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‘My Son Exists’ Because Actress Left ONE TREE HILL to Focus on Family

Photo from Jeffrey Dean Morgan Instagram

‘My Son Exists’ Because Actress Left ONE TREE HILL to Focus on Family

By Movieguide® Staff

Actress Hilarie Burton recently shared about her relationship with ONE TREE HILL co-star Moira Kelly, who encouraged her to leave the show.

Burton said that leaving ONE TREE HILL also led to her meeting her husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and fulfilling her dream of starting a family.

“It’s like, ‘You don’t know that you saved my life,'” Burton said to her co-star on the DRAMA QUEENS podcast. “I don’t know what would have happened to me if I stayed. I met my husband. My son Gus exists because Moira Kelly told me to run and so I did.”

“I just think about how different my life would be if she wasn’t that one person to give me permission to just go,” Burton added.

Burton noted that Kelly also modeled prioritizing of her family over her career.

“I so valued your opinion of me and of our business and the way you prioritized your family over work, and that’s what I wanted—what you had is what I wanted,” Burton, 39, said. “You didn’t have to say anything because you lived it and we could just, like, see it…I have wanted to thank you for that, honestly, since I was 26 years old.

“Moira, this is the first time I’ve seen you since I left the show,” Burton added. “I’ve wanted to tell you this for years and years and years, but in the last episode of the show, everyone in my world was telling me, ‘You can’t leave. You can’t leave.’… You came, and you sat next to me and you started off by just joking, and you were like, ‘What’s going on?’

“I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do,’ and you said, ‘Run,'” the actress continued. “You started it off with, like, a joke, and I was like, ‘Yeah?’ You said to me, ‘There’s so many chapters in life and this is just one. This is just one.'”

Kelly confessed that she did not know about the alleged sexual harassment at the time but that she would have helped the women on set.

In 2017, women who worked on ONE TREE HILL accused Mark Schwahn of sexual misconduct. However, Schwahn has yet to make a public statement about the allegations.

“Hearing honestly what all of you young women had to go through—I don’t want to get choked up. If I could go back, I would have made my presence stronger there,” Kelly said. “I felt like, you know, being somewhat of a veteran, you were all so very young coming into this situation, there’s a part of me that feels like I let you all down.”

“If I had been more present, I would have been more aware maybe of what was going on, I surely would have said something,” she added. “I surely would have done something, and so, if I could go back and do anything different, I would make my presence so solid on that show and I would have made myself so available to all of you.”