Ariel Winter: Mum sexualised me as a child
ARIEL Winter hasn't spoken to her mother in five years, which she believes is "for the best," she revealed in a new interview.
The Modern Family actress told The Hollywood Reporter she was thrust into the spotlight by her allegedly controlling stage mom, Crystal Workman.
The New York Post reports that Winter accused her mother of sexualising her as a child, dressing her up 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," she said. "If there was going to be a nude scene when I was that age, my mother would have a thousand per cent said yes."
In April, Ms Workman called on her daughter to "grow up" and "dress properly", saying she is sad that she "feels the need to expose herself".
"She needs to grow up. I would tell her to dress properly, be the beautiful person she is," Workman told In Touch Weekly.
"I feel sad that she feels the need to expose herself when it's not necessary."
The starlet also claimed food was "very, very restricted" and that she wasn't allowed to befriend other girls "because females are competition - that's how some people see it."
Her education wasn't nearly as high a priority as her acting, and other than onset tutors, she missed the bulk of kindergarten through second grade.
Thankfully, Winter "had a few tutors, and they were amazing."
One of those tutors was onset teacher Sharon Sacks, who looked out not just for Winter's education, but also her health.
"I would order a couple lunches in my name so Ariel could eat one of them," Sacks told THR. "I could tell she was hungry. Boiled chicken and cucumbers isn't going to do it for a growing kid."
She added, "Her mother kept her out late at night at these ridiculous parties. She was 12 and 13 years old and had to be on set at 6:30, 7am."
After suffering what Winter described as "a really rough period, a really bad chapter," Sacks reported Winter's living situation to the Los Angeles Dept. of Children's Services, complete with a letter from Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan.
Though Winter was prepared to go into foster care, she ended up moving in with her sister, Shanelle Gray.
Winter is eager to embrace her opportunity to pursue higher education (focusing on politics and social justice) in light of what she went through as a child, though she's reluctant to leave Hollywood to get her degree.
"I definitely want to continue being an actress. I love it," she insisted. "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," she explained.
"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."
She concluded, "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."