"Keep making this world a better place!" Chad Michael Murray said about Hilarie Burton, who turned 38 on Thursday

By Natalie Stone
July 02, 2020 05:36 PM
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FRED NORRIS/THE CW

Chad Michael Murray sent some sweet birthday love to his One Tree Hill costar Hilarie Burton.

To celebrate the actress turning 38 on Wednesday, Murray posted a tribute to Instagram in honor of Burton, which featured photos of the castmates throughout the years, including their time together on the WB drama.

"Happy Birthday to this mega talented, heart warming, always giving SUPER HUMAN that I’m blessed to call a friend- @hilarieburton," began Murray, 38, who starred as Lucas Scott. 

"We’re slowly but surly watching each other grow up. Keep making this world a better place!" he said about Burton, who played Peyton Sawyer. "Love to the whole Morgan clan. From - 'The Murray’s.'"

This past April, Burton spoke with PEOPLE about her memories — both happy and painful — from the show.

In her new memoir, The Rural Diaries (released May 5), Burton opened up about her family and her joyful life on a 100-acre farm in the Hudson Valley. But in the book, the actress also writes about the abuse she said she suffered while starring on the CW’s hit teen drama series.

“I had such strong relationships on the show and I still do,” Burton, who was on the show for six years before she left in 2009, told PEOPLE. “There was so much good. But there was bad too.”

Hilarie Burton
Bryan Firestone

Three years ago, in 2017, Burton, along with several of her former costars and One Tree Hill crew members, came forward about sexual abuse and harassment they say they endured at the hands of creator Mark Schwahn.

Burton recalled being “groomed,” by Schwahn on set, whom she said in 2017 was verbally abusive, touched her inappropriately and kissed her against her will. (Schwahn has never commented on the allegations and was fired from his job as showrunner of E!’s The Royals in 2017.)

But despite the situation, Burton, then in her early 20s, didn’t formally complain about her boss.

“I was told that if you speak up, your career is over,” said the star, who is wed to The Walking Dead‘s Jeffrey Dean Morgan, with whom she shares son Gus, 10, and daughter George, 2. “You’ll be labeled a troublemaker.”

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton with daughter George and son Augustus
Jeffrey Dean Morgan/Instagram

As a result, “I didn’t say anything for a decade. And as a result of that, people were abused after me," Burton alleged. "The guilt that comes with that is really difficult.”

Now, Burton admitted, “I’ll always be angry” about the abuse she endured.

But she’s focusing on imparting the lessons she’s learned to her young daughter.

“It affects how I parent [George],” she said. “She will never be a pleaser. If my daughter tells someone to f— off, awesome. I wish I had had the ability to do that.”