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Sophia Bush Reveals She Felt 'Pressured' To Marry Chad Michael Murray, And The Reason Will Break Your Heart

The actress says fans don't know the real story behind her short-lived marriage.

Sophia Bush Reveals She Felt 'Pressured' To Marry Chad Michael Murray, And The Reason Will Break Your Heart
Bauer Griffin

Back in 2005, The WB's One Tree Hill — yes, before The CW, if you can recall such a dark time — was the thing. In its second season, series stars Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray got married in secret, and sent fans into a flurry. We barely had time to process the relationship before (surprise!) they were husband and wife. Just as quickly, they got divorced. It wasn't your typical Hollywood story, and on June 13, Bush revealed why: She didn't want to marry her One Tree Hill co-star in the first place.

During the press tour for Incredibles 2 (Bush voices a new character named Voyd), the actress appeared on Andy Cohen's radio show, Radio Andy. When the subject of her five-month marriage came up — which happened more than a decade ago — the actress got real. Like, really real. She's been known to speak her mind (particularly on gender equality), but this is the first time she felt comfortable spilling all the beans.


"Everybody’s been 22 and stupid, you know?" Bush joked. “It was not a thing I actually really wanted to do, but you know, it’s cool."

"Ladies have to learn how to take up space in the way that men are taught they are entitled to," she continued. "Because how do you let everybody down — what’s the fight? And when you have bosses telling you that you’re the only person who gets a person to work on time, and 200 people either get to see their kids at night or they don’t because our days start on time."

In November 2017, Variety reported 18 women from One Tree Hill's cast and crew had accused showrunner Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment. Though they've moved on "with love and courage" — per an open letter to Schwahn — it's obvious his influence had a ripple effect.

At only 22 years old, Bush apparently felt pressure to take the extra step in her relationship. Somehow, higher-ups made it one young actress's responsibility to take care of her male co-star. The show's filming schedule rested not only on her job performance, but on her ability to motivate her romantic partner. It's enough to really bum you out, but it'll make you angry, too. Who thought it was appropriate to place that kind of pressure on her? Such sexist, manipulative behavior — telling her that if she didn't get Murray to work, her co-workers wouldn't be able to see their kids — is just one of the many acts that foundations like #TimesUp hope to combat. Bush even added that co-star Hilarie Burton and herself thought a new series about OTH's behind-the-scenes drama would have been more successful than the show itself. (Uh, systemic harassment and persistent coercive behavior aside, hopefully.)

On the bright side, Bush doesn't seem to regret OTH.

"Life is always loaded. What the public knows is never... it’s not even the tip of the iceberg," she said.

Bauer Griffin

What a perfectly mysterious comment — intriguing, but vague. She should expect her fans to have more than a few follow up questions! After all, Bush has always kept her romantic relationships under wraps. We may never know the details, but it would be totally cool if she wanted to clue us in.

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