One Tree Hill star Hilarie Burton, who played Peyton Sawyer, has spoken out about a s*xual assault she endured on the set of the popular teen drama. On her podcast episode with Bethany Joy Lenz, and Sophia Bush, Burton explained how her co-star Chad Michael Murray defended her after the assault.
Murray, who played the main character Lucas Scott on the show, came out guns blazing at showrunner Mark Schwann to defend Hilarie Burton.
Hilarie Burton Speaks Out Against S*xual Assault
Hilarie Burton claims that Schwann assaulted her during the filming of an episode. Yet, the attack wasn’t the only thing Burton had to suffer. Supposedly, after the incident, Schwann walked directly back to set and informed Danneel Ackles, who was then dating actor Jensen Ackles, that it was fun. When Ackles questioned Burton about it later, it just perplexed and upset her further.
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Hilarie Burton says she informed everyone at the time of the assault, but many hesitated to come forward because of the imbalance of power on set. In contrast, Murray had nothing to lose because he was already convinced of Schwann’s hatred of him. Murray supposedly saw Schwann grab Hilarie Burton in front of a crowd and subsequently confronted Schwann at a 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.'”
Murray’s defense of Hilarie Burton shouldn’t come as a surprise. They became quite close on and off camera and their characters even got married in the series. Murray is not one to stand by and watch as his buddy and co-star was mistreated because of their shared connection on-screen.
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Yet, it wasn’t the end of the drama. The women also recalled how Rachel, played by Ackles, had been written off the show then and how she was constantly objectified throughout the episode. One scenario involved remarks on Rachel’s plastic surgery, as Mouth, played by Lee Norris, laments that she dumped him for a better attractive man.
Sophie Bush Reveals It All Behind-the-Scenes
Sophie Bush quickly pointed out that this was not Mouth speaking but Schwann projecting his insecurities onto the character. Actress Sophia Bush spoke about a scene from One Tree Hill in which Mouth’s line was “our boss writing himself…”
“This isn’t Mouth. It’s our boss writing himself as the ‘I’m such a nice guy and all the sexy girls don’t want to have sex with me.’ This is also, in real life, when she began dating her now-husband [Jensen Ackles], who was the gorgeous guy at the bar that Mouth is talking about.”
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In reality, the actress Danneel Ackles, who played Rachel on the show, had been the subject of unwanted advances from the show’s creator, Mark Schwahn. Bush revealed that the scene was written by Schwahn and was an attempt to paint himself as a victim of unrequited love.
“That’s our boss talking about how jealous of Danneel’s husband he was… I don’t like that we were all used in this episode to just pile on our friend because she said to her grown-up, married boss, ‘Please stop hitting on me and please stop touching me and please stop trying to make out with me at bars. I’m very uncomfortable.’ Like, that should just be the bare f*cking minimum!”
It’s disheartening to learn that many of the performers on One Tree Hill were subjected to a horrible work environment. The show’s leading women have always supported each other but hearing how Murray defended Hilarie Burton is encouraging.
Source: Drama Queen | Spotify