Sarah Hyland gets 3 year restraining order: ‘nobody knew the extent of his abuse’

Sarah Hyland

Sarah Hyland has been granted a three year restraining order against her ex of five years, Matthew Prokop, who was released from rehab in late September. The director of Prokop’s rehab recommended that Hyland get a restraining order for her own safety. In her request for a restraining order, Hyland detailed a pattern of abuse that escalated from verbal and emotional abuse to physical abuse and threatening to burn down her home and harm her dog. Hyland was previously granted a temporary restraining order, and a judge has just made that somewhat permanent, extending the order to three years.

US Weekly has a cover story on Hyland this week, and it includes some sad details that were not revealed in earlier coverage. They quote sources who claim that Hyland hid the abuse, which is very typical of victims, and that even her close friends and family didn’t know how bad it was. Here are some quotes from the US story that were not covered in our report on the restraining order:

Prokop got incredibly jealous after they moved in together in 2010
“He got incredibly jealous when she would go out by herself or meet up with her friends,” says the show source. “He was constantly texting, trying to find out who she was with.”

He was resentful of her career
“He was really frustrated [that his career was floundering]… “it fueled his anger.”

She hid the abuse
“She internalized a lot,” says the show source. “Nobody knew the extent of his abuse. It’s surprising how well she hid what she was going through.”

Some of Hyland’s friends suspected something
“He was quiet and surly, like a teenage boy,” says one pal. “I remember a couple of times Sarah disappeared to talk on the phone and came back looking like she had been crying. I chalked it up to a young, dramatic relationship.” Seconds another Hyland source: “There were plenty of people who didn’t like Matt.”

[From US Magazine, print edition, October 13, 2014]

The article concludes with the fact that Hyland is doing well now and that she “just wants to leave this situation behind her.” She seems like a strong, upbeat person and that’s good news that she was able to make her restraining order permanent. I hope that she feels safe and that she’s able to move on. I also wonder if she’ll talk about what she went through at some point. Maybe she’s doing that with this US article, and isn’t ready to give a direct interview yet.

Sarah Hyland

Photos courtesy of WENN

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

29 Responses to “Sarah Hyland gets 3 year restraining order: ‘nobody knew the extent of his abuse’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. LAK says:

    Good. She needs bodyguards too. That order won’t be enough considering his rehab handlers advised her to get one in the first place.

    • Tracy says:

      I agree. She needs extra protection at this point.

    • Jag says:

      She needs bodyguards and an excellent security system!

      She’s not out of the woods yet. My ex stalked me for 2 years after I broke up with him. I still block him on social sites that I join, too – just in case – and it’s been almost 20 years.

      • Loopy says:

        Damn twenty years, that’s madness. Hope all is well now.

      • Andrea says:

        I had an ex I had a three year restraining order against and he stalked me for years too(the stalking began after I broke up with him). I block all my social sites so he can’t find me either for he was notorious for looking into ex-gfs from 10-15 years back, so surely since its only been 7 years, he will look into me too.

      • Sam says:

        Yep, same here. It’s been 10 years and I still hear stories from friends who still live in the same city as him about crazy stuff he does. It wasn’t until last year that he finally gave a friend of mine a box of my things he had saved and CARRIED AROUND WITH HIM, and then he went back a week later and tried to take it back. She told him she threw it out but she mailed it to me. It was nice to get back some of my baby pictures and my high school year book.

    • Tippy says:

      There’s no need for her to be constantly looking over her shoulder or to spend a fortune on bodyguards.

      There are plenty of ways Sarah could rid herself of this guy if he insists on staying in California.

      With a little imagination, life can be made very difficult for a person who already has a restraining order against them.

  2. aims says:

    I’m so proud she got out. Too many women stay and take it. Nobody should every tolerate abuse of any kind ever!

  3. littlemissnaughty says:

    I feel so bad for her. And I find it really interesting that people filed this under “young, dramatic relationship” because honestly, at that age, it’s so hard to tell from the outside. We all knew that friend with the “crazy” boyfriend/girlfriend nobody really liked because he/she made our friend sad more times than they were happy. Screaming, crying … the whole shebang. I think when you’re that young, it’s next to impossible to recognize the signs and differentiate between drama and abuse, especially if someone hides it well. I hope she moves past this soon.

    • Jag says:

      Maybe you have to live it, but when I see my young friends in “drama filled” relationships where the person is being emotionally manipulative or making the person cry often, I broach the subject of emotional abuse. I tell them my story of being with an emotionally abusive guy who turned into a physically abusive guy who ended up disabling me by hitting me in the head, and I tell them that they deserve better than to be treated the way he or she is treating them. Letting them know that it’s okay to leave and that it’s not them can be a huge deal if someone is in an abusive relationship.

      • Zigggy says:

        Jag, thank you for sharing. I’m so sorry you had to go through that, and I hope your words can help someone out there understand that it never gets better. It just gets worse. That first time he hits you and says he’s so sorry and it will never happen again… it’s going to happen again. And again and again. And by that point the emotional abuse will have pulled you down so much that you actually think you deserved it, and you can understand why he did it. Because you pushed him to that point.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Jag, I’m really sorry that happened to you. I hope he was punished at the very least? It’s great that you share your story with others who it might benefit, not everybody has the strength.

        Maybe you don’t need to live it but yes, you need a special understanding at that age (I’m talking teenagers here) because I think otherwise it’s very hard to grasp. Everything is so dramatic anyway, every little thing can turn into what feels like the end of the world, especially in your first relationship. To draw that line and be able to see – from an outsider’s perspective – what’s not okay anymore is very very difficult. I’ve never had friends that were much younger than I was so I’ve never had the benefit of more experience or a different perspective.

    • LAK says:

      It’s not difficult or surprising that people saw this as a ‘young, drama filled relationship’.

      The reality is that teens and early adults in their first major love affair are at the mercy of their hormones where everything is drama, tears, tantrums etc.

      Most people grow out of it or they never progress to abusive or have the self awareness to recognise the drama such that it never gets worse.

      Teens/early adults need to be taught to recognise the difference between drama and abuse and to be strong enough to walk away.

      We should teach the adults too, but if we catch the problem early, then hopefully the young ones won’t turn into abusive/ DV adults.

      For everybody, zero tolerance is the answer. It’s hard to walk away the first time it happens especially when it happens seemingly out of the blue, but if you don’t walk away at that first crossed line, it’ll happen again and again because DV is insidious. For our own safety/sanity etc we need to treat this like it’s a capital crime and be zero tolerant from the get go.

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        I agree on the zero tolerance policy. I was abused as a child and I was determined not to be a victim again. No one who loves you should ever hit you or terrorize you, there’s no excuse good enough, get away from anyone who tries to hurt you that way.

      • Lizzy says:

        @ Bob Loblaw

        I’m so sorry you had to suffer any type of abuse. People who haven’t been terrorized or abused don’t understand, but it shouldn’t take abuse or terror for them to understand and support those that have experienced it.

  4. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    I put some links perhaps too many for the moderators? on the subject of emotional abuse – good she got out before spending decades with this and losing herself. Lundy Bancrofts blog and books are good resources for those out there who know someone in this type of relationship.

  5. Zigggy says:

    Glad she got out.

  6. Micki says:

    I find it great she found the strenght to break with him and get a restraining order. I wish her luck with that issue in 3 years because I’m not sure it’s going to be over.

    Funnily I’ve met over the years several women, who found it “romantic” to have an overjealous bf. At first at least. As I’m operated from romance I’ve always run in the opposite direction.

    • maybeiamcrazy says:

      Unfortunately many women find overprotective and overjealous men romantic. I don’t know why. Is it the tv shows and movies that incline women to this or is it the patriarchal society structure that is ingrained to women? I once found myself in this situation too. Whatever crazy thing he did or said, i always thought it was because he loved me so much but at the same time i was aware of his abusive tendencies. Thankfully, in my case abuse never got out of hand. He pushed me a few times. I broke up with him when he slapped me. And he did not follow me or anything. So i was lucky enough to break out before sh-t hit the fan. My heart is with everyone that couldn’t/can’t.

  7. lucy2 says:

    I’m really glad she’s taking steps to protect herself. I hope with this all being so public, this guy has a little common sense and realizes it’s better for him to stay away from her too. And I hope he gets serious help for his problems.

  8. jm says:

    She is really gorgeous, but in that last picture it looks like hes lecturing her and she’s trying to telepath “help me”

  9. Erandyn says:

    Woah… I’m more shocked about Stephen Collins being a child molester (in the Featured Links section). Holy crap.

  10. SunnySide says:

    I’m glad they granted her the symbolic piece of paper but I’d feel a hell of a lot better if she had a big burly body guard and then a really well trained lethal female body guard that dresses normally and no one would suspect was anything other than a new friend.

    Prokop will feel an ownership and entitlement with Sarah and I feel that though the restraining order was 100% the right move that he will not respect it and it will enrage him further. A male bodyguard will also anger him with his jealousy issues but at least it will hopefully intimidate him into maybe leaving her alone. The undercover female bodyguard though? Crucial.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Like most bullys, he’s probably a coward, she needs a self defense class and a can of mace.

      • K says:

        According to Gavin de Becker, that’s sadly not so. Restraining orders alone can make things worse because the control is gone. Luckily for her, she has the money and the studio expertise to protect her, but there’s a reason intimate partner violence causes more damage to women than just about anything else, and the most dangerous time is usually when they leave, and the abuser realises she means it and she is finally beyond his control.

  11. MoxyLady007 says:

    You know that a!hole is sulking and pouting somewhere telling anyone and everyone who will listen that he is the victim. That she was cheating or lying or whatever bullsh!t he is spewing and stewing in. So glad she got out

  12. tarheel says:

    Poor kid. I’ve been there, and it’s frightening and soul-shattering, and changes your life forever.

    I wish her the best, and hope that scum doesn’t hurt her.