‘Modern Family’ actress alleges ex-boyfriend choked her

Sarah Hyland
Actress Sarah Hyland arrives at the Teen Choice Awards on Aug. 10 in Los Angeles. A judge granted Hyland a temporary restraining order after the “Modern Family” actress reported that her ex-boyfriend Matt Prokop had been verbally and physically abusive toward her and she feared for her safety.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision/AP)

“Modern Family” actress Sarah Hyland has obtained a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend after he allegedly choked and threatened to kill her, court records show.

A Los Angeles County judge issued the order days before her ex, 24-year-old Matthew Prokop, was due to be released from rehab. She alleged in court records that the rehab center’s director warned her to “seek this order immediately due to Mr. Prokop’s mental state and attitude toward me.”

During the pair’s 4-year relationship, the 23-year-old actress, who portrays Haley Dunphy in the ABC sitcom, alleged that Prokop repeatedly abused her verbally and physically.

Superior Court Judge Andrea C. Thompson granted the order Sept. 19 that forbids Prokop from being within 100 yards of Hyland, her home, her workplace and her vehicle.


Hyland’s attorney, Lee Sherman, said that his client would not publicly discuss the matter and that “the documents filed speak for themselves.”

Prokop, an actor, could not be reached for comment. Court documents indicate that Hyland did not give him notice of the Sept. 19 court hearing because she feared he would accost her before the hearing.

Hyland alleged in her request for the restraining order that Prokop repeatedly called her a slut, a whore and other profanities in private and public.

In May, she alleged, Prokop pinned the 5-foot-2-inch actress against a car door during an argument over the clothes she was wearing. “He began called me vile names,” she wrote. When she asked him to stop, Prokop grabbed her shoulder and “slammed my back into the side of the car,” despite knowing that she had a history of kidney problems, she wrote in the court document. The actress wrote she struggled to get free but he outweighed her by 50 pounds.


“Once he had me pinned against the car, he placed both hands around my throat and began to choke me,” she wrote. “His grip was so tight that I could not breathe. He would not let go.”

She said she kicked him and broke free, according to the court document.

“I was going to call the police, but he apologized, swore it would never happen again and begged me not to call the police, so I did not,” she wrote.

She said the assault left her with an injured throat, the document said.

The actress said in the months that followed she tried to end the relationship as she became increasingly “scared for my personal safety.” Hyland wrote that on Aug. 16 she asked her work colleagues, including Julie Bowen, the actress who plays her mother on the TV show, to come to her home to “intervene and help me peacefully end the relationship.”

Hyland wrote that Prokop “ran outside into the backyard and began screaming.” He allegedly told Bowen that he wanted to make Hyland so miserable that “she would take a shotgun and kill” herself, according to Hyland’s declaration seeking the restraining order. The same day, Prokop threatened to burn down her house and said if she didn’t allow him to pick up his belongings she would never see her dog again, the document said.

Hyland alleged that Prokop bombarded her with vile and threatening texts and voice mails. The day before he entered rehab, she alleged, they met briefly and he deleted all the texts after grabbing her phone.

For more Southern California crime news, follow@lacrimes.


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