'One Tree Hill' team accuses Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 14, 2017 17:19 hrs

Los Angeles, Nov 14 (IANS) The cast members and crew of the drama series "One Tree Hill" have written a letter accusing former showrunner Mark Schwann of sexual harassment. They have offered support to their former colleague Audrey Wauchope.

The cast members and crew, including stars Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz, wrote on Monday that they "have chosen this forum to stand together in support of Audrey Wauchope and one another" following statements made by Wauchope -- a former writer on the series -- on Twitter on Saturday accusing Schwann of harassment, reports variety.com.

In the letter, 18 women who worked on the show claimed: "Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally. More than one of us is still in treatment for post-traumatic stress.

"Many of us were put in uncomfortable positions and had to swiftly learn to fight back, sometimes physically, because it was made clear to us that the supervisors in the room were not the protectors they were supposed to be. Many of us were spoken to in ways that ran the spectrum from deeply upsetting, to traumatising, to downright illegal. And a few of us were put in positions where we felt physically unsafe."

In her Twitter comments, Wauchope described being subjected to frequent and unwanted touching by Schwahn, who she did not identify by name; seeing Schwahn show naked photos of an actress that he was having a sexual relationship with to staffers without the actress' knowledge; and Schwahn calling Wauchope's writing partner into his office to try to talk her out of getting married and into dating him.

Wauchope wrote last week: "I'm furious and sad and everything else for the women who have sat on that couch next to that man. And I'm furious and sad and everything else that years later I don't feel safe to be able to do anything real about this and that it seems to be happening all over this town."

A teen drama about a group of young men and women growing up in North Carolina, "One Tree Hill" aired from 2003 to 2012. Schwahn created the series, and was showrunner for the entirety.

--IANS

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