Ariel Winter on her difficult childhood: 'It wasn't normal'

"i did have a really, really hard childhood," the actress said.
By Annie Martin  |  March 1, 2016 at 4:44 PM
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LOS ANGELES, March 1 (UPI) -- Ariel Winter has come a long way from her difficult childhood.

The 18-year-old actress discussed her experience as a child star and her estranged relationship with her mom on Tuesday's episode of Good Morning America.

"I did have a really, really hard childhood," the Modern Family star said. "It wasn't normal. It wasn't what I should have had. It wasn't a supportive, loving home. I had a really tough time."

Winter landed her first TV and movie roles at age 7 and was 11 when Modern Family premiered in 2009. She described her mother, Chrisoula Workman, as a typical stage mom who "pushed very hard" for her to succeed in the industry.

"That's not to say I don't love it and it's not my passion now. I do love it," she said of acting. "But I definitely think that at 4, nobody knows what they want to do. And I don't know that if I had [been] able to decide what I wanted to do if I would have [chosen acting]."

Winter was granted legal emancipation at age 17 in May after alleging her mom was emotionally and physically abusive. She identified as an abuse victim in the interview, but was reluctant to provide details about the allegations.

"We haven't spoken in three and a half years," the star said of her mom. "It's really hard to talk about and the reason I haven't talked about it thus far is because it was really painful for me to watch my mom ... kind of spread things [on TV] when it's really just private family business."

Winter also discussed her breast reduction surgery, which she said she's happier for in an essay last week. The actress thanked fans for their support after her GMA appearance, tweeting, "My heart is full."

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