“Modern Family” star Ariel Winter says her mother sexualized her appearance at a young age and laid down other extreme ground rules in an effort to jumpstart the actress’ career.
Winter — who says she hasn’t spoken to her mom, Crystal Workman, in five years — recalls being dressed in “the smallest miniskirts, sailor suits, low-cut things (and) the shortest dresses you’ve ever seen” when she was a child.
“People thought I was 24 when I was 12,” Winter told The Hollywood Reporter in a new wide-ranging interview. “If there was going to be a nude scene when I was that age, my mother would have a thousand percent said yes.”
Winter, 19, adds that she was not allowed to befriend other girls during youth because females were apparently considered “competition.”
“That’s how some people see it,” Winter told the outlet.
Once she began acting, food became “very, very restricted,” she said, and getting an education was not considered as high of a priority as her budding career.
Ariel Winter opened up about her childhood in a new interview.
(Laura Thompson/New York Daily News)
“I had a few tutors, and they were amazing,” said Winter, who only attended a traditional school for half a year of kindergarten, and half a year of second grade.
Her father Glenn, Winter said, mostly wasn’t around during her upbringing.
Things apparently didn’t get much better after Winter landed her big break and got cast in ABC’s smash-hit series “Modern Family” eight years ago.
Her teacher on the set of the show had some concerns about Winter’s life away from the show.
“I would order a couple lunches in my name so Ariel could eat one of them,” Sharon Sacks told THR. “I could tell she was hungry. Boiled chicken and cucumbers isn’t going to do it for a growing kid.”
Ariel Winter’s hottest moments
Sacks ultimately contacted Child Protective Services with Winter’s blessing, and the actress ended up moving in with her sister Shanelle Gray, who she hardly knew at the time.
Winter, who stars as the brainy Alex Dunphy on “Modern Family,” has since reconciled with her father, who is no longer married to Workman, according to THR.
She believes it for the best that she’s no longer in touch with her mother.
“Even though I wish I had a better childhood, I wouldn’t trade it, because it made me who I am today,” she told THR. “I still respect the people that hurt me.”