Hilarie Burton: Speaking up about ‘One Tree Hill’ abuse set me ‘free’

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Hilarie Burton said speaking out against the alleged abuse on the set of “One Tree Hill” was freeing.

“It is an age-old lesson, that honesty is always better, it sets you free,” the actress — who portrayed Peyton Sawyer on the teen drama for six seasons — exclusively told Page Six at the Tribeca Festival premiere of “The Walking Dead: Dead City” earlier this week.

“I think when you’re young, you’re led to believe that keeping quiet about things is how you protect people you care about,” she added, “and what I’ve learned is that speaking up is way better.”

In 2017, Burton and 17 other women, including her co-stars Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz, accused the show’s creator, Mark Schwahn, of sexual harassment on the set of the soapy teen drama, which aired on the WB from 2003 to 2006 and then the CW from 2006 to 2012.

The women claimed in a letter that the TV exec’s behavior was so egregious, it forced some to seek treatment for PTSD.

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“Many of us were, to varying degrees, manipulated psychologically and emotionally,” the letter read in part. “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.”

Schwahn has never personally addressed the allegations made against him.

The companies behind “The Royals” — E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television — which Schwahn was working on at the time said in a statement that they were “monitoring the information carefully.”

He was subsequently fired from the series with Lionsgate TV announcing in a statement, “We have concluded our investigation and Mark will not be returning to ‘The Royals.’”

Meanwhile, Burton, who told us that she runs her “mouth about a lot of stuff,” has also spoken up about other issues she’s faced, including the time a video resurfaced of Ben Affleck groping her during an appearance on MTV’s “Total Request Live.”

After the clip went viral in 2017, Burton tweeted that she hadn’t forgotten about the incident and added, “I was a kid.”

The “Argo” star later apologized for his sleazy behavior.

“I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize,” he tweeted.

Burton was on hand at the Tribeca premiere to support her husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who stars in “The Walking Dead” spinoff, which is set in Manhattan.

The mom of two sported a mane of silver hair, which she’s maintained since the pandemic.

“The Rural Diaries” author told us her silver locks make her feel powerful.

“It makes me feel like a boss,” she exclaimed. “I’m not a kid anymore, it feels nice. Men are allowed to age and men are allowed to be silver foxes so there is a power in a woman doing the same thing.”

Burton may feel like a boss but admitted that she and Morgan don’t flex their powers.

“We’re just mom and dad,” she explained. “Sweaty PTA parents!”

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