Teenage star Ariel Winter has had no contact with her mother for over three years.
The Modern Family actress was removed from the care of her mom, Chrystal Workman, in 2012 amid allegations she had been physically and emotionally abusive to the youngster. Winter was subsequently placed under the guardianship of her older sister, Shanelle Gray, and she was officially emancipated last year, at the age of 17.
Now Winter has revealed her relationship with her mother is non-existent after battling through the courts, all while the teen was in the public eye.
“We haven’t spoken in three-and-a-half years,” she told Good Morning America. “It’s really hard to have that kind of drama in your life and to be going through that court situation and have an open court case and have everybody look at it, because it’s already hard enough for abuse victims, but it’s harder in the public eye when everyone has an opinion.”
Winter has yet to fully open up about the kind of abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of Workman, but she goes on to admit her estranged mother didn’t help matters by taking her side of the story to the media.
“It’s really hard to talk about and the reason I haven’t talked about it (abuse) thus far was because it was really painful for me to watch my mom go on news outlets and go on (TV medical show) Dr. Phil and kind of spread things everywhere, when it’s really just private family business,” the 18-year-old said. “But, at the end of the day, I feel like for me, I probably should take the high road (not respond) and do something I would have wished she’d done for me.”
The actress also accused Workman of being a real “stage mom” who pushed her into a profession she probably would never have chosen for herself, although she insists she does “love” her job.
“She most definitely was (a stage mom),” Winter claimed. “This is what she wanted me to do and she pushed very hard for that and kind of put that in the forefront of my mind instead of really what I wanted and what I needed, and that was definitely hard, but I don’t think that was the only issue.”
Winter, who has repaired her formerly “turbulent” relationship with her father Glenn in recent years, is now in the midst of applying to various colleges to eventually switch careers and become a social justice lawyer.
“I’ve had a lot of life experience that I think has really helped me grow into the person I am today,” she adds, “and I think it’s something that needed to happen for me to see what I needed to do in my future, and it kinda shaped what I wanted to be in my future.”