film / tv / substack / social media / lists / web / celeb / pajiba love / misc / about / cbr
film / tv / substack / web / celeb

ChadMichaelMurrayOneTreeHillAgoraphobia.jpg

‘One Tree Hill’ Fame Gave Chad Michael Murray Agoraphobia

By Emma Chance | Celebrity | May 22, 2024 |

By Emma Chance | Celebrity | May 22, 2024 |


ChadMichaelMurrayOneTreeHillAgoraphobia.jpg

The 2000s were peak years for Chad Michael Murray, but between shows like Gilmore Girls and One Tree Hill and blockbuster movies like A Cinderella Story and (my personal favorite) Freaky Friday, he says he was “far more fragile than I ever put on.”

When you reach that level of fame, he says, “Everyone starts telling you ‘Yes,’ but I was walking around with a really pained heart.”

He was still a young man, and at 23 he started experiencing agoraphobia; he couldn’t bring himself to leave hotel rooms for important events. “The world felt like it was closing in; I was having anxiety attacks,” he says of that time, during which he married OTH costar Sophia Bush and then divorced five months later.

When he turned 25, he knew things had to change. “I woke up and felt unsettled. I didn’t like the direction that I was going in my life,” he says. He’d grown up in a religious household but let his faith lapse while in Hollywood, so he turned to the church again.

“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.”

He also found growth in creative endeavors like painting and writing. He published a graphic novel Everlast in 2011 and then a novel American Drifter, written in collaboration with Heather Graham, in 2017. He said he’d write another book “in a heartbeat,” but for now he’s focusing on family-friendly film projects, like the recent Mother of the Bride.