Troubling Things From Ariel Winter's Past

Ariel Winter grew up in the Hollywood spotlight, but behind those catchy one-liners and adorable smiles are mountains of pain and drama. From being pushed into stardom at 4 years old to a rocky relationship with her mother and a big decision regarding her body, check out these troubling moments in the Modern Family star's past.

She didn't have much of a childhood

Winter's first screen credit was a TV show called Listen Up (2005). At the time, she was 7-years-old, the youngest in a family of child actors that includes her sister, Shanelle Workman, and brother, Jimmy Workman, who played Pugsley in the Addams Family movies. Growing up in showbiz wasn't glamorous for Winter, who told Teen Vogue she "didn't have many friends. It was all about work."

Winter also opened up about her childhood to ABC News, saying she felt she was "pushed into the industry" and "had a particularly rough experience with it" because her personal life was splashed across headlines. That brings us to Chrisoula Workman, Winter's estranged mother, and the ugly legal battle that aired so much dirty laundry, the tabloids could barely keep up.

Her relationship with her mom is fractured

Winter was legally emancipated from her mother in May 2015, following three years of accusations against one other, including Winter claiming she was verbally and physically abused throughout her childhood. Chrisoula denied the abuse allegations, claiming her eldest daughter, Shanelle, poisoned Winter's mind. By the time the emancipation hearing happened, the entire family had splintered, with Shanelle supporting Winter, their grandfather supporting Chrisoula, and Jimmy supporting their estranged father, Glenn Workman, who filed his own petition for custody. Got all that?

In court, troubling details emerged. Winter's lawyer, Michael Kretzmer, claimed the actress was deprived of food on the set of Modern Family, to the point where castmates were sneaking it to her. Kretzmer also alleged Ariel was "dressed up to show off her breasts" and "slapped, hit, pushed–not so as to leave marks."

In her defense, Chrisoula claimed the allegations began only after she interceded on an inappropriate relationship between Winter and fellow actor and alleged boyfriend Cameron Palatas. "I caught my daughter with her boyfriend in bed. She's 14—he's 18. And I threw him out, and I broke them up," Chrisoula told the court. "And ever since I did that, I've paid. And, you know, I had to do it." Both Ariel and Palatas' mother denied any such relationship.

She loathed her mom's Dr. Phil appearance

Throughout the family's emancipation drama, perhaps one of the biggest betrayals—in Winter's eyes, at least—was her mother's decision to appear on Dr. Phil.

In September 2013, Workman told the TV therapist that the alleged abuse was nothing more than typical mother and daughter disagreements. She also pointed out that despite being investigated three times, "including two by the Department of Children and Family Services...all three have been dismissed without taking action." Workman even trotted out a supposed childhood friend of Winter, named Katia, who said the abuse rumors were untrue and she "admired" Winter's mom, and hoped "to one day grow up and be similar to her."

Nearly three years later, Winter finally spoke about her mom's Dr. Phil appearance, telling ABC News, "Well, the thing is it's really hard to talk about...because it was really painful for me to watch my mom go on news outlets and go on (the "Dr. Phil Show") and kind of spread things everywhere—when it's really just private, family business."

She's a daddy's girl again

Winter told ABC News that while she hasn't spoken to her mother in years, her relationship with her father—which was once strained—is now going strong.

"My relationship with my father was turbulent in my younger years I'm fortunate that we got through the toughest times together by bonding over some monumental moments in my young life and through each obstacle he's been nothing but supportive and loving me unconditionally and for that I'm grateful and we are closer than ever," Winter said.

Their blossoming relationship is evident on her Instagram, where she posted a Father's Day message for her dad in 2017.

She's self-conscious about her breasts

Winter underwent breast reduction surgery in 2015, taking her down from a 32F to a manageable 34D. The starlet told Glamour her chest size has been a source of insecurity for her. "I was 15 years old with [size] F [breasts]," she said, noting that her height is only 5'1."

After the surgery, Winter's chest has remained a hot topic of conversation in the press, and the actress has expressed her frustration that the focus has remained on her physical body rather than her acting.

She likes to post risque photos on Instagram

Winter is perhaps becoming better known for her risque photographs on Instagram than for her television and movie appearances. On her 18th birthday in January 2016, she wore a bedazzled bodysuit that made her look more like a Kardashian than the teenage star of a family sitcom. She was also photographed having what appeared to be frozen margaritas with her sister in a dress that left little to the imagination.

Winter responded to her critics, telling Entertainment Tonight, "Everybody is so hyped up on the fact that I post photos where my butt's out. It's a butt. Everyone has a butt. I don't think it's crazy. " She continued, "It's like, 'Let me live! I'm enjoying my life, you're enjoying your life, you should be posting your butt if you like it, too!'"

She's a big spender

In 2014, TMZ posted Winter's leaked 2013 financial records online. Sure, she makes a lot more money than the average teenager, but the documents revealed that she was spending a lot of dough on her wardrobe. She reportedly shelled out $8,938 at Chanel, $1,570 at Christian Louboutin, and $1,253 at Victoria's Secret. She also dropped more than $50,000 on a Mercedes C350 that year, indicating that a teenage Winter has already developed expensive tastes.

She feuded with Nash Grier

Winter is not one to hold back her opinions or emotions, especially when she sees a public figure behaving badly, or in this case shouting homophobic slurs. Vine star Nash Grier landed in hot water with Winter in January 2016 after she dug up his 2013 Vine that allegedly showed an HIV advertisement followed by Grier shouting a homophobic slur to the camera.

"You and I are fortunate enough to have access to television, the Internet, magazines, etc. that daily stress to us the importance of social and racial tolerance," Winter tweeted in a long message to Grier about the disturbing video. "I remember seeing this stuff way before I was 14. When we were 14, teenagers were committing suicide from comments like yours."

Grier responded with a subtle tweet: "I would love to talk [to] you & explain why your opinion about others' opinions are far from reality."

Winter wasn't having it and simply dissed him saying, "lol I'm good."

She publicly freaked out on a body shop

For as much of a champion as Winter has become at clapping back at body shamers, she apparently had no problem dishing out her own healthy dose of shame at the body shop who allegedly did her wrong—Pun Level 1000! According to TMZ, Winter put Paulee's Body Shop on blast in an Instagram post, calling its employees "unprofessional, intolerable people" who took four months to repair her car. "I am quite frankly appalled and will NEVER go there again." Winter said she wished she could give the shop a -10 on Yelp.

A rep for the shop told TMZ that it only had Winter's car for two months and it took that long because it's "a limited edition Benz" that needed $75,000 worth of work, including parts that are difficult to source.

Were Winter's gripes legitimate, or was she having a diva moment?

According to The Telegraph, Winter returned to Instagram a few days later with her tail between her legs. She deleted her original rant and wrote, "Regarding my post from the other day...Paulee Body Shop and I have resolved our issues and are past the misunderstanding (sic)! Eric the owner was very lovely and rectified the situation ASAP (as soon as possible) Very grateful to put the misunderstanding and miscommunication behind us because my car looks great. Thanks guys."

She does a creepy baby voice

Admittedly, this is definitely the lightest of the "troubling things" from Winter's past, but it involves her doing a creepy baby voice, so it makes the list.

During a visit to Conan to promote her movie Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017), Winter showcased what she called a "baby voice" that she uses to "freak out her friends and her boyfriend." Believe us, it does not disappoint. Go ahead and click the video up there. We'll wait...

Have you stopped clawing at your ears? Yeah, that is seriously not cool. Conan even joked that he could see how Winter's baby voice would be "traumatic" to hear and politely suggested she not do it too often. Anyway, good luck trying to sleep tonight while a demon toddler repeats "I'm just a little baby" over and over in your head. (Sorry, we did that to you.)