Friday, May 7

'One Tree Hill' Cast's Dating Histories Through the Years

In the words of the great Peyton Sawyer, sometimes all you need is one — but it may take a while to get there.

The characters on One Tree Hill were in countless love triangles, went on romantic excursions and even got married in high school. In real life, things weren’t always so magical.

Although some of the stars of the 2003 drama chose to date outside the show, others found love on set. When the series first debuted on The WB (later airing on The CW), Sophia Bush began dating costar Chad Michael Murray. On screen, their characters, Brooke Davis and Lucas Scott, entered a relationship as well.

The Cinderella Story star proposed in 2004, and they married one year later in April 2005. The duo split five months after the nuptials and finalized their divorce in 2006. Despite their messy breakup behind the scenes, they continued working alongside each other until his exit in 2009.

“We were two stupid kids who had no business being in a relationship in the first place,” she said in a Bravo interview in 2014. “To all the other costars who’ve worked it out, more power to you.”

Other stars of the drama found love elsewhere. Danneel Harris, for example, began dating Supernatural‘s Jensen Ackles in 2006. Soon after, Harris introduced Hilarie Burton to one of Ackles’ costars, Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

“I happened to be single and Jensen said, ‘I’ve got a girl you should meet,’” Morgan said in 2015. “So I went to a bar and I met Hilarie at a bar with Jensen and Danneel, and the rest is history.”

In her book The Rural Diaries, Burton revealed that three days after their date, he flew her from Wilmington to New Mexico, where he was filming a movie. “Jeffrey and I weren’t made for dating. He was the man I was gonna get old and boring with. Instead of late nights out at clubs or wining and dining, at night we’d settle in and watch an episode of Lonesome Dove. We decided that when we had a kid, we’d name him Gus after Robert DuVall’s character,” she wrote in the 2020 memoir. “As the credits rolled, Jeffrey turned to me and asked, ‘Do you just want to do this? Do you want to try and have a family?’ We’d known each other less than a month.”

Scroll through the gallery below for more of the cast’s dating lives:

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Sophia Bush

Bush and Murray were officially married from April 2005 to December 2006, but they separated only five months into their marriage. She went on to date Jon Foster from 2006 to 2007 and her One Tree Hill costar James Lafferty from 2008 to 2009. In 2010, she dated One Tree Hill’s Austin Nichols on and off for four years. The pair called it quits in 2012.

The activist dated Google programming manager Dan Fredinburg from 2013 to 2014 and remained close friends until his death in 2015.

From 2014 to 2016, Bush dated her Chicago P.D. costar Jesse Lee Soffer. In 2020, she was spotted holding hands with Grant Hughes.

Matt Baron/Shutterstock

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Hilarie Burton

The former VJ made her red carpet debut with Morgan in 2010. That year, they welcomed their first child, son Gus. In 2018, they welcomed daughter George. The duo married in 2019.


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Bethany Joy Lenz

Lenz married keyboardist Michael Galeotti in December 2005 and welcomed their first child, a daughter, in 2011. One year later, she announced the pair were separating. In 2018, the Hallmark star began dating Josh Kelly.


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Chad Michael Murray

After his split from Bush in 2006, the House of Wax star began dating Kenzie Dalton, whom he met while she was working as an extra on One Tree Hill. They were engaged from 2006 to 2013, but then called it off.

The following year, Murray began dating his Chosen costar Sarah Roemer. In 2015, the couple announced they had secretly married and were expecting their first child. They welcomed their son later that year and a daughter in 2017. 


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James Lafferty

The Everyone is Doing Great creator briefly dated Bush while filming One Tree Hill. He dated Eve Hewson from 2010 to 2015. One year later, he entered a relationship with actress Alexandra Park after meeting while he was directing The Royals. The pair got engaged in 2020.


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Austin Nichols

The Day After Tomorrow star dated Bush on and off from 2006 to 2012. In 2014, he began dating Chloe Bennet, who he met on set of Marvel’s Agents of Shield. The pair split in 2017. The Walking Dead alum made his red carpet debut with Hassie Harrison in 2018.

Laurent Benhamou/Comic Co/Sipa/Shutterstock

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Shantel VanSanten

VanSanten began dating Victor Webster after they met on the set of their 2017 Hallmark movie Love Blossoms. They got engaged in February 2021.

Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

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Stephen Colletti

Colletti’s high school dating life was documented on Laguna Beach, where he dated Kristin Cavallari and Lauren Conrad. In 2006, the actor was linked to Hayden Panettiere, but she ended the relationship two years later. From 2011 to 2013, he dated Chelsea Kane after appearing in her music video. Kane appeared on season 9 of One Tree Hill.

Sebastien Nogier/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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Danneel Harris

After being friends for nearly 10 years and costarring in Ten Inch Hero, Harris and Ackles got engaged in 2009. They tied the knot in 2010. In 2013, the CW stars welcomed a daughter, Justice. In 2016, they welcomed twins, Arrow and Zeppelin.


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Jana Kramer

In 2004, Kramer married Michael Gambino after two weeks of dating. They divorced months later after the singer ended up in the hospital following severe domestic abuse. Gambino was convicted on attempted murder charges and sentenced to six years in prison. In 2010, he died by suicide.

Kramer married her Prom Night costar Johnathon Schaech in July 2010, but the pair split a month later, and the divorce was finalized in June 2011. She was later engaged to singer Brantley Gilbert for eight months in 2013, before ending the relationship.

In 2015, she married former NFL star Mike Caussin, and they welcomed their first daughter, Jolie, in 2016. That year, they separated and he went to rehab for sex addiction. In 2017, they renewed their vows. The following year, they welcomed a son, Jace. In April 2021, she filed for divorce


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Bryan Greenberg

The singer began dating Jamie Chung in 2012. The pair tied the knot in October 2015 in California in a three-day celebration.


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