This Friday, Modern Family actress, Ariel Winter, became legally emancipated from her mother, Chrisoula Workman. Ariel Winter alleged that her mother subjected her to various forms of abuse, including rape and starvation, and that her mother’s greed was a motivating factor in her wanting Ariel to remain in her custody.
The young actress, Ariel Winter, 17, tweeted on Friday that her long legal battle to gain emancipation from her mother was now over. Winter thanked her sister, Shanelle Gray, and her father, “for their special support.” She added that “I really couldn’t have done it without them.” Her full name is Ariel Winter Workman.
The Modern Family actress, who plays the sarcastic bookworm Alex Dunphy on the ABC sitcom, has also famously provided the voice for Sofia in the Disney animated series Sofia the First and Marina the Mermaid’s voice in Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Winter has been living with her older sister, Shanelle Gray, 36, since December 2012, when a judge granted Gray emergency guardianship over her younger sister, based on Winter’s allegations of abuse committed by their mother. Winter’s father, Glenn Workman, was placed in charge of her finances.
Ariel Winter’s mother and brother gave a different explanation for the reason behind why Ariel Winter sought legal emancipation from her mother. They both stated that Winter, who had been 14 at the time she began seeking legal emancipation, had lied about having been abused so that she and her boyfriend, who was 18, could have a sexual relationship together.
However, a report released by the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services in November 2012 found enough evidence that Winter’s mother had emotionally abused her that the report recommended that permanent guardianship of Winter should be granted to her older sister, Gray.
Shanelle Gray, who had been a child actress, herself, had been removed from her mother’s care and placed in the foster system decades earlier after she had made similar allegations of child abuse. Gray was in the foster system for two years.
Ariel Winter is now no longer under the control or guardianship of either her mother or her older sister, according to the terms of the legal emancipation. Though she is under 18, Winter must support herself now, but that should not be difficult for the actress, as she has earned more than enough money to easily do that. Winter will turn 18 next January 2016.
Also under the terms of the legal emancipation, Winter can obtain medical care without permission from her parents or a guardian, can live anywhere she wants, or sign up for whatever school or college she wants, and apply for a work permit on her own. That is a lot of responsibility for a teenager to handle, but Winter has the help and advice of her older sister and father to give her guidance, if she might need any.
Last month, Winter took part in an event that is often one people look forward to with great anticipation and look back on with fond memories when they get older, when she went to a prom. She went to it with her current boyfriend, Laurent Claude Gaudette, and her father saw her off before she left to enjoy a night of dancing and music.
This past Sunday, on Mother’s Day, Winter wrote at her Instagram account thanking her older sister for being there when she needed her, and filling the role of being like a mother to her. Winter called her sister “my inspiration,” and added “Without your love and support I wouldn’t have become the person I am today.”
With Ariel Winter of Modern Family now having won legal emancipation from her mother, she has written that she “can’t wait to embark on my new adventures.” She seems to already be well on the road to doing just that, this year, living out the sort of dream life most teens would love to have, of acting in the sixth season of Modern Family and taking part in the Kids’ Choice Awards show in March. Winter’s future looks bright, and she will likely take part in many adventures in the days to come.
Written By Douglas Cobb
Gawker: Modern Family Actress Wins Emancipation From Abusive Stage Mom
Los Angeles Times: Ariel Winter of ‘Modern Family’ says she’s officially emancipated
PopSugar: Modern Family’s Ariel Winter: “I Am Now Officially Emancipated”