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'Modern Family' star Ariel Winter declares she is 'officially emancipated'

By Karen Butler
Actress Ariel, 17, now legally emancipated. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/344d692ca5e350941e5a88ea80b57e59/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Actress Ariel, 17, now legally emancipated. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, May 16 (UPI) -- Modern Family co-star Ariel Winter has announced via Twitter she is now legally permitted to make many of her own decisions, despite the fact she is only 17.

"I am now officially emancipated!!! I'm really lucky I have an amazing support system and lovely people in my life who have given me the support and guidance to have been given this wonderful opportunity," the actress said in a statement she tweeted Friday. "Most importantly I want to thank @shanelle_gray and my father for their special support regarding this matter, I really couldn't have done it without them. Thank you to all of my family, friends, and fans who have supported me through all of my endeavors in life, and have encouraged me. Thank you for making my life so special! I can't wait to embark on my new adventures."

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Winter has been estranged from her mother -- whom Winter accused of abuse -- for several years. She has been living with her adult sister while her father has managed her finances, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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