Chad Michael Murray Had A ‘Really Pained Heart’ After Sophia Bush Divorce — And Even Suffered Agoraphobia!

Chad Michael Murray opened up a bit about his brief marriage to Sophia Bush in an extremely rare moment of candor!

As fans know, the pair met on the teen drama One Tree Hill and started dating in 2003. We learned years later the beginning of their love story had some drama behind the scenes. Erin Foster — who dated Chad from 2001 to 2002 — claimed this past October the actor cheated on her with Sophia in a “very egregious way” while they lived together. Yeesh. Despit how Chad and Sophia’s relationship started, they tied the knot two years later. However, like their onscreen characters, Lucas Scott and Brooke Davis, they were not meant to be!

Five months after their wedding, the two separated. Notably, this came after widespread speculation Chad cheated on Sophia with his House Of Wax co-star Paris Hilton — though the rumors were never confirmed. Sophia and Chad officially divorced in 2006 and, awkwardly, continued to work together on the series afterward.

Related: Sophia Bush Honors Ashlyn Harris With Mother’s Day Post After Homewrecker Accusations

Looking back on the whirlwind marriage in an interview with The Cut on Tuesday, Chad feels he was so young and naive when it happened. He told the outlet:

“I was a baby. I didn’t know up, down, left, right. You move out there and you go, ‘Well, what am I supposed to do now? Get married? That’s exciting!’”

At the time, Murray noted he also was “far more fragile than I ever put on.” Between the sudden breakup and the fast rise to stardom due to One Tree Hill, it became too much for him. He started to struggle with agoraphobia. According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s an anxiety disorder that “involves fearing and avoiding places or situations that might cause panic and feelings of being trapped, helpless or embarrassed.” (FYI, Chad was 23 and Sophia was 21 when they got married!) He recalled:

“Everyone starts telling you ‘Yes,’ But I was walking around with a really pained heart. I was around 23 and I had an event in Miami, but I couldn’t leave my hotel room. The world felt like it was closing in; I was having anxiety attacks.”

Oof. By his 25th birthday, the A Cinderella Story star chose to change aspects of his life in Hollywood. He explained how the experience during the height of his career pushed him to lean into his faith more:

“I woke up and felt unsettled. I didn’t like the direction that I was going in my life. I went to church, and I got a tattoo of a cross on my left wrist, and I was like, I’m going to move myself in faith.”

While Chad still battles agoraphobia, the combination of religion and therapy ultimately made him the person that he is today. Chad added:

“I always told myself, ‘I’m doing this for my future wife and kids,’ and now here they are. It’s been the greatest chapter of my life.”

He married Sarah Roemer in 2015 — a decade after his split from Sophia. They have an 8-year-old son and a 7-year-old and 8-month-old daughter together. Wow. He got exactly the happy ending he wanted.

Obviously this was a pretty rare talk for Chad — he almost never talks about his first marriage. And don’t expect Sophia to react to this interview either! She explicitly said she does NOT talk about their marriage anymore! She said on an episode of the Inside of You podcast a while back that it’s simply not “worth” her time. So her lips are sealed nowadays when it comes to the topic!

Reactions to Chad’s rare insight into his marriage with Sophia, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments!


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