Hilarie Burton Shares How Her Sexual Harassment While Filming 'One Tree Hill' Affects How She Parents Her Daughter
Hilarie Burton is sharing intimate details on her time filming One Tree Hill, and expresses the sexual assault she experienced has shaped not only her view of Hollywood, but how she chooses to raise her daughter.
Hilarie Burton opens up on her #MeToo moment
Although it's been over a decade since Hilarie Burton appeared on One Tree Hill, the actress is sharing she still hold many memories from those days - not all of them happy.
In her new memoir The Rural Diaries, which came out on May 5, Burton shares her experiences growing up on a farm, and how vastly different that life was compared to when she starred in the teen drama.
“I had such strong relationships on the show and I still do,” Burton said. "There was so much good. But there was bad too.”
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George is a VERY picky reader. @harperonebooks sent me a stash of books to pass out. And the original plan was to hang out with all my neighbors and fellow shop owners in town and celebrate this love letter I wrote to everyone. Now George stacks and unstacks them each morning. They're her toy. I worked on #ruraldiaries for years. And was looking forward to getting out and promoting it. I'd be lying if I said the absence of that opportunity didn't sting a little bit. But then there are folks out there risking their lives to take care of all of us, and it snaps everything back into focus. I'm back at making masks as I post this. So I rewrite the narrative. This lockdown has allowed me to stay at home, with my whole family, and work together on the farm we worked so hard to build. This lockdown keeps Jeffrey home, and we are overjoyed. This lockdown has connected me to the friends I've made in town, as we work together to support our hospital. This lockdown has allowed our candy store @samuelssweetshop to be a part of countless birthdays and Easter baskets and anniversaries, as people send sugar laced love to one another. My book comes out right before Mother's Day - 5/5/2020 - which I loved. Because that was the weekend @jeffreydeanmorgan and I met, and becoming a mother has been the most important turn my life ever took. So stack them books, George Virginia. They are all yours, baby. Mama is so glad we are all together.
Burton was on the show for six years before she left in 2009. The actress came forward about sexual harassment and abuse allegations toward the drama creator, Mark Schwahn in 2017. She was not the only one to come forward.
Burton reveals that Schwahn would touch her inappropriately, kiss her against her will, and would often be verbally abusive. Although Schwahn was never fully convicted, he has lost his job on another TV show project.
Despite happening in her early 20s, the actress never fully came forward about her boss saying, "I was told that if you speak up, your career is over. You’ll be labeled a troublemaker.”
The actress shares a son named Gus, 10, and a daughter, George, who is 2, with fellow actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan of The Walking Dead.
“I didn’t say anything for a decade,” says Burton. “And as a result of that, people were abused after me. The guilt that comes with that is really difficult.”
“It affects how I parent George,” she continued. “She will never be a pleaser. If my daughter tells someone to f— off, awesome. I wish I had had the ability to do that.”
Along with her daughter, Burton also shares she talks about these experiences with her son Gus as well.
“He knows something bad went down on that set and he asks me, ‘Why do you still do conventions for it? Why do you still talk about it?’ But I am making a decision as an adult to focus on the good, to focus on the fan base and the crew and the fact that I got to learn my craft every day,” she said.
She hopes in the future that kind of behaviour is being flushed out of the industry.
She concluded, however, that “there is still a lot of work to do.”