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One Tree Hill’s Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty Rally Around Costars Amid Mark Schwahn Sexual Misconduct Claims

One Tree Hill’s Chad Michael Murray and James Lafferty — among many others — are rallying around their former female costars amid sexual misconduct claims against showrunner Mark Schwahn.

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As previously reported, writer Audrey Wauchope detailed alleged sexual harassment that she and her writing partner, Rachel Specter, went through with a showrunner, which was later identified as Schwahn. In response, the show’s stars — Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz — came forward with 15 others in support of Wauchope in a letter published by Variety.

Mark Schwahn attends the NBCUniversal 2015 Press Tour.
Mark Schwahn attends the NBCUniversal 2015 Press Tour.

“Mark Schwahn’s behavior over the duration of the filming of One Tree Hill was something of an ‘open secret,'” 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. More than one woman on our show had her career trajectory threatened.”

Murray and Lafferty took to Twitter soon after. Murray, for his part, retweeted a comment by Burton and Bush. “It’s time, sisters. I am so proud to call these women my family. You cannot imagine,” Bush wrote on Monday, November 13, including a link to the Variety story.

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Burton replied: “I have been angry for a decade. Today, my sisters take back what was rightfully ours. #burnitdownsis #f-kyoursorry.”

Lafferty, who played Lenz’s TV husband, shared a lengthy statement of his own. “I applaud every woman on OTH, every woman on earth, who stands up to a system that has failed them in the past and in this moment. I stand with them,” he wrote via Twitter. “I will always be a champion of a fair, respectful workplace and encourage any human to make their most earnest attempt to preserve the balance necessary for us all to live and work together safely. I encourage every human to pursue justice when that balance is willfully upset.”

“So many of the individuals that made One Tree Hill, cast and crew, embody the virtues of the story we were trying to tell,” he continued. “I hope One Tree Hill will continue to stand as a beacon of hope, grace and love to the fans who have kept the show close to their hearts for so long. I hope that now we can add ‘change’ to that list of virtues.”

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Following One Tree Hill, which ran from 2003 to 2012, Lafferty would go on to direct an episode of the E! show The Royals, which was also created by Schwahn.

“We are monitoring the information carefully,” a spokesperson for E! said in a statement to Us Weekly on Monday. “E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television are committed to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated respectfully and professionally.”

Since then, more OTH stars have come forward to support the cast, including Austin Nichols and Michael Grubbs. Read the rest below:

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