Hilarie Burton Talks Protecting Sophia Bush Amid Divorce and New Romance: ‘That’s a Good Woman’ (Exclusive)

Together forever!

In a new interview with ET, Hilarie Burton made it clear her bond with former One Tree Hill co-star and longtime friend Sophia Bush is an infinite one. 

“She’s just not afraid to throw herself in front of the line of fire,” Burton told ET’s Deidre Behar. “She’s done it for me so many times and so, I want to protect her at all costs.”

“Everybody’s had an internet scuffle or two and Sophia is the first person that will rush in and that is why my husband loves her so much because he’s like, ‘You know, other than me — the person who comes to your defense and the person who will fight for your honor is Sophia,’ and so I love that she’s unafraid,” Burton elaborated. “Sometimes with people who are so strong and unafraid, they hide their soft inside and so it’s my job as her best friend to protect her as well because she really is the most wonderful human and, yeah, we’ll still be working together when we’re in our eighties.”

In August, ET learned Bush filed for divorce from husband Grant Hughes shortly after their 1-year wedding anniversary. More recently, a source told ET that she’s now dating soccer pro Ashlyn Harris.

“Sophia and Ashlyn are dating and are into each other,” the source said. “Although it’s new, the two are on the same page and talk about their future together.”

While Burton did not address the new person in her bestie’s life, she did make it clear that she’s all about having her friend’s back through everything life brings. “I think being able to celebrate every chapter of a loved one’s life is so important and that even means like the chapters that are awkward or the chapters that maybe didn’t work in the past,” she said. “We were together last night and being able to just be together and hold each other and be like, ‘Whatever is coming next, like, I’m here for it’ and that’s exciting ’cause she’s held me in some dark chapters and so, for her, I wanna celebrate the wins and I wanna again, like, protect her at all costs. That’s a good woman.”

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And it’s clear the feeling is mutual. Mere days after Burton’s book, Grimoire Girl: A Memoir of Magic and Mischief, was released earlier this month, Bush wasted no time celebrating it. “This book is a guide and a teacher — much like Hilarie to each of us lucky enough to be loved by her — about illuminating the world around you with mischief and goodness and found wonder,” Bush praised in an Instagram post. 

Her other cheerleader? None other than her famous husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. “I’ve met a number of writers who are like, ‘My partner doesn’t think me sitting at the kitchen table scribbling in a notebook is real work’ and he has always treated my work as real work and that feels very nice to be supported in that way,” she said. 

In addition to her life as an author and host of the podcast, True Crime Story: It Couldn’t Happen Here, Burton is also mom to son Augustus, 13, and daughter George, 5, with Morgan. Together, the proud parents have kept busy raising their youngsters on a farm. 

“I think we both really liked surprising each other with the skill sets that we didn’t know the other person had,” she said of her and Morgan. “He’s really good with, like, machinery and cars. He’s building a car with my son right now.”

Added the actress, “And he’s very good looking — that doesn’t hurt.”

Grimoire Girl: A Memoir of Magic and Mischief is out now. 



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