Hilarie Burton says 'One Tree Hill' costar Moira Kelly 'saved my life' by telling her to 'run' from the toxic set

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Hilarie Burton and Moira Kelly.
Hilarie Burton Morgan and Moira Kelly. Jim Spellman/Jason Merritt/Getty Images
  • Moira Kelly was a guest on the "Drama Queens" podcast on Monday to talk about "One Tree Hill."

  • Kelly said she "would have made my presence stronger" on set if she could go back in time.

  • Cohost Hilarie Burton Morgan said Kelly "saved my life" by telling her to "run" from the set.

"One Tree Hill" star Hilarie Burton Morgan said former costar Moira Kelly "saved my life" by making her feel comfortable with her choice to leave the show.

Burton Morgan explained when Kelly was a guest on the "Drama Queens" podcast on Monday how one of their conversations helped her feel secure with her decision to leave the teen drama when the sixth season was complete.

"Everyone in my world was telling me, 'you can't leave, you can't leave,'" Burton Morgan said through tears. She explained that she chose not to direct episodes upon leaving the role of Peyton Sawyer because the toxic work environment that she and some of her female costars exposed in 2017 via a letter published by Variety was "so bad."

Hilarie Burton Morgan.
Hilarie Burton Morgan. Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Burton Morgan said Kelly was the only person to tell her differently. "You said, 'Run,'" Burton Morgan told her former costar.

While that conversation had started off jokingly, according to Burton Morgan, she ultimately took the advice to heart. "You said, 'There's so many chapters in life and this is just one,'" she recalled.

The "White Collar" star said Kelly was "the only person that gave me permission to go."

Burton's revelation came after Sophia Bush asked Kelly if there was anything she would go back and change about her time on "One Tree Hill."

Kelly responded that she "would have made my presence stronger" on set.

"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," Kelly said, explained that she'd set clear boundaries between her work and personal life at the time because she was raising a young family.

But the "Cutting Edge" star added that if she had known the extent of the toxic situation Burton Morgan and Bush say they faced, "I surely would have done something."

Moira Kelly
Moira Kelly. Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Burton Morgan, Bush, and cohost Bethany Joy Lenz reassured Kelly that her actions set examples for them about the boundaries they would go on to create for themselves later in life.

When Kelly's section of the podcast ended, Burton reflected on the conversation.

"It's like, 'Oh, my God. You don't know that you saved my life.' I don't know what would have happened to me if I stayed," Burton Morgan told her cohosts, speaking of Kelly.

The actor also gave Kelly some credit for the fact that she met her husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan after leaving "One Tree Hill" and went on to start a family. "My son exists because Moira Kelly told me to run. And so I did," she said.

New episodes of the "Drama Queens" podcast release weekly on Mondays.

Read the original article on Insider

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