Hilarie Burton thought that speaking out against the claimed abuse on the set of One Tree Hill had set her “free.”
In a new interview with Page Six at the Tribeca Festival opening of The Walking Dead: Dead City, the actress who played Peyton Sawyer on the teen drama for six seasons said, “It is an age-old lesson, that honesty is always better, it sets you free.”
Hilarie said, “I think when you’re young, you’re led to believe that keeping quiet about things is how you protect people you care about.”
“And I’ve learned that speaking up is way better,” she said.
In 2017, Hilarie and 17 other women, including her co-stars Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz, accused the show’s creator, Mark Schwahn, of sexual harassment on the set of One Tree Hill in the 2000s.
In a message, the women said, Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally. More than one of us is still in treatment for post-traumatic stress.”
Hilarie also said that Ben Affleck touched her inappropriately when she was on MTV’s Total Request Live.
After the video of him groping her went public in 2017, Hilarie tweeted that she hadn’t forgotten about it and added, “I was a kid.”
But Ben later told Hilarie he was sorry for his bad behavior.