Despite her youth, Ariel Winter showed the world how far she’s come since her bitter, drama-filled childhood – thanks in part to the support of her sister, Shanelle Workman.
The young actress dropped by on Monday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, five years after her first appearance on the talk show. Looking all grown up, wearing a cute white cropped top and matching short white skirt, Winter opened up about her infamous custody battle and tumultuous relationship with her estranged mother, Chrisoula “Crystal” Workman.
Ariel Winter Speaks Fondly of Her Sister Shanelle Workman
The 18-year-old actress, who had been playing Alex Dunphy in the hit television sitcom, Modern Family during the entire family debacle, was recently granted emancipation by the court on May 15th after a three-year long custody battle.
She tweeted her joy over the decision, acknowledging her “support system” for helping her through the ordeal. She gave special mention to her family – particularly her father and sister – for being her pillars of strength.
“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,” said Winter’s tweet.
I am now officially emancipated!!! I’m really lucky I have an amazing support system and lovely people in my life… http://t.co/lJtlpGoEYc
— Ariel Winter (@arielwinter1) May 15, 2015
Winter eloquently explained legal emancipation to DeGeneres’ audience: “Emancipation is basically you become your own entity. Nobody controls you anymore. You handle your own business affairs, your own living arrangements; your own money. Everything is sort of in your own hands,” she said.
Prior to being emancipated, 14-year-old Winter was placed in the custody of her older sister, Shanelle Workman after being removed from their mother’s home in 2012 amid allegations of emotional and physical abuse.
When asked about her experience being under her sister’s guardianship, Ariel Winter described Shanelle Workman as her “best friend.”
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) March 21, 2016
“She’s been the best part of my life,” Winter told DeGeneres. “She really is my best friend. She’s the most important thing to me. She’s been there for me through absolutely everything. And I just love her so much. I count on her more than anything.”