The Royals‘ Alexandra Park is speaking out about showrunner Mark Schwahn amid sexual harassment claims made against him.
Earlier this week, female cast and crew members of One Tree Hill — including Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz — released a letter via Variety accusing Schwahn of sexual misconduct during the show, which aired from 2003 to 2012. He’d go on to create the E! series.
“I have a responsibility as someone who was working under Mark Schwahn on The Royals to acknowledge these claims,” Park, 28, wrote in a statement posted on Twitter on Wednesday, November 15. “I am devastated to admit to myself, to my colleagues, and to this industry that I too, have been exposed to this reprehensible behavior.”
“In the past, people were afraid to come forward in these situations because they were terrified of losing an opportunity so hard to come by, an opportunity that meant so much to them,” she continued. “I am proud and grateful that today, we can take a different path. One that encourages us to stand up to unacceptable, harmful leadership, in faith that that leadership will be removed and replaced. In faith that we will not be penalized for one person’s ill behavior. I am eternally grateful for what has been the opportunity of a lifetime. I am immensely appreciative of my studio and network for listening to me, for being my partner in this conflict, and for taking the actions necessary to make things right.”
James Lafferty, who starred on One Tree Hill and directed a few episodes of The Royals, replied via Twitter: “HERO.” (He also has come forward to support his former OTH costars, along with Chad Michael Murray, Bryan Greenberg, Lee Norris, Austin Nichols, Stephen Colletti, Antwon Tanner and Robert Buckley.)
Just before Park’s remarks, E! announced that Schwahn was suspended. “E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action,” the network told Us Weekly in a statement. “Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from ‘The Royals’ as we continue our investigation.”
Schwahn has yet to respond to the allegations.
Read Park’s full statement here.