On the ever-hilarious and surprisingly heart-warming ABC hit Modern Family, Ariel Winter plays the nerdy, wise-cracking daughter to Phil and Clare Dunphy. Often times, her wise-beyond-her-years way of thinking and talking will even out smart her own parents, showing that she might be one of the only normal people in her family. Some might argue that she and Jay Pritchett, played by Ed O’Neill, are the only actual straight characters on the show. Ariel’s character Alex Dunphy has what seems to be a good relationship with her mother, despite her ever-changing teenager ways, but in real life Ariel Winter is going through some issues with a parent.
Apparently, according to The Los Angeles Times, Ariel Winter of Modern Family is looking to formally split from her mother. Ariel Winter’s real name is Ariel Workman, and her mother’s name is Chrisoula Workman. Ariel had claimed several levels of abuse, including verbal and physical, and has requested guardianship be transferred to her adult sister Shanelle Gray. Ariel Winter’s earnings from Modern Family are protected in a Coogan Account, named after child star Jackie Coogan, designed to protect earnings from greedy parents.
In a petition for Ariel Winter’s guardianship, her attorney wrote "Minor Ariel Workman has been a victim of on-going physical abuse (slapping, hitting, pushing) and emotional abuse (vile name calling, personal insults about minor and minor’s weight, attempts to sexualize minor, deprivation of food etc.) for an extended period of time by the minor’s mother, Chrisoula Workman.” It goes on to say "(The) Guardianship with minor adult sister Shanelle Gray, is necessary to prevent minor and prevent further physical and emotional abuse. Guardianship of the minor’s work on the television show 'Modern Family' and mother also has control of minor’s Coogan account."
So far, nothing too specific regarding the nature of the abuse has been said, but the fact that there is a claim of physical abuse makes it a big deal, especially for a young and bright star like Ariel Winter, who if her chips fall in the right place could make a full career out of acting. However, if she’s dealing with an abusive family, the succubus that is child fame may turn her into yet another failed story. I wish her the best, and hope she continues to do good work on Modern Family, and her upcoming movies that include Truck Stop and Mr. Peabody and Sherman.