Modern Family’s Ariel Winter has been legally emancipated from her parents: the 17-year-old is now a full adult in the eyes of the law. Winter has been in the custody of her sister, Shanelle Gray, since 2012, after a guardianship hearing found Winter’s mother guilty of emotional and physical abuse. According to that hearing, Chrisoula Workman was accused of a whole litany of crimes, and she was found guilty of most of them:
Minor Ariel W Workman has been the 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….Guardianship of the estate is necessary because the minor’s mother receives checks for the minor’s work on the television show “Modern Family” and mother also has control of the minor’s Coogan Account. Prospective guardian requests that the mother be directed to not make any withdrawals from such accounts and that all checks be delivered to the guardian for deposit in the blocked account to be established at Bank of America.
Winter was 14 at the time she was removed from her mother’s custody. (Her father, from whom she was estranged at the time, has since come back into her life in a big way–here he is seeing his daughter off to prom a few weeks ago.) She’s certainly grown up happy: Winter could barely contain her joy in the tweet that broke the news of her freedom:
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
The full Tweet, which is longer than 140 characters, reads as follows:
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. Most importantly I want to thank @shanelle_gray and my father for their special support regarding this matter, I really couldn’t have done it without them. Thank you to all of my family, friends, and fans who have supported me through all of my endeavors in life, and have encouraged me. Thank you for making my life so special! I can’t wait to embark on my new adventures. ❤ xo
Now that she’s free, Winter shouldn’t be worried about her finances, either. Two years ago, she signed a $6 million contract to continue featuring in Modern Family, and has established a lucrative film career since then.
(Photo credits: WENN; AW via Instagram)