Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz congratulate their friend Sophia Bush on her coming out

Hilarie Burton Morgan, Sophia Bush, Bethany Joy Lenz

Sophia Bush’s closest friends are rallying around her in light of her first revelation about her sexuality.

Bush, 41, reflected on the end of her marriage to Grant Hughes and the start of her new romance by first confirming her relationship with former professional footballer Ashlyn Harris in a candid essay for Charm’April cover published April 25.

In response, the actress received an outpouring of love on her social media, including particularly poignant messages from some of her dearest friends: her A tree hill family.

Hilarie Burton Morgan wrote in a comment on one of Bush’s Instagram posts, which detailed the inspiration she took from poet Maggie Smith when writing the essay for the outlet: “Growing up with was a delight to you, my lady. Never stop.

“I love the courageous multitudes in you. I love the blue flame of that fierce heart at the heart of it all,” Burton Morgan, 41, continued. “You shine brighter and brighter. Xoxox.

In the comments of a joint post shared by Bush and the magazine, Bethany Joy Lenz also shared some love for her former co-star. “Your open-hearted life is so, so inspiring💎,” Lenz, 43, wrote. “I love you.”

Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz and Sophia Bush at the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Festival.


Another A tree hill alumni also weighed in, including Kate Voegele, who played Mia Catalano in seasons 5 through 8 of the series, and Daneel Ackles, who played Bush’s BFF characters Rachel Scott in seasons 3 through 7 .

Voegele, 37, wrote of Bush: “You are amazing, my friend! ❤️”

Meanwhile, Ackles, 45, called her “the most beautiful.” Inside and out ❤️.

In the essay, Bush admits that only now does she “finally feel like she can breathe” after several difficult years, which included the beginning and end of her marriage to Hughes, and the start of her first queer public relationship with Harris, 38.

“I don’t think I can explain how deep it is. It feels like I’ve been wearing a weighted vest for who knows how long. I didn’t realize how heavy it was until I’m finally putting it down,” she wrote.

“It took me 41 years to get here. When I look back over the last few years, I can tell you that I have never operated with more integrity in my life. I hope it’s clear enough for everyone to speculate, while being as gentle as possible,” she added.

As for how she feels now that she’s started a relationship with Harris, Bush wrote, “Maybe this was all destined.” Perhaps this really is a version of invisible string theory. I do not really know. But I do know that for a moment, I felt like maybe the universe was conspiring for me. And this feeling I have in my bones is one I will hold on to no matter where things go from here.

Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz and Sophia Bush in “One Tree Hill.”
The CW

For Bush, whether or not she made announcements about her love life, Burton and Lenz have always been by her side.

The trio launched a review podcast for the CW series they starred in from 2003 to 2012 (although Burton left the show after just six seasons), Theater queenswhich frequently sees them come together to relive the show, and last year they celebrated 20 years since its premiere with tributes on social media.

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Bush took care to honor the SAG-AFTRA strikes then in progress by marking the anniversary with photos of herself, Burton and Lenz taken over the years.

“I’m not going to mention the job celebrating its 20th anniversary today while our union is on strike,” she began the caption. “So instead, I’ll be celebrating 20 years of female friendships that are the ultimate love stories and reclaiming our good, our bad, our ugly and our beautiful through @dramaqueensoth. Thanks to our #fanfam who encouraged us to find and use our voices on and off screen #Lucky23 #20years.”

“Hey. We made it. Love you,” Burton wrote in a comment on the post.

Lenz also marked the anniversary with a message by sharing a carousel of photos from filming the series, writing: “20 years of SOMETHING magical 🐦‍⬛🏀 This will always be my family. Thanks to everyone who made this is possible 🙏.”

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