Actress files restraining order against ex following abuse claims

Sarah Hyland's recent break-up after a five year relationship came as a shock to fans, but the split was far messier than anyone realised.

The Modern Family actress has now taken out a temporary restraining order against her ex-boyfriend Matthew Prokop, claiming that he physically and verbally abused her during their relationship, and threatened her when she tried to end things.

In her statement, 23-year-old Sarah noted that during one particular argument, Matthew held her up against a car and verbally abused her while choking her. "His grip was so tight that I could not breathe or speak," she said. "I was scared and in fear for my life."

The actress also revealed that after the break up, Matthew relentlessly bombarded her with "vile, threatening and emotionally disturbing texts and voice mails including his own suicide threats."

The temporary order, which Sarah wants extended, means that Matthew must stay at least 100 feet away from her at all times, and also from her dog Barkley, who lives with Sarah in the Los Angeles home that the couple once shared. Sarah claims that Matthew threatened the safety of the dog, saying that she would never see him again.

It seems like the young starlet has a great support network of friends at least – she reportedly asked her Modern Family co-star Julie Bowen to be present when she told Matthew that things were over, to help "peacefully end the relationship". 

According to Sarah's statement, Matthew flew into a rage when he realised Julie was in the house and threatened to burn it down, at which point Julie advised Sarah to leave.

Matthew completed a stint in rehab after the break-up, but the director of the facility reportedly advised Sarah to secure a restraining order against him, due to his negative attitude towards her and his unstable mental state.

Matthew has yet to make any public comment, and has also remained quiet on social media. His last post on Twitter, just days after the break-up, reads "Here comes that sun again… Means another day without you my friend."