Hilarie Burton Says Chad Michael Murray Defended Her Against One Tree Hill Creator During Alleged Assault

Hilarie Burton Says Chad Michael Murray Defended Her Against One Tree Hill Creator During Alleged Assault

Hilarie Burton Says Chad Michael Murray Defended Her Against One Tree Hill Creator During Alleged Assault

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Hilarie Burton is looking back at how her One Tree Hill costar Chad Michael Murray came to her defense.

On the latest edition of the Drama Queens podcast, Burton, 40, recalled how Murray, 41, stepped in to protect her against the teen drama’s showrunner Mark Schwahn during an alleged assault while on location in Honey Grove, Texas during the series’ fourth season in 2007.

“Chad walked up and goes, ‘What are you doing?’ He said that to our boss in the bar,” Burton, who played Peyton Sawyer on the series, told her cohosts and former OTH costars, Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz.

“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,” she continued. “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.'”

Chad Michael Murray, Hilarie Burton One Tree HIll

Chad Michael Murray, Hilarie Burton One Tree HIll

The CW

RELATED: Hilarie Burton Says She Wants a ‘Do-Over’ of One Tree Hill ‘with a Girl Boss’

Bush — who was married to Murray from 2005 to 2006 — shared that she believed his starring role as Lucas Scott on the show factored into his ability to defend Burton.

“He was protected as No. 1 on the call sheet,” she said. “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.”

Bush, 40, also spoke out about the importance of being an ally and protecting others.

“I have sympathy for the reality that people are scared they’re going to put a hole in the ship and then the ship is going to sink, but get over it and protect your people. Because this idea that looking at the ground is OK — it’s not,” she explained. “And thank God, Hilarie, that you had that moment with Chad, who was already so at odds with our boss.”

A rep for Murray did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.



CW /Everett

RELATED: Hilarie Burton Says the Sexual Harassment She Suffered ‘Affects How I Parent My Daughter’

This is not the first time Burton and her costars have spoken out about One Tree Hill and the inappropriate behavior they allegedly experienced on set.

Back in November 2017, Burton and Bush were among the 18 former female cast and crew members who accused creator Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment.

“Mark Schwahn’s behavior over the duration of the filming of One Tree Hill was something of an ‘open secret,'” wrote the women in the letter. “Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally. More than one of us is still in treatment for post-traumatic stress. Many of us were put in uncomfortable positions and had to quickly learn to fight back, sometimes physically, because it was made clear to us that the supervisors in the room were not the protectors they were supposed to be.”

“Many of us were spoken to in ways that ran the spectrum from deeply upsetting, to traumatizing, to downright illegal,” they continued. “And a few of us were put in positions where we felt physically unsafe. More than one woman on our show had her career trajectory threatened.”

RELATED: Hilarie Burton Morgan ‘Kept Quiet’ for a Long Time Amid Sexual Harassment on One Tree Hill Set

Schwahn has never spoken about any of the allegations, but he was later removed from his role as showrunner of E!’s The Royals after a group of 25 female cast and crew members on the series released a joint letter in which they claimed Schwahn “felt the inclination to abuse his power and influence in an environment where he had it over women who felt they did not.”

“This manifested itself in the repeated unwanted sexual harassment of multiple female members of the cast and crew,” the letter said.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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