Sarah Hyland Opens Up About Her Abusive Ex-Boyfriend Matt Prokop: The Emotional Trauma Is Endless

sarah hyland Matt Prokop abuse boyfriend
credit: DFree/

Modern Family star Sarah Hyland rarely talks about her abusive ex-boyfriend Matt Prokop but she recently opened up about how the domestic abuse still affects her today.

Speaking with Refinery29, she said,

“A lot of people like to think that once you’re out of an abusive situation, it ends there, but it doesn’t. The emotional trauma and scars on the soul stay there, and they impact you for the rest of your life if you don’t get help.”

She continued,

“I still find myself being like, ‘Oh, why did I just explode out of nowhere?’ I realize it’s tied to certain things, and it’s an endless battle of correcting yourself and having self-love.”

Sarah has seldom discussed the abuse in public. The only other time she’s addressed the topic was in a conversation with Meredith Vieira on The View in October 2014.

She said,

“People have to go through things in order to become the person they are today, and that’s that.”

matt prokop sarah hyland abuse
credit: Kathy Hutchins/

Sarah and Matt first met in 2008 when the two both auditioned for High School Musical 3 (Matt ended up landing the role of Jimmie). A few years later, the couple starred opposite each other in the Disney Channel rom-com Geek Charming in 2011. Matt even appeared as a guest star on Modern Family.

In the public eye, the two seemed like the perfect couple. Sarah would gush about how supportive Matt was in her lifelong battle with kidney dysplasia. She told Seventeen in 2012,

“He helps me with my medication and takes me to doctor appointments and all the stuff that I need to do to take care of myself. Any other 21-year-old guy would not be there, I guarantee it. I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have him be there for me.”

matt prokop and sarah hyland abuse relationship timeline
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It wasn’t until shortly after the couple broke up in August 2014  that details about the abusive relationship started to come to light.

In September 2014, Sarah filed a permanent restraining order against Matt after a 5-year relationship. According to court documents obtained by TMZ, he choked her while calling her a c*nt. She told the court,

“His grip was so tight that I could not breathe or speak. I was scared and in fear for my life.”

He also threatened to burn down her house and kidnap her dog.

And even after the two broke up, he “relentlessly bombarded [her] with vile, threatening and emotionally disturbing texts and voice mails including his own suicide threats.”

Luckily, Sarah has since found an amazing man, The Bachelorette alum Wells Adams. The two got engaged in December 2019 after dating for two years. Unfortunately, they had to put off their wedding due to COVID.

Sarah also has a budding singing career as well as a new partnership with clean skincare line No B.S., which will donate 50% of the proceeds of her curated line to She Recovers, an organization that helps women recovering from abusive situations (among other things).


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.