Sophia Bush says she can ‘finally breathe’ after discussing her queerness for the first time.

In an essay for Glamour, the actress opened up about her journey with her sexuality after reflecting on “brutal” online speculation towards her romance with former soccer player Ashlyn Harris.

Bush was linked to Harris following the dissolution of her marriage to businessman Grant Hughes in 2023, which made her the victim of “blatant lies” and “violent threats” from online trolls.

Harris also finalised her divorce from fellow soccer player Ali Krieger last year, resulting in accusations of Bush being a “home-wrecker”.

Bush criticised the online discourse surrounding both of their divorces, refuting the idea that she split from Huges “based on some hysterical rendezvous – that, to be crystal-clear, never happened”.

“Rather than realizing I had to be the most vulnerable I’ve ever been, on a public stage, despite being terrified to my core? It feels brutal,” she explained. “Just because I didn’t want to process my realizations in real time on social media and spell them out for the world doesn’t mean the journey wasn’t long and thoughtful and exhaustive.”

Bush said she’s in “absolutely in awe” of Harris’ “relentless integrity” and that “falling in love with her has sutured some of my own childhood wounds, and made me so much closer to my own mother”.

“Seeing Ashlyn choose to not simply survive, but thrive, for her babies has been the most beautiful thing I’ve ever witnessed a friend do. And now I get to love her. How lucky am I?”


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While Bush criticised the notion that a person has to “come out” in the modern era, she wanted to give “coming out the respect and honor it deserves” as a result of ongoing legislature attacking the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.

“I’ve experienced so much safety, respect, and love in the queer community, as an ally all of my life, that, as I came into myself, I already felt it was my home. I think I’ve always known that my sexuality exists on a spectrum,” she shared.

“Right now I think the word that best defines it is queer. I can’t say it without smiling, actually. And that feels pretty great.”

Bush added: “I finally feel like I can breathe. I don’t think I can explain how profound that is. I feel like I was wearing a weighted vest for who knows how long. I hadn’t realized how heavy it was until I finally just put it down.

“This might sound crazy—but I think other people in trauma recovery will get it—I am taking deep breaths again. I can feel my legs and feet. I can feel my feet in my shoes right now. It makes me want to cry and laugh at the same time.”

Bush is best known for her iconic role as Brooke Davis on the long-running teen drama One Tree Hill (2003-2012) and as Erin Lindsay in NBC procedural drama Chicago P.D (2014-2017).

She has also starred in films such as Stay Alive (2006), John Tucker Must Die (2006), The Hitcher (2007), The Incredibles 2 (2018) and False Positive (2021).

You can read her full essay for Glamour here.