Ariel Winter on estranged mom: 'It's been much better for me to be on my own'

The actress is best known for playing Alex Dunphy on "Modern Family."
By Annie Martin  |  March 21, 2016 at 4:59 PM
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LOS ANGELES, March 21 (UPI) -- Ariel Winter is opening up about her estranged relationship with her mom, Chrisoula Workman.

The 18-year-old Modern Family star discussed her legal emancipation from Workman on Monday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Winter was granted emancipation in May after alleging her mom was physically and emotionally abusive.

"I don't really talk about the reason that I don't speak to my mother," the star told DeGeneres. "It's kind of been publicized, but the reason I don't really share that is because I want to give her the same respect that she didn't give to me publicly."

Workman denied her daughter's claims of abuse on Dr. Phil in 2013, a public move that didn't sit well with Winter. The actress claims her mom was just trying "to make herself look better" and didn't "try to fix anything" with her directly.

"It's most definitely hard to ... grow up in any instance without a mother," she confessed. "It has been very sad for me, but at the same time, it's been much better for me emotionally and physically to be on my own and have a better, safer household and support system."

Winter had nothing but praise, however, for her sister, Shanelle Workman, who was granted legal custody of the actress at one point in the emancipation process. Her sibling stood by her every step of the way until she was emancipated and able to handle her own affairs.

"She's been the best part of my life," the star said of Shanelle. "She really is my best friend. She is the most important thing to me. She's been there for me though absolutely everything and I just love her so much. I count on her more than anything."

Winter admitted to having "a really, really hard childhood" during an appearance on Good Morning America this month. She identified as an abuse victim in the interview, but was reluctant to provide details about the abuse allegations.

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