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Ariel Winter gets driver's permit, looks all grown up

USMagazine, Thursday, August 29, 2013, 10:40am (PDT)
  • Watch out, world -- Ariel Winter is on the road! The "Modern Family" actress, 15, could hardly contain her excitement as she shared a photo of herself with her newly acquired driver's permit via Instagram on Wednesday, Aug. 28.

    "I PASSED. I PASSED. I PASSED I PASSED I PASSED!" she captioned the shot, in which she grins in the driver's seat while holding up the official papers. "I am now a permitted driver … be scared. Actually don't be … I'm a safe driving nerd YAY!"

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    The young actress added the hashtags "I passed," "I can drive" and "This just happened," to drive the point home.

    It's been a busy month for Winter, who has been at the center of an ongoing custody battle ever since she was removed from her mother's home in November 2012 amid allegations of physical and emotional abuse.

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    She has most recently been living with her sister, Shanelle Gray, but her older brother Jimmy Workman filed documents on Thursday, Aug. 15, requesting an L.A. court to give him custody over the star instead. 

    In the papers, Workman alleges that Gray "exploits Ariel's fame and money to promote her acting school," and claims that Gray has a history with drugs, mishandles their younger sister's money, and is trying to wrench her away from the rest of the family.

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    A lawyer for Gray, meanwhile, fired back, telling TMZ that "Shanelle has taken excellent care of Ariel to date. It's interesting how Jimmy and Chrystal [Workman, Ariel's mother] talk about repairing their fractured family, and then make allegations like this."

    Earlier in the month, Winter posted a photo of herself with her sister on Gray's birthday, calling her "the most amazing mister (sister/mommy) on the planet."

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    "There are no words to describe how grateful I am to have you," Winter wrote. "You've taught me so much about being a classy young woman and about life. If I could ever be as amazing as you are and as amazing of a mother, I'd be incredibly lucky. I look up to you so much."

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