Hilarie Burton has described how her former co-star Chad Michael Murray stood up for her after she was allegedly assaulted by disgraced One Tree Hill showrunner Mark Schwahn.
Speaking on her podcast Drama Queens with former co-stars Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz, Burton claimed the alleged assault occurred after they both traveled to Honey Grove, Texas to inform a high school they had won a contest to have One Tree Hill film on their campus.
Burton, who has been vocal about the alleged treatment she endured from Schwahn in the past, never named him on the podcast and only identified him as their ‘boss.’
‘The flight back from that is when he assaulted me. He assaulted me again in the car on the drive from Raleigh to Wilmington, He went straight to set and he told Danneel [Ackles] 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?”‘ she claimed.
‘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. I didn’t know how to process it anymore and you can see it in the episode. You can see that I’m not there… I look like shit, I’m not connecting in anyway.’
‘He watched our boss grab me’: Hilarie Burton has described how former co-star Chad Michael Murray stood up for her against disgraced One Tree Hill showrunner Mark Schwahn during an alleged assault on season four of their CW show
Burton, who claimed she reported Schwahn to numerous people, then recalled how Chad defended her.
‘Chad [Michael Murray] walked up and goes, “What are you doing?” 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. 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 praised Chad, her ex-husband, for defending Burton at the time and cited his ranking on the show for shielding him against potential punishment.
‘He was protected as the No. 1 on the call sheet,’ Sophia remarked of her ex-husband. ‘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.’
‘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 said.
‘And thank God, Hilarie, that you had that moment with Chad, who was already so at odds with our boss.’
Burton was one of many women who came out against Schwahn in 2017 with allegations of sexual misconduct. She alleged he forcibly kissed her twice during her time working with him on One Tree Hill.
The women have spoken out again Schwahn in the years since, and last year claimed they were strong-armed into doing their 2006 Maxim shoot while on the show.
He had her back: Speaking on her podcast Drama Queens with former co-stars Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz, Burton said Chad spoke up after Schwahn allegedly grabbed her
‘Chad walked up and goes, “What are you doing?”‘: Burton recalled of her former co-star, pictured 2019
Iconic show: Burton and Sophia Bush pictured with co-stars James Lafferty, Bethany Joy Lenz, and Murray in 2004
Schwahn was ultimately fired from E! series The Royals in 2017 after Burton, Sophia and other One Tree Hill cast members penned an open letter showing their support to Audrey Wauchope, who claimed women on the show were both ‘psychologically and emotionally’ abused by the series creator.
The letter read: ‘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 swiftly 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. And a few of us were put in positions where we felt physically unsafe.’
One Tree Hill aired from 2003-2012 and followed the lives of a group of young men and women growing up in North Carolina. Schwahn wrote and directed the series and worked as the showrunner for its eight-season run.
Small screen stars: One Tree Hill aired from 2003-2012 and followed the lives of a group of young men and women growing up in North Carolina