Ariel Winter has credited her sister Shanelle for being "the best part of my life" in a tell-all interview. The Modern Family actress opened up about how her sister supported her through a lengthy legal battle which resulted in her being emancipated from her mother Chrystal Workman in May.
Speaking during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres show, Ariel explained what it means to be emancipated, telling the host: "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."
Ariel Winter discussed her family relationships with Ellen DeGeneres
Ariel revealed that the legal process began when she initially began living with her sister in 2012.
"Well actually from 14-17 it was a legal custody battle," Ariel said. "My sister was granted temporary custody first and then when I was 17 in the beginning of the year she was granted permanent custody. And then to kind of just move forward with the process and end it all together we got me emancipated and I could just handle my own affairs."
The 18-year-old said that her sister has been a big support to her throughout the past few years, telling Ellen: "She's been the best part of my life. She really is my best friend. She's the most important thing to me.
The actress praised her sister for supporting her over the last few years
"She's been there for me through absolutely everything. And I just love her so much. I count on her more than anything."
Neither Ariel nor her older sister have a relationship with their mother, and she admits that while it has been "very sad" she is much happier in her current situation.
"Well, it's most definitely hard to grow up in the industry, but just grow up in any instance without a mother from a very young age," Ariel said. "And it has been very sad for me, but at the same time it's been much better for me emotionally and physically to be on my own and have a better, safer household and support system."
The actress, who recently unveiled a fiery new hair colour, concluded: "I don't really talk about the reason that I don't speak to my mother. It's kind of been publicised, but the reason I don't really share that is because I want to give her the same respect that she didn’t give to me publically."