Cast and crew members from “One Tree Hill” issued a statement Monday night in support of writer Audrey Wauchope following her allegations on Twitter that she was sexually harassed by showrunner Mark Schwahn.
While she didn’t name him directly, Wauchope wrote a string of tweets over the weekend detailing the experiences of herself and her writing partner while working on The CW series.
In response, the female stars of the hit show including Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz released a joint statement saying that they had also been “psychologically and emotionally” by “The Royals” showrunner, calling it “an open secret.”
“Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally. More than one of us is still in treatment for post-traumatic stress,” the statement read. “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.
Hilarie Burton through the years
Hilarie Burton MTV VJ wearing Levis during 2002 MTV Video Music Awards – Arrivals at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Hilarie Burton and Jimmy Fallon during Jimmy Fallon Celebrates the Release of his Debut CD Album ‘The Bathroom Wall’ with a Signing Event at FYE at FYE on Sixth Ave in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Hilarie Burton during Chrysler and Genart Present PT Studios at Splashlight Studios in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 3: (L to R) MTV VJs La La and Hilarie Burton talk with actress Kate Hudson and actor Matthew McConaughey during an appearance on ‘TRL’ February 3, 2003 at the MTV Times Square Studios in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
LaLa, Hilarie Burton and Quddus during ‘The Bachelor’ Aaron Buerge with Fiancee Helene Eksterowicz and Ice Cube Visit MTV’s ‘TRL’ – November 21, 2002 at MTV Studios- Times Square in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 17: (U.S. TABS OUT) VJ’s Hilarie Burton and Quddus speak on stage during the first MTV ‘TRL Awards’ at the MTV Times Square Studios on February 6, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
Hilarie Burton during Command PR and the W Hotel Present ‘The Luxury Depot’ Suite – Day One at W Hotel, Times Square in New York, NY, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Hilarie Burton during Gavin DeGraw and The Cast of One Tree Hill Make Appearance at Planet Hollywood Times Square at Planet Hollywood in New York City, NY, United States. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK – MARCH 5: (U.S. TABS OUT) VJ Hilarie Burton poses for a photo backstage during MTV’s Total Request Live on March 5, 2004 at the MTV Times Square Studios, in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
CANCUN, MEXICO – MARCH 13: (U.S. TABS OUT) VJ’s Hilarie Burton and Damien Fahey appear on stage during taping for MTV Spring Break 2004 on the beach deck at ‘The City’ March 13, 2004 in Cancun, Mexico. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
NEW YORK – APRIL 13: MTV VJ’s Vanessa Minnillo (L) and Hilarie Burton pose backstage during the 2nd Annual TRL Awards at MTV Times Square Studios April 13, 2004 in New York City. The TRL Awards celebrate the most exciting TRL performers and memorable moments of 2003. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
Kirsten Dunst, Tobey Maguire and MTV VJ Hilarie Burton (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton of ‘One Tree Hill’ during The Cast of ‘One Tree Hill’ Takes Over MTV’s ‘TRL’ – January 25, 2005 at MTV Studios in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Carley Margolis/FilmMagic)
Andrew McMahon of Jack’s Mannequin and Hilarie Burton (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
NEW YORK – MAY 18: Actress Hilarie Burton attends the CW Television Network Upfront at Madison Square Garden May 18, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Hilarie Burton during The CW’s Summer 2006 TCA Party – Arrivals at Ritz Carlton in Pasadena, California, United States. (Photo by Jason Merritt/FilmMagic)
Hilarie Burton and Sophia Bush (Photo by Hal Horowitz/WireImage)
Hilarie Burton (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage for The WB Television Network)
Hilarie Burton during The 2007 CW Network Upfront – Arrivals at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jason Kempin/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK – JANUARY 08: Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton Visit MTV’s ‘TRL’ at MTV Studios Times Square in New York January 8, 2008 (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – MAY 06: Actress Hilarie Burton and actress Danneel Harris arrive at the Herve Leger by Max Azria Collection Launch party held at Live! on Sunset on May 6, 2009 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
WHITE COLLAR — Season 3 — Pictured: (l-r) Matt Bomer as Neal Caffrey, Hilarie Burton as Sara Ellis — (Photo by: Robert Ascroft/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 10: Actors Hilarie Burton (L) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan attend the Broadway opening night of ‘Catch Me If You Can’ at the Neil Simon Theatre on April 10, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA – APRIL 20: Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere of ‘The Losers’ at the Grauman’s Chinese Theater on April 20, 2010 in Hollywood, California (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 14: Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton arrive at the Premiere of Summit Entertainment’s ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1’ at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 08: Hilarie Burton filming on location for ‘White Collar’ on the streets of Manhattan on June 8, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
CASTLE – ‘An Embarrassment of Bitches’ – When a famous dog trainer is killed, the investigation keeps coming back to charismatic reality TV star Kay Cappuccio (guest star Hilarie Burton, ‘White Collar’). Kay, a favorite of tabloids and gossip websites the world over, has achieved stardom without possessing any discernible skill or talent. But there seems to be more to her story than she is letting on — does that include murder? — on ‘Castle,’ MONDAY, JANUARY 23 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. Justin Hartley (‘Smallville’) guest stars as Reggie Starr, Kay’s boyfriend, and Nana Visitor (‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’) plays Dr. Patty Barker, an eminent therapist whose talents are called upon when it’s discovered that one of her clients witnessed the murder. (Photo by Karen Neal/ABC via Getty Images) HILARIE BURTON
HOLLYWOOD, CA – JUNE 29: Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan (R) and Hilarie Burton attend the premiere of Marvel’s ‘Ant-Man’ at the Dolby Theatre on June 29, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 19: Actors Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton attend the ‘Rock The Kasbah’ New York Premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on October 19, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 20: Actress Hilarie Burton attends the ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice’ New York premiere at Radio City Music Hall on March 20, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
KANSAS CITY, MO – JUNE 17: Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan pictured on the field at Kauffman Stadium during the 2016 Big Slick Celebrity Weekend on June 17, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 05: Hilarie Burton attends the Adrienne Shelly Foundation 10th Anniversary Gala at The Angel Orensanz Foundation on December 5, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 08: Actors Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan attend the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
LETHAL WEAPON: Guest star Hilarie Burton in the ‘A Problem Like Maria’ episode of LETHAL WEAPON airing Wednesday, March 1 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAY 28: Hilarie Burton appears at the Indy 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 28, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 17: Actors Hilarie Burton (L) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan attend the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 25: Hilarie Burton, Sonia Isabelle and Dorinda Medley attend the Meredith Corporations Second Annual BrandFront Presentation at Cedar Lake on September 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Meredith Corporation)
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“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.”
In her tweets on Saturday, Wauchope said: “Female writers would try to get the spot where the showrunner wouldn’t sit as to not be touched. Often men would help out by sitting next to him, thus protecting the women … he’d just squeeze his disgusting body in between us and put his arms around us, grinning. He pet hair. He massaged shoulders. I know he did more but not to me so they’re not my stories to share.
“I’m furious and sad and everything else for the women who have sat on that couch next to that man,” she went on to say. “And I’m furious and sad and everything else that years later I don’t feel safe to be able to do anything real about this and that it seems to be happening all over this town.”
Wauchope later added that, “I forgot we were staff writers on 2 shows. In the absense of a name I don’t want to implicate the good ones. The men of Cougartown are aces.”
“One Tree Hill” aired on the WB from 2003 to 2006 before moving to The CW until 2012.
Schwahn — who was with the teen drama for the entire eight years — is now on E!s “The Royals.”
“We are monitoring the information carefully,” a spokesperson for the network told TheWrap. “E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television are committed to providing a safe working environment in which everyone is treated respectfully and professionally.”
Wauchope and Schwahn have not replied to TheWrap’s request for comment.
High-profile men accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct
Movie producer Harvey Weinstein is accused of sexually assaulting or harassing dozens of women, including a number of well-known celebrities, over the past several decades.
Hundreds of women accused longtime Hollywood writer and director James Toback of sexual harassment.
(TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
Eleven women have come forward accusing President Donald Trump of unwanted touching or kissing. Trump has called the sexual harassment claims ‘fake news.’
(Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Comedian Louis C.K. has been accused of forcing women to watch him masturbate, according to the New York Times.
(Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
Director Bret Ratner has been accused of sexual harassment by several women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge.
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Actor Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of making a sexual advance towards him when he was 14 years old.
Roger Ailes, the former president of Fox News Channel, was accused of sexually harassing former anchor Gretchen Carlson and several other women from the network.
(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Bill Cosby has faced sexual assault allegations from about 60 women, including several women who claim he drugged them.
(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
Actor Casey Affleck settled lawsuits out of court wth two women who accused him of sexual harassment.
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Film Independent)
Bill O’Reilly has reportedly made numerous settlements with women who accused him of sexual harassment.
(Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Anthony Weiner, a former Democratic congressman was sentenced to 21 months in prison in September 2017 after pleading guilty to sexting a teenage girl.
(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Veteran journalist Mark Halperin has been accused of sexually harassing women while he worked at ABC News.
(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Singer R. Kelly is accused of holding women against their will in houses in Illinois and Georgia in a reported ‘sex cult.’
(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Former Fox Host Eric Bolling was accused of sending unsolicited lewd text messages to female colleagues.
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
Director Roman Polanski fled the US after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Several other women have also come forward to accuse him of sexual assault.
Chef John Besh stepped down from the company he founded after female employees reported facing sexual harassment there.
(Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images for NYCWFF)
Photographer Terry Richardson was labeled the ‘Harvey Weinstein of Fashion’ by the Sunday Times amid widespread accusations of sexual harassment by models.
(Photo by Eugene Gologursky/WireImage)
Singer Kesha accused Lukasz Gottwald aka Dr. Luke of drugging and sexually assaulting her on multiple occasions.
(Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
Former champion boxer Mike Tyson was convicted of raping a Miss Black America contestant in 1992.
Former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has been accused of sexual abuse by dozens of his former patients and athletes.
(JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Music mogul L.A. Reid left his position as Epic Records CEO/Chairman in 2017 amid harassment claims by a female assistant.
(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
Amazon Studios chief Roy Price resigned following reports that he harassed a producer and ignored an actress’ allegation of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein.
(Photo by Paul Zimmerman/WireImage)
Several women have accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping them during photo ops.
Chris Savino (right), creator of ‘The Loud House’ was suspended by Nickelodeon after being accused of making unwanted advances toward multiple women.
(Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SCAD)
Actor Steven Seagal was accused of sexual misconduct by Inside Edition’s chief investigative correspondent Lisa Guerrero.
(Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images,)
Michael Oreskes, senior vice president of news and editorial director of National Public Radio, was accused of inappropriate conduct with two women in 1990s.
Dustin Hoffman was accused of sexually harassing a production assistant when he was 48 and she was a high school senior.
Jeremy Piven was accused by actress Ariane Bellamar of groping her on two separate occasions. Piven ‘unequivocally’ denied the allegations.
Ben Affleck apologized for acting ‘inappropriately’ towards Hilarie Burton during an appearance on MTV’s “Total Request Live” in 2003.
Andy Dick was accused of sexual harassment and misconduct on set, including groping people’s genitals, unwanted kissing/licking and sexual propositions.
(Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)
Four women, including several that were also fellow Scientologists, have accused actor Danny Masterson of sexual assault, according to HuffPost.
(Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
Actor Ed Westwick was accused by actress Kristina Cohen of raping her in his home.
David Guillod, producer of ‘Atomic Blonde,’ is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting several woman.
(Photo by Jennifer Lourie/Getty Images)
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Read the full statement from the former cast below.
To Whom It May Concern,
All of the female cast members of One Tree Hill have chosen this forum to stand together in support of Audrey Wauchope and one another. To use terminology that has become familiar as thesystemic reality of sexual harassment and assault has come more and more to light, Mark Schwahn’s behavior over the duration of the filming of One Tree Hill was something of an “open secret.” 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.
The through line in all of this was, and still is, our unwavering support of and faith in one another. We confided in each other. We set up safe spaces to talk about his behavior and how to handle it. To warn new women who joined our ranks. We understood that a lot of it was orchestrated in ways that kept it out of sight for the studio back home. We also understood that no one was fully unaware. The lack of action that has been routine, the turning of the other cheek, is intolerable. We collectively want to echo the calls of women everywhere that vehemently demand change, in all industries.
Many of us were told, during filming, that coming forward to talk about this culture would result in our show being canceled and hundreds of lovely, qualified, hard-working, and talented people losing their jobs. This is not an appropriate amount of pressure to put on young girls. Many of us since have stayed silent publicly but had very open channels of communication in our friend group and in our industry, because we want Tree Hill to remain the place “where everything’s better and everything’s safe” for our fans; some of whom have said that the show quite literally saved their lives. But the reality is, no space is safe when it has an underlying and infectious cancer. We have worked at taking our power back, making the conventions our own, and relishing in the good memories. But there is more work to be done.
We are all deeply grateful for Audrey’s courage. For one another. And for every male cast mate and crew member who has reached out to our group of women to offer their support these last few days. They echo the greater rallying cry that must lead us to change: Believe Women. We are all in this together.
With Love and Courage,
Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Danneel Harris, Michaela McManus, Kate Voegele, Daphne Zuniga, India de Beaufort, Bevin Prince, Jana Kramer, Shantel Van Santen, and Allison Munn