Modern Family star Sarah Hyland has hit back at critics, claiming they've "broken" her with their torrent of negativity following the death of her young cousin.
She copped a social media battering in the wake of the tragedy, with some questioning why the wealthy TV star was using her Instagram and Twitter accounts to solicit donations from members of the public.
You guys finally did it. Your horrible negative ignorant words have broken me. Happy? Staying offline for a while. I have a special announcement and video releasing on Wednesday I believe. So. There's that.
— Sarah Hyland (@Sarah_Hyland) December 4, 2018
Hyland's 14-year-old cousin Trevor was killed in an alleged drink driving accident over the weekend, a car crash that left her uncle seriously injured in hospital and requiring further surgery.
Trevor's sister Tessa then set up a GoFundMe fundraising page with a goal of $US25,000 (NZ$36,000) — a goal that has already been exceeded, with more than $US30,000 (NZ$43,000) in funds raised in just two days.
According to the page, which is raising money for funeral costs and medical expenses, the father and son were "driving to a show choir event and were involved in a serious car accident".
"Please DONATE," Hyland begged her 1.55 million Twitter followers with a link to the fundraising page.
Hyland reportedly receives over $US100,000 (NZ$144,000) per episode for her starring role as Haley Dunphy on hit sitcom Modern Family, which has run for more than 200 episodes now.
It's estimated that her time on the show has seen the actor amass a $US9 million (NZ$12.9 million) fortune.
Given her comparatively immense wealth, many on social media took Hyland to task:
A horrible tragedy!!! It feels weird that you are asking people to donate though. People are donating $10, $20, $100 which is a lot for people. I hope you are financially helping them too bc it would seem you have more resources than those donating. Prayers for your family.
— Kerry Sullivan (@ksullivan1111) December 3, 2018
You make enough money to cover the expenses I'm just curious why your asking.
— Morgan (@dylana45) December 2, 2018
You are worth so much money all of us combined won't have in our lifetimes , yet you want us to donate to cover what is basically pennies for you?
— Mattias Casano (@MattiasCasano) December 2, 2018
I'm sorry but Sarah Hyland only donating 1k and asking everyone else to donate the rest of the 10k is messed up since she's a millionaire. Pay the 10k and then ask for additional donations if people want to. I don't get it???
— alyssa (@itsalyssa_12) December 3, 2018
I am very sorry for your family but I don't understand why you are asking people to donate when your networth is 9 million dollars. People my age make less than .01% of that annually and are working two jobs to support their families. Recognize your privilege a little
— Thackery Binx (@chongamamixo) December 3, 2018
Her Modern Family co-stars Ariel Winter and Nolan Gould — both estimated to have amassed similar fortunes to Hyland — also shared the fundraising link to their social media accounts, asking their combined millions of fans to donate.
Donation records on the GoFundMe page show that the two highest donations so far have come from Winter (who gave $2500) and from Hyland herself (who donated $1000).
Hyland hit back as speculation grew about her involvement in the fundraising campaign, writing: "You don't know all the details. And how dare you attack when a beautiful life has been lost."
I'd like to ask those who have negative thoughts or opinions about the tragedy that happened to my family, to keep them to themselves. You don't know all the details. And how dare you attack when a beautiful life has been lost.
— Sarah Hyland (@Sarah_Hyland) December 3, 2018
However, her defence was met with further criticism from some on social media:
They're attacking because you're yelling at people to donate when you could fund it yourself times 10.
— Sam Michaud (@dunnowhutname) December 3, 2018
There is no reason to attack anyone just like there should be no reason to solicite money from a lot of your fans who will donate while having no money for themselves.
— jason friedman (@xjayrock72) December 3, 2018