More than 20 years after their relationship ended, Erin Foster accused Chad Michael Murray of cheating on her at the time with his One Tree Hill costar, Sophia Bush. However, another costar, Hilarie Burton Morgan, argued that Chad and Sophia’s relationship timeline did not overlap with his and Erin’s. Chad avoided addressing the situation directly when he was asked about it in November 2023. So, what exactly is the timeline here?
2001 to 2002: Chad Michael Murray and Erin Foster Date
Chad and Erin dated between 2001 and 2002. They reportedly broke up one year before Chad met Sophia on the set of One Tree Hill, although the exact reason for Chad and Erin’s split was never revealed.
2003: Chad Michael Murray and Sophia Bush Go Public
Chad and Sophia began a real-life relationship as their characters dated throughout season 1 of One Tree Hill, which premiered in fall 2003. The couple’s whirlwind romance led to their engagement in spring 2004.
“I woke up one day and I said, ‘This is the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with,’” he told MTV of proposing to Sophia at his penthouse in Australia at the time. “That was probably the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever done in my life. I thought to myself, ‘If she says no, I’ve got 18 floors to jump.’”
April 2005 to December 2006: Sophia and Chad’s Marriage
Sophia and Chad tied the knot in an oceanfront ceremony in Santa Monica on April 16, 2005. However, they were separated by September that same year. Sophia filed to have the marriage annulled, citing fraud. Her request was denied, but the former couple finalized their divorce in December 2006.
2018: Sophia Admits She Didn’t Want to Marry Chad
Years later, in 2018, Sophia admitted to Andy Cohen on Radio Andy that marrying Chad wasn’t “a thing I actually really wanted to do.” At the time, Chad called the claim “ludicrous.”
“Chad conducts himself in a completely professional manner and would never marry for any reason but love,” a statement to Us Weekly read. “Thirteen years since his divorce from Sophia, he has a very happy family life with his wife and children. He has completely moved on and doesn’t feel the need to engage in this type of behavior.”
2021: Sophia Says She’s Done Talking About Her Marriage to Chad
Sophia said in 2021 that she was finished talking about her marriage to the A Cinderella Story star.
“I’m not allowed to because I’ve tried to poke fun at being a dumb kid and whenever I’ve done that, it gets twisted into I’m talking s–t about somebody who I don’t even know anymore, who’s clearly a grown-up,” she said on Michael Rosenbaum‘s “Inside of You” podcast. “I’ve tried to, like, you know, do the thing where when I get stuck live on the air — which has happened to me twice — getting asked about it where I give a little, like, jazz hands quip and move on, it just doesn’t work, so I’m not going to… I was a very naive 21-year-old kid, and that’s all there is to it.”
October 2023: Erin Claims Chad Cheated on Her With Sophia
While discussing a post made by gossip blog DeuxMoi that claimed Chad “cheated” on Erin with Sophia, the Barely Famous cocreator told sister Sara Foster on “The World’s First Podcast” that was “what happened” between her and Chad.
“He definitely did cheat on me with her in, like, a pretty egregious way. While we were living together,” Erin said during the October 19 episode. “I’ve moved on though. I’m over it now. I mean, just barely. Just barely over it.”
The next day, Hilarie took to her Instagram Stories to defend her “sister” Sophia.
“Ooof. Cringe. I got off my red eye flight home and multiple people had sent me this headline. As the person who had a front row seat then? This wasn’t it,” she wrote. “We were all told you’d broken up which is why our guy was perusing her. Now this is being spun to make my sister look like a brazen harlot. And if she’s anyone’s harlot, it’s mine!”
Hilarie continued on to tag Erin in her post and tell her that she was “happy to discuss” Erin’s claim.
“There are so many unnamed sources making claims about the woman I love, so f–k it. I’ll be a named source,” Hilarie concluded. “Lotta internet voices being nasty, and as the person who knows the real timeline? It would be laughable if it wasn’t so hurtful.”
November 2023: Chad Responds to Erin’s Cheating Claims
When asked about Erin’s allegations, Chad would not confirm or deny what happened.
“It’s not one of those things that I want to go down the road of because there’s just never a winner,” he told E! News. “I feel blessed to be where I am right now. I live in the now. I live in the present. I live in the future. Things have changed so dramatically for me since I was a young man that I just try to live in this space always. So I don’t think you’ll ever find me saying anything negative or hurtful about anybody. I never will. That’s just not me. I’m not going to do it.”
However, he did admit that he feels remorse about certain things that happened in his past. “I have more regrets in my life than I care to think about but I don’t live in the past,” Chad explained. “I try to move forward every single day and just go, ‘I got air in my lungs, life in my step the will to move forward and the sun’s going to rise on a beautiful tomorrow.’”