Star ‘assaulted, abused’ on hit TV show

For Sophia Bush, putting herself before others proved to be a difficult task towards the end of her tenure on the US TV show Chicago P.D.

"I quit because, what I've learned is I've been so programmed to be a good girl and to be a workhorse and be a tugboat that I have always prioritised tugging the ship for the crew, for the show, for the group, ahead of my own health," the 36-year-old actress said Monday on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast.

"The reality was that my body was, like, falling apart, because I was really, really unhappy."

Bush, who portrayed Detective Erin Lindsay on the drama series, feared for the wellbeing of the crew she grew to care for, despite working in Chicago's sometimes gruelling weather conditions.


Sophia Bush. Picture: Michael Loccisano/Getty
Sophia Bush. Picture: Michael Loccisano/Getty

"I internalised and sort of like, inhabited that role of 'pull the tugboat' to the point where just because I'm unhappy or being mistreated or I'm being abused at work, I'm not gonna f**k this job up for all these people and what about the camera guy whose two daughters I love and this is how he pays their rent?" Bush explained.

"It becomes such a big thing. When your bosses tell you that if you raise a ruckus, you'll cost everyone their job, and you believe them," she continued.

Bush eventually had enough, departing the series in May 2017 after the Season 4 finale, despite signing a seven-season deal in 2014. The actress said she had also gone to her bosses after a table read for the fourth season premiere to air her grievances, but was "told to stop".

'I said, 'Okay, you can put me in the position of going quietly of my own accord or you can put me in the position of suing the network to get me out of my deal and I'll write an op-ed for The New York Times and tell them why,'" Bush shared.

She also said former NBC president Jennifer Salke had not been informed about the complaints, but allegedly reached out to Bush and said, "We would never try to make you stay."

"Nearing my tenure there, I was probably difficult to be around because I was in so much pain and I felt so ignored," Bush explained.

Shepard also addressed Bush's time on One Tree Hill, in which she and other female co-stars and crew members accused creator Mark Schwahn of sexual misconduct last year. The actress said they were different experiences.


Bush (front, left) with her One Tree Hill castmates.
Bush (front, left) with her One Tree Hill castmates.


"Our experience on One Tree Hill was unpleasant, but our boss who was a bad dude lived in L.A.," she explained of the show, which filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina.

"Eighty per cent of the time we were on set loving our experience and each other and then he would come to town and it'd be like, 'Watch out for f***ing Handsy McHandsy over there.'

"There was a lot that was inappropriate but it wasn't all the time … it wasn't the same.

"One was like, a guy who we're like, 'Oh God, he's back.' And one was a consistent onslaught barrage of abusive behaviour," Bush said.

"You start to lose your way when someone assaults you in a room full of people and everyone literally looks away, looks at the floor, looks at the ceiling, and you're the one woman in the room and every man who's twice your size doesn't do something."

Bush previously spoke about her exit from Chicago P.D. on Refinery29's UnStyled podcast last year.


Bush on One Tree Hill circa 2005.
Bush on One Tree Hill circa 2005.

"I landed this job that, since I was 20 years old and trying to become an actor, I said I wanted. And aspects of it, don't get me wrong, were wonderful," she shared. "But I knew by the end of the second season I couldn't do that job anymore."

She also compared her experience on the show to feeling like she "was trapped in a burning building".

NBC did not immediately return our request for comment.


This story originally appeared on the New York Post and was republished with permission.

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