Modern Family’s Julie Bowen Helped Sarah Hyland Leave Abusive Relationship

Modern Family’s Julie Bowen Helped Sarah Hyland Leave Abusive Relationship

Julie Bowen and Sarah Hyland.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Modern Family’s Julie Bowen and Sarah Hyland were like a real family.

Bowen, 54, who played Claire Dunphy in the hit ABC sitcom, recalled how she came to her onscreen daughter’s aid in real life on the Monday, June 3, episode of “The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast.”

Hyland, 33, has previously credited Bowen with helping her get out of an abusive relationship.

“I was a responsible adult that happened to be around at the right time. I’m sure another responsible adult would have done the exact same thing. I just love her,” said Bowen on Monday’s “Him & Her Podcast.”

In September 2014, Hyland, best known for playing eldest Dunphy daughter, Haley, was granted a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, Matt Prokop, who she accused of physical and verbal abuse during their five-year relationship.

In court documents obtained by TMZ at the time, Hyland claimed Prokop once pinned her against a car and choked her.

“His grip was so tight that I could not breathe or speak. I was scared and in fear for my life,” she said in the documents, adding that she had a “very sore throat following this event.”

Hyland also said in the docs that she enlisted Bowen to help her “peacefully end the relationship.” She invited her onscreen mom to her house as she tried to break up with Prokop, but alleged her ex became angry at the sight of other people and “ran outside into the backyard and began screaming.” Bowen also witnessed Prokop throw a lighter at Hyland, at which point she told the young actress to leave the house because she wasn’t safe around Prokop, the docs said.

On the “Him & Her Podcast,” Bowen said that it’s not just Hyland that she’d jump to defend — but her other onscreen children, Ariel Winter (Alex Dunphy) and Nolan Gould (Luke Dunphy), too.

“I look at her, and Ariel, and Nolan and — well, Rico [Rodriguez, who played Manny] was always like an adult, a tiny adult — but, yeah, I look at them all like my kids. I love them,” she said.

Modern Family aired for 11 seasons from 2009 to 2020 on ABC.

If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential support.

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