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Why Ariel Winter Just Packed Up and Left Hollywood

Ariel Winter has said goodbye to Los Angeles for her sanity.

The actress appeared on Modern Family mom Julie Bowen’s podcast Quitters to discuss how she recently sold her house, packed a U-Haul and moved out of Hollywood with her boyfriend, Luke Benward, and dogs. The 24-year-old’s complicated relationship with fame is behind the move. She said having spent most of her life in the spotlight has caused her to grow tired of being tracked by paparazzi and having the photos used to fuel negative gossip stories about her.

“Part of the reason I always hated L.A. was because I have been followed by paparazzi for a very long portion of my life,” said Winter, who landed the role of Alex Dunphy at age 11. “I really, really dislike having my space invaded. I don’t like pictures of me [that] I haven’t signed up for. I don’t like feeling watched. I’ve always just wanted to live a very normal life, have a normal existence and I never really felt like I could do that. Everywhere I went, someone was taking my picture. I’m just not that person. Fame and all that is not something I’m interested in. I just want to live as normal a life as I can.”

Winter traced the start of the negative paparazzi and tabloid attention to 2012, when her then-momager, Chrisoula Workman, initially lost custody of her over allegations she had been abusive. The personal saga played out for years with Winter’s sister, Shanelle Gray, becoming her guardian before she became emancipated.

She called it “really traumatic” that 30 paparazzi followed her on a daily basis starting at age 14, shouting things and hoping to provoke a response for their photos. That trauma continued as she grew into a woman in the spotlight, having photos of her body scrutinized and shamed. She said paparazzi have continued to follow her today hoping to catch her “f*** up.” She said everything is given a “negative” twist and is spun into “lies.” Continue reading “Why Ariel Winter Just Packed Up and Left Hollywood”