'The blood drained from my face': The moment Sophia Bush knew her marriage was over.

One Tree Hill actress Sophia Bush may have thrown the ‘dream white wedding’, but behind closed doors the star would soon confront a different reality: a failing marriage and a new romantic connection that would drag her through the public rumour mill

In a powerful essay penned for Glamour, Bush has thrown open the doors on the last two years of her life, including her sexuality, as she identifies as queer.

Here, we break down the biggest revelations made throughout her candid essay, as well as her first red carpet appearance with new partner, Ashlyn Harris.

Bush’s ‘big white wedding’ was nearly called off

Sophia Bush in her wedding dress. Image: Instagram/sophiabush


Fans will remember Bush’s June 2022 wedding to ex-husband Grant Hughes, which took place at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Bush wore a stunning floral wedding dress complete with a train and cascading veil. 

It was a storybook wedding, so when news of her split from Hughes hit the news cycle just 13 months later, it garnered public intrigue. 

In her essay, Bush says she had been close to calling off the wedding just two months before she walked down the aisle. 

“In April of 2022 I was close to calling off my wedding. Instead of running away, I doubled down on being a model wife,” she wrote.

Bush went ahead with the wedding, but those ‘cold feet’ turned out to be deep-rooted.

Fertility issues compounded problems in the relationship

Fertility struggles often take place privately, and that was indeed the case for Bush. Yet, it turned out to be a defining point in her very public marriage, highlighting communication issues between Bush and Hughes.

“I was trying to get through months of endless ultrasounds, hormone shots, so many blood draws that I have scar tissue in my veins, and retrieval after retrieval, while simultaneously realising that the person I had chosen to be my partner didn’t necessarily speak the same emotional language I did,” Bush wrote. 


Six months in and Bush says she knew the marriage was a “mistake”. She took a job in London to get some space, but was forced to come home, wracked by illness and certain that she could not continue in her marriage. 

An anniversary post triggered Bush: ‘The blood drained from my face’

Sophia Bush and ex-husband Grant Hughes. Image: Getty

In the essay, Bush describes the moment that she realised the marriage to Hughes was over. Hughes had posted to his Instagram, celebrating their first anniversary. 


"Happy 1st Anniversary, my love! What a full, beautiful, dynamic, exciting, growth-filled year we’ve had together. I truly love doing life with you!” he wrote. 

Bush acknowledges now that the post was “lovely”, but admits that when she saw it she “felt the blood drain from my face”. 

Friends and family were congratulating the couple, but Bush says she “felt nothing”. Mounting pressure to respond had Bush penning her own tribute. 

“Today marks 365 days of calling you ‘husband,’” she wrote. “Best decision of my life. It still feels just like this. Ecstatic. Running toward the future, grinning and laughing, together. I love you, my favourite. Happy Anniversary.”

Now, Bush candidly says that she knows it wasn’t true. 

“I wrote a really nice story about the people in that picture. Except it was just that: a story,’ she wrote. “I hit post. And then I walked into the bathroom and threw up.”

Bush found love through friendship with Ashlyn Harris

Sophia Bush and partner Ashlyn Harris. Image: Instagram/ashlynharris24


Upon embarking on her divorce, Bush reached out to old friends for support, including soccer player Ashlyn Harris, whom Bush had first met in 2019. 

Harris was going through a similar experience, splitting from ex-wife Ali Krieger. 

“I didn’t expect to find love in this support system. I don’t know how else to say it other than: I didn’t see it until I saw it,” Bush writes. 

“It’s very easy not to see something that’s been in front of your face for a long time when you’d never looked at it as an option and you had never been looked at as an option.”

Bush hits back at ‘brutal’ trolls who called her a ‘homewrecker’

While Bush’s account clarifies that her relationship with Hughes was over far before she took up with Harris, the timing of their announcements didn’t help. 

The announcement of Bush and Hughes’ divorce dropped in August 2023, while news of Ashlyn and Ali’s divorce dropped in October 2023 (although they cited it happened a few months prior to the announcement). 


Meanwhile, the first rumours of Bush and Ashlyn dating came just a week later, on October 17, 2023, sending the internet into a frenzy, with a lot of negativity penned towards Bush. 

“What felt like seconds after I started to see what was in front of me, the online rumour mill began to spit in the ugliest ways,” she wrote. “

Her response?

“The ones who said I’d left my ex because I suddenly realised I wanted to be with women—my partners have known what I’m into for as long as I have (so that’s not it, y’all, sorry!)” she wrote. 

Sophia Bush opens up about her sexuality

Sophia Bush and Ashlyn Harris attend an event together. Image: Getty


As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Bush says she does not agree with needing to ‘come out’ in 2024, yet, she did. 

“I’m deeply aware that we are having this conversation in a year when we’re seeing the most aggressive attacks on the LGBTQIA+ community in modern history,” she wrote. “ There were more than 500 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills proposed in state legislatures in 2023, so for that reason I want to give the act of coming out the respect and honour it deserves.”

She added, “I think I’ve always known that my sexuality exists on a spectrum. Right now I think the word that best defines it is queer. I can’t say it without smiling, actually.”

While it’s certainly been a journey for Bush, she says that the hardship, judgment and soul-searching was all for a higher purpose. 

“I do know that for a sparkly moment I felt like maybe the universe had been conspiring for me. And that feeling that I have in my bones is one I’ll hold on to no matter where things go from here.”

Sophia Bush and Ashlyn Harris make red carpet debut

Sophia and Ashlyn were twinning in black on the red carpet. Image: Getty


Soon after officially confirming their relationship, Sophia Bush and Ashlyn Harris made their red carpet debut, twinning in black for the White House Correspondents' Association dinner. 

New-York based designer, Charles Harbison (Harbison Studio), dressed the couple for the event. Bush wore a black strapless dress with ornamental floral button details, while Harris wore a textured suit jacket with bold gold buttons. 


The pair seemed loved up on the red carpet. Image: Getty

The pair looked overjoyed to be spending time out in public together, laughing on the red carpet while posing arm-in-arm. 

It's just as Bush told Glamour: "I am so lucky to be here, now. I have real joy. It took me 41 years to get here."

Feature: Getty. 

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