Hilarie Burton Defends Chad Michael Murray After Fan Claims He’s The Reason She Left ‘OTH’

Hilarie Burton insisted that Chad Michael Murray played no role in her decision to leave 'One Tree Hill,' and claimed both actors were 'treated badly' by higher ups.

Chad Michael Murray & Hilarie Burton
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Image Credit: E Charbonneau/Bei/Shutterstock

There’s no team quite like Peyton Sawyer and Lucas Scott. Hilarie Burton played P. Sawyer, the romantic interest (and eventual wife!) of Chad Michael Murray’s heartthrob character Lucas on One Tree Hill for six seasons, and just proved that she still has her former on-screen lover’s back. It all went down on Monday (August 2), when a fan and listener of Hilarie’s Drama Queens podcast tweeted to the actress, 39, under the mistaken impression that Chad, 39, was the reason she left the hit teen drama after season 6.

Chad Michael Murray & Hilarie Burton
Chad Michael Murray & Hilarie Burton (Photo: E Charbonneau/Bei/Shutterstock)

“@HilarieBurton said that her departure was unceremonious and we can blame that on Chad tbh at least the Chad from back then. I’m assuming and hope he’s grown up now but wtf,” the fan wrote. But Hilarie quickly set the record straight by directly replying to the fan. “I’m not sure where your info is coming from, but Chad had nothing to do with my leaving,” Hilarie wrote. “We were both treated badly, and he defended me. I so appreciate your support, but I just wanted to clarify that Chad was my teammate. My bosses were the s**ts,” the actress added.

The fan, clearly embarrassed for the misunderstanding, apologized to Hilarie and claimed that they were not “coming at Chad” and had “read some misinformation” on the topic. “Babe, no worries,” Hilarie graciously wrote back. “I’ve heard that rumor so many times over the years. I just correct it because I care about our OTH fam and don’t want anyone carrying around false baggage. Thank you for caring!! Xo.”

Hilarie Burton
Photo: Twitter/HilarieBurton

Hilarie and Chad had major roles on One Tree Hill before they exited the series after season 6. The show carried on for another three seasons, and Chad made a special appearance in the final season. Hilarie, however, never returned to the show. The teen drama was a huge hit, and also starred Sophia Bush, Bethany Joy Lenz, James Lafferty, Barbara Alyn Woods, Paul Johansson, Lee Norris and more.

'One Tree Hill' cast
‘One Tree Hill’ cast members posing for a photo (Photo: Dave Allocca/Starpix/Shutterstock)

But since OTH ended, it’s become engulfed in some controversy. In Nov. 2017, Hilarie, Sophia, Bethany and more former stars wrote an open letter accusing showrunner Mark Schwann, 55, of sexual harassment. (Mark has never addressed the allegations). Hilarie specifically spoke about the alleged misconduct in her 2020 memoir The Rural Diaries. “I never tried to tell the truth to the media after I left One Tree Hill because I believed it was a lost cause,” she wrote in the book, per Us Weekly. “And I was a coward. I had walked away from jobs I loved just to remove myself from toxic situations. I abandoned my childhood dreams of being an actress because playing the game was simply not worth it to me.”

Recently, Hilarie has been revisiting OTH on her Drama Queens podcast, which she co-hosts with Sophia, 39, and Bethany, 40. The trio have welcomed a number of their former costars onto the podcast to reminisce on the good, the bad and the ugly during their days on the hit teen drama.

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