Sophia Bush Praises Ex Chad Michael Murray For Defending Hilarie Burton After Alleged Sexual Assault On ‘OTH’

Hilarie Burton revealed Chad Michael Murray confronted their ‘One Tree Hill’ boss after he allegedly sexually assaulted her in 2007.

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Sophia Bush praised her ex, Chad Michael Murray, after hearing that he defended Hilarie Burton amid an alleged assault during season 4 of One Tree Hill. Hilarie, 40, revealed the information during the March 15 episode of iHeartRadio’s Drama Queens podcast with cohosts Sophia Bush, 40, and Bethany Joy Lenz, as the ladies were recapping season 4, episode 17.

It was during the filming of that episode in Honey Grove, Texas that Hilarie alleged One Tree Hill showrunner Mark Schwahn, who she only refers to as her “boss”, assaulted her. “Chad walked up and goes, ‘What are you doing?’ He said that to our boss in the bar,” Hilarie revealed. “He watched our boss grab me in front of a lot of people, and you know, Chad didn’t have anything to lose because he knew our boss hated him anyway. A lot of people had a lot to lose, so you don’t speak up when you have a lot to lose. But [our boss] felt so comfortable that that was not something that he had a problem with. [He thought], ‘I can do whatever I want to her in public with her boyfriend standing there.'”

Sophia Bush, Chad Michael Murray & Hilarie Burton (Shutterstock)

Hilarie went on to say that she didn’t expect anyone to help her because crew members had families who were relying on their salaries, and a lot of people couldn’t afford to put their jobs on the line by defending her. “Thank God, Hilarie, that you had that moment with Chad, who was already so at odds with our boss,” Sophia said.

Sophia went on to say that Chad, who she was married to from 2005 to 2006, was in a rare position where he couldn’t easily be fired. “He was protected as the No. 1 on the call sheet. He had the most power, so he could come up and shove our boss off you and get in a fight. And I’m glad that he did. I want everybody to follow that lead,” she said.

Sophia and Hilarie further revealed that leading up to that episode, Danneel Ackles‘ (née Harris) character Rachel was written out of the show for rejecting their boss’ advances. And then before filming on that episode started, Hilarie was forced to be alone with Mark Schwahn on a trip to Honey Grove, Texas. They flew to the small town to surprise the local high school by telling the students an episode of the show would be filmed there.

‘One Tree Hill’ Cast (Everett)

“He decided that it was going to be just me and him. Just me and him had to fly to Honey Grove. … The flight back from that is when he assaulted me. He assaulted me again in the car on the drive from Raleigh to Wilmington, [North Carolina],” Hilarie alleged. “He went straight to set, and he told Danneel that he and I made out the whole time. And it was fun, and he was trying to make her jealous. So, she confronted me about it and was like, ‘What are you doing?’ And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And so, then we had to go on this trip with him. And this was really, like, the last three months where my blood was boiling, and I didn’t know how to process it anymore and you can see it in the episode.”

Hilarie eventually left One Tree Hill after season 6, when her initial six-season contract came to an end, while Bethany and Sophia remained on the show until it ended with season 9. The cast first accused Mark of assault and harassment in a November 2017 Variety report. Afterwards, 25 cast and crew members of The Royals, another series which Mark had created, shared similar allegations. He was subsequently fired from the E! drama and has never publicly addressed the allegations.

If you or someone you know have been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673).

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