Ariel is conjuring up stories to help her career at my expense, and I feel as a parent I am being bullied…. I have stood by my innocence. I have never, never abused Ariel.”

Sarah Hyland, Nolan Gould, Ariel Winter, and Rico Rodriguez attend KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2010Sarah Hyland, Nolan Gould, Ariel Winter, and Rico Rodriguez attend KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball 2010 at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on December 5, 2010, in Los Angeles, California (Credit: Karl Larsen / INFphoto)

The cast of Modern Family has been very supportive of Winter throughout her journey. Rico Rodriguez, Nolan Gould, and Sarah Hyland are all close friends with Winter and have spoken out in her defense. Julie Bowen has also been a great source of support for Winter, and she considers her to be one of her daughters.

It is clear that Winter has had a difficult life, but she has come out stronger on the other side. She is an inspiration to many, and she is an example of how survivors of abuse can overcome their challenges and thrive.

Ariel Winter Stuns in Boned Jumpsuit at “Modern Family” Fan Appreciation Day

In October 2013, Ariel Winter stunned at the “Modern Family” Fan Appreciation Day hosted by USA Network.

Ariel Winter wears her dark hair down at USA Network's "Modern Family" Fan Appreciation DayAriel Winter wears her dark hair down at USA Network’s “Modern Family” Fan Appreciation Day held on October 28, 2013, at the Westwood Village Theatre in Los Angeles (Credit: WENN / Nikki Nelson / Guillermo Proano / SIPA / Apega)

The then-15-year-old actress dazzled on the bright orange carpet in a chic ensemble with a boned jumpsuit from Alice + Olivia.

Ariel Winter sports pink lipgloss for a "Modern Family" fan eventAriel Winter sports pink lipgloss for a “Modern Family” fan event (Credit: WENN / Nikki Nelson / Guillermo Proano / SIPA / Apega)

The jumpsuit featured a spaghetti-strap white top and high-waisted black pants.

Ariel Winter poses on the orange carpet in a black-and-white Alice + Olivia jumpsuitAriel Winter poses on the orange carpet in a black-and-white Alice + Olivia jumpsuit (Credit: WENN / Nikki Nelson / Guillermo Proano / SIPA / Apega)

The actress wore her dark hair down and accessorized with embellished cuffs on her right wrist.

Ariel Winter poses on the orange carpet in a spaghetti-strap Alice + Olivia jumpsuitAriel Winter poses on the orange carpet in a spaghetti-strap Alice + Olivia jumpsuit (Credit: WENN / Nikki Nelson / Guillermo Proano / SIPA / Apega)

The pink lips provided a touch of color to her monochromatic outfit, and her gold nails added a little sparkle to her simple yet stylish ensemble.

Ariel Winter poses with the "Modern Family" cast, including Sofia Vergara, Ed O'Neill, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Rico Rodriguez, Sarah Hyland, Nolan Gould and Aubrey Anderson-EmmonsAriel Winter poses with the “Modern Family” cast, including Sofia Vergara, Ed O’Neill, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Rico Rodriguez, Sarah Hyland, Nolan Gould, and Aubrey Anderson-Emmons (Credit: WENN / Nikki Nelson / Guillermo Proano / SIPA / Apega)

The endowed actress finished her look with platform pumps from Christian Louboutin.

Ariel Winter's feet in black platform Christian Louboutin pumpsAriel Winter’s feet in black platform Christian Louboutin pumps (Credit: WENN / Nikki Nelson / Guillermo Proano / SIPA / Apega)

The Christian Louboutin “Lady Peep” platform pumps added several inches of height to the teen actress.

Ariel Winter's feet in peep-toe "Lady Peep" pumpsAriel Winter’s feet in peep-toe “Lady Peep” pumps (Credit: WENN / Nikki Nelson / Guillermo Proano / SIPA / Apega)

Ariel’s pumps feature patent leather, 6-inch heels, and the brand’s signature red soles.

Christian Louboutin "Lady Peep" Platform Pumps in BlackChristian Louboutin “Lady Peep” Platform Pumps in Black, $945

Christian Louboutin "Lady Peep" Platform Pumps in NudeChristian Louboutin “Lady Peep” Platform Pumps in Nude, $945

Ariel’s look above drastically differs from the one she sported at an award show just a few years earlier.

Ariel Winter attends the TeenNick HALO AwardsAriel Winter attends the TeenNick HALO Awards held on October 26, 2011, at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles (Credit: WENN / Nikki Nelson / Guillermo Proano / SIPA / Apega)

Ariel paired Miu Miu sandals with a Dolce & Gabbana dress for the TeenNick HALO Awards.

Ariel Winter's feet in embellished Miu Miu sandalsAriel Winter’s feet in embellished Miu Miu sandals (Credit: WENN / Nikki Nelson / Guillermo Proano / SIPA / Apega)

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