Man, if you thought Britney Spears‘ childhood was a trainwreck (although it really was), you should take a look at Ariel Winter‘s totally dysfunctional, scheming, and manipulative family. We’ve got a “momager” on steroids accused of abusing Ariel, a spot of underage sex, drugs, nude pictures, allegations that Ariel was the abuser, a controlling older “boyfriend”, a bit of statutory r*pe and well, you probably already get the general idea. And all of this…all of it…before Ariel Winter turned 15. WTF! Yes, sad but true. And way back five years ago when Ariel was still 14, it all came tumbling out in a torrent of accusations and counter-accusations when the family saga erupted in a bizarre series of court cases that determined who was going to look after Ariel and her growing fortune. Trust us, it’s hard to separate the good guys from the bad guys in this one. Nobody, but nobody comes out of Ariel Winter’s childhood smelling of roses. Not even Ariel herself. You won’t like these people, but you will have to admit they are a trainwreck you just can’t help but watch. Again. And again. And one more time. Here we go with 15 totally dirty little secrets from Ariel Winter’s childhood. Welcome to the trainwreck.
15. Those 32F’s: Anatomy Of Jail Bait
Anatomy is destiny. Well, at least that’s what they say. And if you are a female, barely into your teens and have those 32Fs as your crowning glory, well, certain things are inevitable. Some say Ariel’s “momager,” Crystal Workman, dressed her 14-year-old little girl in lingerie to entice her boyfriend. Those same people say she “sexualized” the little girl, forcing her to flaunt her assets in skin-tight everything, with lots of cleavage on display. Rumors? Maybe. Maybe not. But what’s certain is that, from the age of 4, Ariel, like her older brother Jimmy and older sister Shanelle, was pushed out the door and into the limelight. Why? To act and sing and make lots of nice money for mommy.
14. From 13-Year-Old Princess To 14-Year-Old “Trash”
Here, we have the Ariel Winter that the producers of Modern Family bought into when they cast her as Alex Dunphy. It all began when she was around 14 years old. A couple of years after Ariel began playing the precocious, middle class Alex Dunphy in Modern Family, something happened. The producers of the show began to worry big time because their “little girl” star began appearing in public wearing clothes that no 13 nor 14-year-old lasses should wear. It wasn’t just that. These clothes were rather too revealing for a little girl. She started, more and more, to look like she had stepped straight out of a trailer park. Trashy and Modern Family? Rumors circulated she was about to be booted off the show. What on earth had happened?
13. Those Lady Bits
Some say Shanelle happened. Meet Shanelle Workman, sister and future guardian of Ariel Winter. Back in 2012, everybody was rolling up to grab… no… take custody of Ariel and all her cash. Emphasis on the latter. Ariel wants to divorce her mom. But mom won’t go away. Ariel wants Shanelle to take the rains. See you in court, guys. Dad Glenn wades in and then goes away. Then bro Jimmy raises his hand and disses Shanelle, saying that she was a bad influence on little girl Ariel. Something about using drugs, exposing her lady bits in public and “using” Ariel’s cash for a “party hard” lifestyle. Hey Jimmy, you don’t get it. Don’t you realize that partying hard, exposing and all were precisely what Ariel was after and what the whole custody thing was about? Watch out Modern Family, here comes the trailer park on steroids. It’s gonna get a whole lot worse.
12. In The Beginning: First Grader Doing Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Don’t fuss, it’s the name of one of the first movies Ariel Winter appeared in way back 2005. She played the younger version of Harmony, a totally-messed-up-in-the-head chick in the film. In flashbacks, Ariel is Harmony as a little girl, all sweetness and light. Or is she? The only thing is, she’s in one of those boxes magicians use to cut people in half. And there’s a guy with a chainsaw cutting through it. Poor little Harmony is in agony and screaming bloody murder. And when the box is opened? It’s revealed that it was a stunt. Then self-satisfied diva Ariel utters the classic line: “I’m going to be an actress.” The guy who rushed to save her gets ready to smack her. See, with Ariel, it’s sometimes hard to tell whether it’s acting (some say lying) or real. Her mom and other members of her family say a lot of it is “acting”. Hey, it’s a family of “actors”.
11. The “Momager” From Hell
So, where did it start to go wrong? Well, let’s face it, the Los Angeles home of Chrystal and Glenn Workman wasn’t what you would call a warm and fuzzy place. It was, by all accounts, something of a battle zone. Reportedly, Chrystal dissed Glenn’s performance between the sheets, telling her kids he “couldn’t get it up”. Dad floated around L.A. on the periphery of the film world. And Crystal? Well, she makes momager Kris Jenner look like a pussy cat. Take Ariel for example. Mom pushed her into the spotlight when she was still a 4-year-old, just like she did with older brother Jimmy, and sister Shanelle. No, loving and supportive she wasn’t! What kind of mom tells her young daughter that she looks ugly and her ears are too big? A bad one! Rumors would say, like Crystal. But being a pushy stage “momager” doesn’t mean she was abusive. Maybe she was just too controlling and Ariel (and her hormones) wanted to be liberated?
10. Abused Or Abuser: A Scrappy Little Girl
So, back in 2009, an adolescent Ariel Winter lands the roll of Alex Dunphy in Modern Family. And two or three years later, she is in court with her sister Shanelle, effectively, trying to divorce her mother and have Shanelle appointed as her guardian. She is claiming that her mother physically abused her (and worse). Shanelle says their mom abused her too. So dad takes the stand and says, no way did abuse happen. The 14-year-old Ariel was scrappy, head strong and plain out physically strong. “Ariel would have torn up my wife,” Glenn says (under oath). No way was Ariel going to get beat up. No way, man. And he had more to say about Ariel’s “violent tendencies”. Oh, he changed his tune later. Why? Money.
9. A Bit Of Statutory R*pe
Now, Crystal says the whole “abuse” story came about because she caught 14-year-old Ariel in bed doing a “bow and blow” on 18-year-old actor Cameron Palatas. Eventually, she put her foot down and threatened to call the cops. Palatas is a Disney kind of actor of A.N.T Farm almost-fame. If you didn’t catch it, don’t worry, you didn’t miss much. It was sort of a Glee-like comedy that literally just came and went. Thank heavens! Anyway, there’s Palatas living at the Workman’s house for a time. We’re not clear on why he was there. So, he’s sleeping on the couch, in the guest room and, oh yeah, in Ariel’s bed! Mom says they were sneaking around. Good old Cameron says mom dressed her jail bait daughter in lingerie and asked him to sleep with her. See? Are there any “good guys” here or are they all bad?
8. Abuser Or Abused: Beating Up On Mom
Back in 2012, Ariel’s dad, Glenn, backed his estranged wife up during the battle royal for custody. He gave testimonies in which he said that there was no way scrappy and headstrong Ariel would have been abused. In fact, he went further, saying that at the time, it was Ariel who was punching and slapping her mother like in the car when she was driving. He went on and on about what he called her “violent tendencies”. Some say, sure, she learned it from her mom. But, back in 2012, dad said that it was not so. It was Ariel who had the “physical freak-outs” and who lashed out, telling her dad to “f*ck off”. Some say, even then, she was an out-of-control wild child who wanted a strict mom out of the way. Cue in Shanelle!
7. Out Of Control At 14
Stories about what the 13 and 14-year-old Ariel got up to will curl your hair. Rumor has it she was “too sexualized” too young. The producers of Modern Family complained about the way she dressed off set. Now, some gossips say that Crystal insisted that Ariel flaunt her assets and forced her to dress like a woman when she was still a child. Maybe yes. Maybe not. But, however it happened, there came a point when Ariel herself became a hungry child woman. Reportedly, she quickly became the kind of jail bait wild child who hopped into the sack and did hot stuff with an older lover. And then there was the time in San Diego when she was still out and partying at 2 a.m. She was 14 at the time. Some say mom tried to put a lid on her raunchy behavior and Ariel rebelled. Enter the custody battle. Welcome to the trailer park.
6. Of Terror And Loathing On The Modern Family Set
Now, maybe Chrystal abused Ariel. Maybe not. Maybe Ariel did a spot of abuse. Maybe not. But what is just absolutely crystal (sorry) clear is that mom was the “momager” from heck who made life on the Modern Family set a living hell. She criticized Ariel and her appearance. She criticized the scripts. She raised cane when she didn’t get her way. Some gossips say that cast members had to sneak food into Ariel because Crystal thought she was too fat and wouldn’t feed her. And, rightly or wrongly, they blamed her for Ariel’s trashy trailer park vibe. What everyone can agree on? Crystal is a nasty piece of work.
5. Those Bare Pictures
[It’s Shanelle dressed for a spot of S&M!] Well, to cut to the chase, Shanelle and Ariel win the day. And Shanelle becomes guardian of all that money. No, wait, of Ariel! But while Ariel and Shanelle are out being fitted for tight dresses with under boob, over boob, any boob, Crystal strikes back. A publicist claims that she called him ranting about how Shanelle was unfit and a bad influence on not so sweet and innocent Ariel. As proof, Crystal was claimed by the publicist to have sent him pictures of Shanelle that exposing certain private parts. He goes public with it and Crystal says he was lying. “Momager” is doing things like going on Dr. Phil proclaiming her innocence.
4. Ariel’s Ex-Friend Stabs Her In The Back
So, there’s Crystal on Dr. Phil. She’s dissing Shanelle, saying that the latter was coaching Ariel. According to Crystal, the boyfriend, Cameron Palatas, is controlling the show so he can have his wicked way with 14-year-old Ariel. So then they drag a chick called Katia onto the stage. She is a “former” friend of Ariel’s whose been cut off because of the dynamic scheming duo that was Shanelle and Cameron. She’s telling Dr. Phil what a “great mom” Crystal is and how she hates it that Ariel has stabbed her in the back. Wait, isn’t that what she’d just done to Ariel? Meanwhile, Jimmy is elsewhere saying how they all need family counseling to heal the rift. Rift? More like the Grand Canton. Go away Jimmy.
3. Daddy Makes A Comeback, Big Time
A couple of months after Ariel and Shanelle have given mom the boot, daddy Glenn Workman raises his hand and says his little 14-year-old is better off with her sister. Is he crazy AF or what? No, he’s smart! See, by December guess who the courts put in charge of Ariel’s estate? None other than Glenn. Back during the trial, he was saying (and we quote) “She don’t need no guardianship,” meaning Ariel didn’t need Shanelle. He was pulling for his estranged wife. What a huge difference a few months and millions of dollars make. So, in one corner: Crystal and Jimmy. In the other: Ariel, Shanelle, Glenn, Cameron Palatas and their very rich lawyers who won the day.
2. Modern Family It Ain’t. The Truth?
Good lord, who knows? What do we know for certain? Well, firstly Crystal is the pushy “momager” from hell. But what about Ariel’s claims that she was guilty of starvation, abuse, r*pe and greed? Yes, we said the “R” word. Maybe some of it. Maybe none of it. What about Crystal’s claim that Shanelle and Cameron were just a scheming b*tch and b*stard after Ariel’s money and her body? That rings a little truer, but who can really tell? Plus, Shanelle doesn’t really do much acting and brother Jimmy did a couple of Addams Family movies (as Pugsley). So, Ariel is the prize everybody wants to own a piece of. And now? Cameron is history but Shanelle is hanging in. Besides Ariel’s over 18 and can do pretty much as she pleases. Crystal and Jimmy are so yesterday.
1. They Probably All Deserve One Another
So, who’s your favorite person in our little group? Probably Ariel, although her raging hormones and her toned biceps mean she probably gave as good as she got. Cameron is still knocking around Hollywood making forgettable films such F*&% the Prom. Shanelle is using Ariel to help boost trade at her so-called acting school. Jimmy crews on the odd film. And dad comes and goes and still seems to be in Ariel’s good books. And Crystal? Well, surprise, surprise! She and Ariel don’t really speak to each other anymore. She did pipe up to criticize Ariel for getting a breast reduction that took those 32Fs down to a less weighty (literally) 32D. Does Ariel care? In a word, NO. In fact, according to Perez Hilton, she said, “my mom can kiss my a**”. Probably won’t happen anytime soon.