“Modern Family” star Sarah Hyland left the show’s Australian meet-and-greet event in tears after a male fan groped her. The 23-year-old actress was at The Sebel Pier One in Sydney on Thursday night when the incident happened, forcing her to leave the event early.
According to reports, an unnamed man had asked her to pose for a photograph before grabbing her breast. Eyewitnesses said that the actress immediately pushed the man away and screamed, “Don’t touch me there!” before the security guards arrived.
A spokesperson for the NSW Police confirmed the incident, saying that a 29-year-old man was alleged to have “indecently assaulted the 23-year-old woman at about 7:50 pm.”
The man was arrested at the scene and was charged with assault with an act of indecency. He was granted conditional bail to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on March 14.
An upset Hyland then left the event through a rear door.
She took to Twitter to explain to her Aussie fans why she had to leave the party earlier than expected.
Sorry to all the fans outside the #qantas event that I didn't get to say hi to but I had to leave due to an inappropriate touch of a fan
— Sarah Hyland (@Sarah_Hyland) February 20, 2014
Her boyfriend, actor Matt Prokop, has a stronger reaction to the incident.
To the asshole who assaulted Sarah tonight I hope to God you don't see next week. — Matt Prokop (@mattpro13) February 20, 2014
The meet-and-greet was organised by Qantas Airlines for the cast of the hit U.S. sitcom. Hyland’s co-stars – Ariel Winter, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara, and Julie Bowen – were also at the event.
The cast are in the country for two weeks to film a one-off Australian episode.