‘I still re­spect those who hurt me’

Tough child­hood made ac­tress who she is

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS -

Ariel Win­ter in­sists she “wouldn’t trade” her tough child­hood. The 19- year- old ac­tress – who was eman­ci­pated from her abu­sive mother, Crys­tal Work­man, at the age of 15 – doesn’t think she’d be the per­son she is today if it weren’t for the ex­pe­ri­ences she had.

She said: “I went through a re­ally rough pe­riod, a bad chap­ter.

“Even though I wish I had a bet­ter child­hood, I wouldn’t trade it, be­cause it made me who I am today. I still re­spect the peo­ple who hurt me.”

Ariel felt sex­u­alised by her mother from the age of just seven.

“I was dressed in the small­est miniskirts, sailor suits, low-cut things, the short­est dresses you’ve ever seen.

“Peo­ple thought I was 24 when I was 12.

“If there was go­ing to be a nude scene when I was that age, my mother would have a thou­sand per­cent said yes.”

The Mod­ern Fam­ily star ad­mit­ted she wasn’t al­lowed to be friends with other girls be­cause “fe­males are com­pe­ti­tion”. Her ed­u­ca­tion was ne­glected and her food in­take was “very re­stricted” from the time she be­gan act­ing at the age of four.

But Ariel is thank­ful to have had some “amaz­ing” tu­tors who helped her, and not just with her work.

Her on-set teacher, Sharon Sacks, re­called the young ac­tress be­ing hun­gry and sleep de­prived.

She said: “I would or­der a cou­ple of lunches in my name so Ariel could eat one of them. I could tell she was hun­gry. Boiled chicken and cu­cum­bers isn’t go­ing to do it for a grow­ing kid.

“Her mother kept her out late at night at th­ese ridicu­lous par­ties. She was 12,13 years old and had to be on set at 6.30am.”

Sharon and oth­ers had been con­cerned about the ac­tress for years but felt they had to wait for Ariel’s bless­ing be­fore tak­ing steps to change the sit­u­a­tion.

The tu­tor told The Hollywood Re­porter: “In 2012 Ariel told me she was ready.

“She was very scared. She knew the con­se­quences.”

Sharon re­ported the mat­ter to Child Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices and the ac­tress was taken in by her adult sis­ter, Shanelle Gray, who she had only met a few times. if you think about Se­in­feld or The So­pra­nos or Break­ing Bad... ev­ery­body has an opin­ion about how a show should end.”

Game of Thrones ac­tor Kit Har­ring­ton – who plays King in the North Jon Snow – re­cently ad­mit­ted he and his co-star had to “fake” some scenes when shoot­ing sea­son seven to con­fuse peo­ple.

He said: “We had a lot of pa­parazzi fol­low­ing us around, es­pe­cially when we were in Spain. We did fake some scenes. We put to­gether peo­ple in sit­u­a­tions where we knew the pa­parazzi were around so they’d take pho­tos, and that would get on the in­ter­net, so peo­ple would think they were real.”

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