What Sophia Bush's Exes Have Said About Her

Sophia Bush has always been an open book when it came to her previous romances. She admitted that her marriage to Chad Michael Murray was a mistake, dubbed Austin Nichols a romantic, and once declared that Grant Hughes was her favorite. Clearly, the "One Tree Hill" alum doesn't shy away from discussing her past flames — and yes, some of them have returned the favor.

Prior to her relationship with former soccer star Ashlyn Harris, Bush weathered her fair share of heartbreaks. One look at her relationship history, and you can tell that she's practically a veteran in romance. She's had two rapid-fire marriages and dabbled in a series of fleeting romances. She has also been mostly transparent about her experiences with her exes, writing in an essay for Cosmopolitan that she's stopped pressuring herself to look for that perfect partner. "Some are meant to heal you, some are meant to teach you how to build yourself up and some are meant to show you how to trust your own intuition," she explained. "Not every love can last forever."

Bush is unapologetic about being an open book when it comes to matters of the heart, but her exes? Not so much. But there are still some who have shared their side of the story. Here's the lowdown on what they have had to say.

Chad Michael Murray wanted Sophia to be his end game

Chad Michael Murray might just be that ex Sophia Bush often wishes she could erase from her romantic history. They started dating after meeting on the set of "One Tree Hill" and tied the knot in April 2005. "I woke up one day and I said, 'This is the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with,'" Murray told MTV at the time.

They split only five months after getting hitched, and word on the street is Murray had cheated on Bush with Paris Hilton, his co-star on "House of Wax." Although these rumors were never confirmed, Bush wasted no time in distancing herself from Murray — at least romantically — and filed to annul the marriage. When her bid was denied, they divorced instead, which wasn't finalized until December 2006.

Despite the messy split, they continued to share the screen for years. Bush dished on "Radio Andy" that marrying Murray was not something she wanted to do in the first place, which Murray didn't seem too happy about. "This story is ludicrous," his rep said in a statement to Us Weekly. Bush later explained on Michael Rosenbaum's "Inside of You" podcast that their immaturity got the best of them. "I was a very naive 21-year-old kid, and that's all there is to it," she said. "Lots of people do lots of stupid s**t before their prefrontal cortexes are fully formed — and they're not until they're 26. So you do the math on my timeline."

James Lafferty apparently didn't mind that Sophia dated other co-stars

In 2008, after Sophia Bush's relationship with Jon Foster fizzled out, she moved on with James Lafferty. Their romance stayed mostly off the public radar until Chad Michael Murray, in a moment that could have been accidental (or perhaps not), let the cat out of the bag. He shared that there was no awkwardness at all among them, and despite both having dated Bush, he and Lafferty remained on good terms.

"It's one of those things where you grow up a lot faster. You're put in a situation where you're gonna deal with things right in your face. But I think [Sophia and I] are both professional and mature enough to get through it," Murray told CW affiliate Channel 11 News. "And now it's just easy. We're just friends. And she's got James, and James and I are friends. It's just a little tight group in Wilmington."

Bush, for her part, remained tight-lipped about her relationship with Lafferty as well, which was reportedly brief, ending around 2009. But she defended her decision and pattern of dating he co-stars, saying that it's incredibly normal in the industry. "You realize that everyone you've ever met in this business has, like, dated everyone else," she dished on the "Inside of You" podcast. "We act like it's not common, and it's wildly common. Some of our favorite celebrity couples are people who married the fourth co-star they dated."

Austin Nichols only joined One Tree Hill for Sophia

Not long after, Sophia Bush and Austin Nichols, another one of her "One Tree Hill" co-stars, went public with their relationship. They revealed that they were an item in 2010, but Bush divulged that they had a long history before that. "We've been dating off and on for the past four years," she told E! News, adding that she made the decision to take their relationship to the next level when Nichols agreed to be a series regular on the show for her. "I think someone taking a job and moving their life across the country to show you how much they care is pretty much the most romantic gesture that a person could make," she said.

Nichols didn't deny this, of course, telling examiner.com that he had specific conditions for returning to the series, and that's for his and Bush's characters to have an epic storyline. "When Mark asked me to come back as a series regular, I told him I only would if we could make a really powerful love story for Brooke and Julian," he shared, noting that there's something electric when the two of them work together. "There's just a great chemistry that happens. There's just this really great energy there when we work together."

They eventually split in 2012 when the show ended, but Bush assured that they are still on good terms to this day. "He's perfect," Bush shared on the "Drama Queens" podcast. "We're family, we love each other, that's all."

Jesse Lee Soffer was devastated when Sophia left Chicago P.D.

Sophia Bush kept up her pattern of dating co-stars when she entered a relationship with Jesse Lee Soffer, her "Chicago P.D." colleague, in 2014, following her split from the late Google Executive Dan Fredinburg. Their romance was largely kept under wraps, and reportedly fizzled out before they could even celebrate their first anniversary. E! News reported at the time that the couple "grew apart," which led to the split.

Speculation about them rekindling their relationship surfaced a few months after their breakup, but the rumors remained just that — rumors. However, they did continue to work together on the show despite their history until Bush decided to exit in 2017, which Soffer admitted was difficult to grasp. "You know, it's always sad when a cast member leaves a show. We're a huge family, and she's a huge part of making the show what it was," he told TV Line. "We all created something together, and so that's always difficult. But the show must go on. That's how it works."

Grant Hughes is supportive of Sophia's relationship with Ashlyn Harris

Sophia Bush appeared to have taken a hiatus on relationships — until she struck up one with her longtime pal Grant Hughes in 2020. The pair had been friends for years before becoming an item, with Bush sharing that their shared passion for common causes was what brought them together. In August 2021, after a little over a year of dating, they revealed that they were engaged. "She is my forever Favorite. This is my favorite. And our life is that we're building because she said 'Yes' is already my favorite," Hughes wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post (via People). "I am SO EXCITED to do life with you, my love."

Everything appeared to be fine and dandy as the former couple even celebrated their first anniversary. However, approximately two weeks later, Bush took everyone by surprise when it was reported that she had filed for divorce from Hughes, but a source told Us Weekly that the split had been amicable. A few months later, Bush was rumored to be dating Ashlyn Harris, sparking speculation that she might have left Hughes for the athlete. Bush quickly cleared the air and denied the rumors, and a representative for Hughes issued a statement to People to confirm that the entrepreneur remains supportive of his ex-wife. "Grant will always want the best for Sophia, and is supportive of all that makes her happy and fulfilled," they said.