Three One Tree Hill stars have recalled being threatened on set in a shocking new podcast conversation.
The hit show’s cast members - Hilarie Burton, Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz - have opened up about their treatment during filming for the fourth season back in 2006.
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Speaking in the latest episode of their podcast Drama Queens, they claimed that the show’s producers had coerced them into doing a Maxim cover shoot when they didn’t want to. They alleged that series creator Mark Schwan had threatened their careers if they refused to pose.
Sophia, who played Brooke Davis, was against doing the cover because of how her character had already been “so sexualised” already. She explained: “I was like, ‘look, if the girls want to do it, that’s great. I don’t. I have gone into battle trying to make Brooke less of this thing that you guys tried to force me into. I don’t want to do it.
“I literally got told, ‘If you do not go and shoot this cover with your co-stars, we will guarantee you that you will never be let out for a press day, a movie, an event, any of your charities. We will keep you here forever’.”
She added: “It was such a profound threat and a threat to be able to, honestly, even to have the ability to escape for a weekend, a place that at this stage, this season, I was leaving every chance I got.”
Bethany - who took on the role of Haley James Scott - was allegedly then told she was being replaced on the shoot by another co-star because of her body shape. She said: “They told me that they didn’t come to me because I was too fat. I wasn’t a hot girl on the show anymore.”
Hilarie Burton, Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz host the Drama Queens podcast
Hilarie, who played Peyton Sawyer, explained the pressure they were under to pose. She added: “It was very much a, ‘no one wants you, the studio wants to cancel your show. You don’t start to generate some buzz and attract these male numbers, we’re dead and all your friends are going to lose their jobs.”
In 2017, cast and crew members from the North Carolina-based show - which ran from 2003 to 2012 and starred Chad Michael Murray - came forward to accuse Mark Schwan of sexual harassment. However, he has never responded to the allegations. Sophia, Bethany and Hilarie were among those to sign the letter, which claimed they were “to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally”.
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