Ariel Winter's relationship with her mom is still strained — so strained, in fact, that they haven't even spoken in more than three years.
In an emotional interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Winter opened up about her estranged mom, from whom she became legally emancipated about a year ago.
"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," Winter explained of her long legal battle to separate herself from her mother, who was found to be emotionally abusing her. "It's most definitely hard to grow up in the industry, but just [to] grow up in any instance without a mother from a very young age. 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. I don't really talk about the reason that I don't speak to my mother. It's kind of been publicized, but the reason I don't really share that is because I want to give her the respect that she didn't give to me publicly."
Winter also addressed her mom's decision to appear on Dr. Phil a few years ago.
"It just really didn't try to fix anything with me," she said. "It just tried to make herself look better and I'm not interested in that. People can make their own judgments — I did what I had to do for myself."
As for her own decision to legally emancipate herself, Winter said she has no regrets.
"At the end of the day, it was what I needed to do," she explained. "The people who supported me are the people that matter in my life, and that's what I just kind of had to train myself to remember — that the people that love me and support me, their opinions matter."
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