Ariel Winter’s Sister Admits To Drug Use As The Guardianship Case Continues


Last week we had an interesting discussion about this case, as Ariel Winter’s mother was accused of trying to leak nude photos of Shanelle WintersAriel’s older sister and current guardian. While some of us expressed serious concern over these allegations, Trent raised an interesting point about Ariel’s family, and how Mexican family dynamics might be at play here. In other words, there’s the possibility that Chrystal (Ariel’s mother) is a very strict parent whose children simply do not want to live under her rules. And now the story gets further complicated, as Shanelle Winters has admitted to Chrystal’s lawyers that she tried drugs in the past, and spent a few nights in jail following an arrest for reckless driving. Click inside to learn more.

TMZ has the report:

Ariel Winter’s sister — and current guardian — sat down for a deposition with her mother’s attorneys, and was hammered with questions about drug use … TMZ has learned … but the questions for the most part netted the history of your average Joan.

Shanelle Gray was grilled last week by Chrystal Workman’s attorneys in the ongoing guardianship case for the “Modern Family” star — and sources connected to Shanelle tell us she was asked if she ever took drugs … specifically, cocaine.

We’re told Shanelle said she tried cocaine only once — either in 2005 or 2006 — at a Hollywood party. She thought someone laced it with something bad … because she got sick.

We’re told Shanelle told the attorneys she went to the hospital as a precautionary measure, and was released that same night.

We’re also told Shanelle copped to spending a “few days in jail” in Virgina, when she was 19  … in connection with a reckless driving incident.

And our sources say Shanelle was asked if she ever got a DUI. We’re told she said she was pulled over in LA in 2005 or 2006 and was given a ticket on a night when she had “one glass of wine.” She says the judge eventually threw out the ticket because her blood alcohol level was so low.

Sources close to Chrystal tell us her attorneys plan to use Shanelle’s depo info during the guardianship hearing … in an attempt to show she is not a suitable role model or guardian for Ariel.

So, you can see how this is getting tricky. Now I told Trent that I could certainly appreciate his argument about culturally specific parenting that could translate to ‘abuse.’ But having experienced the foster care system for myself, I tend to side with someone like Shanelle, who spent a couple of  years in a foster home following allegations of abuse against her Mom. However, this particular case is about what’s best for Ariel, who is now living with someone who has tried cocaine and spent time in jail. But whether or not these things make Shanelle an unsuitable guardian is debatable, I think.

Does this report change any of your initial thoughts surrounding this case? It’s really hard to judge this issue from the outside, but ultimately, I’m just hoping Ariel gets the family she deserves.

[Source] [Photo Credit: Splash News]

  • adam

    Why is this relevant? Our President tried cocaine way more than once. She spent a few nights in jail for reckless driving as a teenager and she is now in her mid thirties? Please. Kids don’t get removed from their homes because one culture is a bit more strict than another. And two kids (the *girls* not the boy) don’t get removed from the same mom for similar reasons at similar ages decades apart without serious disturbing parenting problems with the mom. Remember, the court found it was healthier and safer for Shanelle to be in the foster system then an emancipated minor than to live with her mother.

    And I’m not sympathetic to the culture issue. We have laws, pediatricians, psychologists and psychiatrists that address these issues and those don’t change with the color of one’s skin or what her last name is.

    It is obvious to me, from what we do know, that Ariel’s mother is an unsuitable guardian at this time and has shown no remorse for her actions here. Shanelle also seems stable and loving. And Ariel looks happier with her and clearly wants to be with her.

    From what we do know, this is a cut and dry case to me where Ariel is best off with her sister.

  • Serenity

    So, she tried cocaine six or seven years ago and spent a night in jail around 15 years ago. That’s a long time, and really, how many of us don’t have stories about dumb stuff we did way back when? As long as her life is in order now, that’s what’s important.

  • Brandyjk

    I guess this is like the Halle/Nahla situation. We don’t know the truth in their family. But – I think it’s hard to ignore the fact that Shanelle ended up in foster care. Social services thought things were bad enough to remove her from her mother’s care years ago. That’s what I think of, not the nude photo allegations or the inappropriate boyfriend stuff, both of which are definitely red flags on either side. Generally things have to be pretty bad to have a kid removed. In fact, they have to be repeatedly bad. You don’t get removed for spanking your kid once.

    And Shannon, I’m so sorry you had to experience the foster system. I can only imagine what feelings this must be drudging up for you. I’m glad Trent found you though because, of course, you are awesome.

    • Shannon

      Brandyjk, I’m just seeing this comment– thanks so much for your kind words! I was really lucky to have spent only a few years in the system before I got adopted.

      I brought it up because I wondered if my own personal experience was affecting my judgement, and I want to be fair to all parties and all the possibilities here. But ultimately, I think the fact that Shanelle spent time in foster care makes it difficult to side with the Mom.

  • Jacinta Yanders

    On the upside, I’m glad she was honest about this stuff. On the other hand, I don’t think this really says anything bad about her character. And while I do understand the certain cultures are known to be more strict than others, I gotta say that the fact that the older sister was taken from the home and placed in foster care due to abuse makes me think that the mom has to have done something bad. They typically don’t just throw kids in foster care for kicks and giggles.

  • Kate

    Looking in from the outside I’d rather have my (future imaginary) child in the care of someone who has confessed to experimental drug use and spent a few days in jail than someone who is trying to fight off 2 child abuse allegations.

  • Leah

    I’ve dealt with the foster care system and it has to be really super bad for a teen to get taken out and parental rights terminated. Like, awful. Big sis has done some living, so what; most of us have… she clearly loves Ariel.