Sophia Bush and Ashlyn Harris: A Timeline of Their Friendship Turned Romance

Sophia Bush and Ashlyn Harris are officially a couple!

The One Tree Hill star confirmed her relationship with the former soccer star in a cover story for Glamour magazine in April 2024, where she also broke her silence on her sexuality, publicly identifying as queer.

The pair's relationship is not without some controversy, as both were previously married, divorcing their respective partners shortly before rumors of their relationship started to spread in October 2023. However, in her interview, Bush denied any infidelity and lamented the fact that her relationship and journey of self-discovery have been so heavily scrutinized.

"The idea that I left my marriage based on some hysterical rendezvous -- that, to be crystal-clear, never happened --rather than having taken over a year to do the most soul crushing work of my life? Rather than realizing I had to be the most vulnerable I've ever been, on a public stage, despite being terrified to my core? It feels brutal," she said.

Ashlyn Harris, Sophia Bush

Ashlyn Harris and Sophia Bush at a Women's World Cup watch party in Los Angeles on Aug. 23, 2021.

Todd Williamson/Peacock via Getty Images

Bush and Harris grew up on opposite coasts, with Bush spending her childhood in Pasadena, California, where a mandatory theater requirement at school led her to a love of acting. She broke through as Brooke Davis on The WB's One Tree Hill before going on to starring roles in shows like Chicago P.D. and Love, Victor and movies like John Tucker Must Die, Incredibles 2 and more.

Meanwhile, Harris grew up in Cocoa Beach, Florida, playing club soccer on boys' teams until she was 14 -- and getting her start in the U.S. National Team U-19 program the following year. A star goalkeeper, she won three collegiate championships at the University of North Carolina and two FIFA Women's World Cup titles and two CONCACAF Women's Championships with the U.S. Women's National Team, also spending time in the National Women's Soccer League before retiring in 2022.

The pair shares a passion for soccer, however, with Harris obviously a former icon on the field and Bush a current co-owner of the Los Angeles-based NWSL team, Angel City FC.

Here's a look back at how their relationship got started, and how it's going.

PAST ROMANCES

After a whirlwind on-set romance, Bush announced her engagement to One Tree Hill co-star Chad Michael Murray in May 2004. They tied the knot in April 2005, but announced their separation just months later, in October of the same year. The actress would go on to date other co-stars, including One Tree Hill's James Lafferty and Austin Nichols, as well as Chicago P.D.'s Jesse Lee Soffer, however, she didn't tie the knot again until she wed businessman Grant Hughes on June 11, 2022.

For her part, Harris was in a relationship with USWNT teammate Ali Krieger from 2010-23. The couple tied the knot in December 2019 and adopted two children together -- a daughter, Sloane, born in February 2021 and a son, Ocean, born in August 2022.

SOCCER BONDS

Bush and Harris were first photographed together when the actress attended the U.S. Women's Soccer Team Brunch in August 2019, following the team's victory at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Sophia Bush and Ashlyn Harris chat with Travon Free at the U.S. Women's Soccer Team Brunch on Aug. 4, 2019.

Sophia Bush and Ashlyn Harris chat with Travon Free at the U.S. Women's Soccer Team Brunch on Aug. 4, 2019.

Michael Buckner/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images

Bush got into professional soccer in her own way in 2020, joining the all-female ownership group for the newest team in the National Women's Soccer League, Angel City FC. She joined fellow celebs like Natalie Portman, America Ferrera, Mia Hamm,  Abby Wambach, Eva Longoria, and Serena Williams in part ownership of the team.

She and Harris even took in the next World Cup together -- they were photographed cheering at Peacock's watch party at Gracias Madre in Los Angeles on July 26, 2023.

Ashlyn Harris, Sophia Bush, Michelle Akers, and Linda Gancitano watch the Women's World Cup on July 26, 2023.

Ashlyn Harris, Sophia Bush, Michelle Akers, and Linda Gancitano watch the Women's World Cup on July 26, 2023.

Todd Williamson/Peacock via Getty Images

SEPARATE SPLITS

On Aug. 4, 2023, Bush filed for divorce from Hughes after just 13 months of marriage.

"Grant and Sophia are better off as friends and they weren't getting enough time with each other before their breakup," a source told ET at the time, adding, "but it wasn't ugly and they are still supporting each other, want each other to be happy, and for their nonprofit to continue to thrive."

Meanwhile, Harris filed for divorce from Krieger on Sept. 19, 2023, with her ex later revealing that she found out about the divorce filing during a practice session with the New York Gotham FC.

Krieger said in a January 2024 cover story with SELF Magazine that she'll "never forget" the morning she learned the news.

"I was on the field. And I came off the field, in the locker room, and I was obviously devastated," she recalled, noting how her teammates made the best of the heartbreaking situation, bringing wine and flowers to cheer her up.

"They didn't even think twice. They didn't have to ask; they just showed up," she noted. "They just kept coming in—from right after training, after their meetings, through 2 a.m. My kids were there, we were all there... Until 2 in the morning, we were there, just hanging out, dancing, putting music on YouTube."

STEPPING OUT

News of Bush and Harris' relationship started to circulate in October 2023, with a source telling ET at the time, "Sophia and Ashlyn are dating and are into each other."

"Although it's new, the two are on the same page and talk about their future together," the source added.

For his part, Hughes said a statement to Page Six that he just wants his estranged wife to be happy.

"Grant will always want the best for Sophia, and is supportive of all that makes her happy and fulfilled," the rep told the outlet at the time.

The pair made it official when they made their first public appearance together at the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 32nd annual Academy Awards viewing party in West Hollywood, California, on March 10, 2024.

"The two kept a low profile, avoiding media and mingling with friends," a source told ET at the time. "This comes after the happy couple spent a fun time together with friends at South by Southwest in Austin. The two enjoyed the festivities while in Austin, and made it a point to lay low."

Sophia Bush, Eric McCormack and Ashlyn Harris
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

DENYING THE RUMORS

In a lengthy statement shared to Instagram in November 2023, Harris attempted to clear up speculation about the end of her marriage.

"Several weeks ago, a process that had been ongoing privately for some time became public," she wrote of her divorce filing. "Ending a relationship after almost 13 years of friendship, teammate-ship, marriage and co-parenting (many of them good years) is a decision that was not made lightly. We agreed to center our children, continue therapy, separate, and to move forward with our lives. Two happy families are always better than one unhappy one. This process is never easy, but we were making our way through."

The athlete went on the explain that at the advice of their agents, she and Krieger decided that they would keep the information private until Krieger retired. However, their trust was broken when someone "leaked" the news of their split, which she called "a betrayal of our deepest confidence."

"The online hate that has happened since has been one of the most personally devastating experiences of my life," she wrote. "Now, I know that it is best practice in the world of online gossip 'not to feed the beast. Don't respond. Don't let them see you sweat.' Just hide away until the tabloids and Internet trolls decide to feast on someone else. For weeks, I have tried to take this advice. I have tried to let the fire burn out and what I've experienced has devastated my mental health. This has been brutal."

Harris ended her message by sharing that her top priority is her children and being a good co-parent with Krieger and that she still plans to be optimistic about the future.

"Despite this current darkness, there have been years of love between us. And the kids are the best part of it all. They deserve two healthy and happy parents, and that's what matters most," she wrote. “We are all in pain. I share all of this to remind people that bullying anyone about a personal decision, especially when that bullying is rooted in lies, really hurts," she wrote. "I'm hoping that instead of continuous cruelty, you can remember the simple truth that I'm a human being, a mom, and a good person just trying my best. I'd appreciate if you could take a breath and treat me and my family with some humanity."

COMING OUT

Bush officially confirmed the relationship and broke her silence on her sexuality in a cover story for Glamour magazine in April 2024.

"I think I've always known that my sexuality exists on a spectrum," she shared. "I've experienced so much safety, respect, and love in the queer community, as an ally all of my life, that, as I came into myself, I already felt it was my home. 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. And that feels pretty great."

"I finally feel like I can breathe. I don't think I can explain how profound that is. I feel like I was wearing a weighted vest for who knows how long. I hadn't realized how heavy it was until I finally just put it down," she continued.

In addressing her relationship with Harris, Bush recounted how their connection blossomed amid their respective divorces. However, she also denied any infidelity and lamented the fact that her relationship and journey of self-discovery have been so heavily scrutinized.

"The idea that I left my marriage based on some hysterical rendezvous -- that, to be crystal-clear, never happened -- rather than having taken over a year to do the most soul crushing work of my life? Rather than realizing I had to be the most vulnerable I've ever been, on a public stage, despite being terrified to my core? It feels brutal," Bush said.

Despite the challenges, Bush expressed gratitude for the unwavering support of her family, particularly her parents, Charles and Maureen, who have embraced her journey with love and acceptance.

NEXT STEPS

In May 2024, the couple was already shooting down engagement rumors during a romantic trip to Paris, where PDA pics that featured Bush concealing her left hand had fans doing some serious speculation.

Bush later took to her Instagram Stories to clarify her relationship status. Sharing a selfie that prominently displayed her bare ring finger, she wrote, "I hear the internet is being wild? Y'all 🤣⚰️ I have no 'news' for you."

"But wouldn't you put your hands all up in her jacket if you could??" Bush humorously added. "(To be clear you can’t because boundaries, but I'll continue to do it for you because I'm just generous like that)."

Sophia Bush Instagram

Ashlyn Harris and Sophia Bush pack on the PDA during a May 2024 trip to Paris.

Instagram

Bush further emphasized her joy and the non-engagement status with another angle of the photo with Harris, captioning it, "I just wanna squeeeeeeeeeze her … I get that it’s new for y’all to see me so happy and so embodied. It’s new for me too. How lucky am I."

To put the rumors to rest, Bush posted yet another photo showing her left hand sans engagement ring, assuring her followers that she will "try to keep the emojis more symmetrical for you all in the future … I hope TikTok can relax now. Travel on, friends."

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