Ariel Winter insists she "wouldn't trade" her tough childhood.

Ariel Winter

Ariel Winter

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 that hurt me."

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

She said: "[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 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 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 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 and 13 years old and had to be on set at 6:30, 7."

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 recalled to The Hollywood Reporter: "[In 2012] Ariel told me she was ready.

"She was very scared. ... She knew the consequences."

Sharon reported the situation to Child Protective Services and the actress was prepared to go into foster care, but was taken in by her adult sister Shanelle Gray, who she had only met a few times.

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