One Tree Hill’s Hilarie Burton Shares How Chad Michael Murray Defended Her After Alleged Assault

One Tree Hill alum Hilarie Burton is recalling a time when co-star Chad Michael Murray stepped in to defend her after she was allegedly assaulted by the show's creator, Mark Schwahn.

By Kisha Forde Mar 16, 2023 10:23 PMTags
Watch: Chad Michael Murray Teases "One Tree Hill" Reunion

Hilarie Burton is recalling a time when Chad Michael Murray came to her defense.

The One Tree Hill actress—who has been open about the alleged treatment she faced on the show's set by, most notably, creator Mark Schwahn—reflected on a time where she says the pair had to travel to Texas to shoot an episode during season four.

"The flight back from that is when he assaulted me," Burton said of Schwahn to fellow OTH alum Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz during the March 15 episode of their Drama Queens podcast. "He assaulted me again in the car on the drive from Raleigh to Wilmington."

Referring to their co-star Danneel Ackles, who has also accused Schwahn of harrassment, Burton continued, "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?'"

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As Burton explained, the experience left her "blood was boiling," and she went on to tell "all sorts of people," about the incident but said that it was Murray that stood up to the show's creator one evening.

"Chad walked up and goes, ‘What are you doing?'" she said. "He said that to our boss in the bar. 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."

LISA O'CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images; Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Bush, who was briefly married to the Freaky Friday star in 2005, responded, "Thank God, Hilarie, that you had that moment with Chad, who was already so at odds with our boss." 

"By the way, he was protected as the number one on the call sheet," Bush said of her ex. "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."

Burton and Ackles are among several members of the One Tree Hill cast and crew—including Bush, Lenz and co-star Jana Kramer—who have spoken out about how they were allegedly treated by Schwahn. In fact, they were among 18 cast and crew members who expressed support for former colleague Audrey Wauchope, a former writer on the show, in a Nov. 2017 open letter after she accused him of sexual harrassment.

In the wake of the open letter, Alexandra Park, who starred in Schwahn's series The Royals, put out a statement on social media, per Variety, calling out the showrunner's "unacceptable, harmful leadership," promoting more than two dozen of women working on the E! series alleging sexual harrassment.

Schwahn was suspended—and later fired from—from the series.

E! News has reached out to Schwahn's reps for comment and has not heard back. He has not responded publicly to any claims of sexual harassment.

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