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Elizabeth Hurley Calls Mark Schwahn Allegations a ‘Shocking Surprise’, As 25 More Women Speak Out Against ‘Royals’ Showrunner

Mark Schwahn and Elizabeth Hurley
Mark Schwahn and Elizabeth HurleyMonica Schipper/FilmMagic

Elizabeth Hurley shared an open letter on Twitter in response to her The Royals costar Alexandra Parks’ statement about showrunner Mark Schwahn’s alleged “reprehensible behavior” on the set of their E! series on Thursday, November 16.

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“I was immensely saddened to read Alexandra’s Park’s statement about Mark Schwahn,” Hurley began. “I have loved working alongside Alexandra and Mark for four years while shooting The Royals, and had absolutely no idea that she was feeling frightened and sexually intimidated by Mark during this time. I have never thought of myself as unobservant, in fact quite the opposite, but I missed this and feel like I have let down a younger cast member. I could have helped her. I would have helped her. But I didn’t know.”

Hurley, who made it clear she never experienced Schwahn’s alleged behavior, added: “Yes, he flirts and tells risque jokes — but so do I. To hear that there was more than this is a shocking surprise.”

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Taking a cue from the female cast and crew of One Tree Hill, who accused Schwahn of sexual harassment in a letter posted to Variety on Monday, November 13, 25 members of the cast and crew of The Royals accused the showrunner of “repeated unwanted sexual harassment” in a statement published by the same publication on Thursday.

“Despite hearing rumours about his behaviour on One Tree Hill, those of us involved from the early stages went into the filming of the pilot hoping they were just that – rumours,” the letter reads. “By the time we wrapped this had irrevocably proven not to be the case. It became all too apparent reading their statement earlier this week that the betrayal and anger so many of us had experienced during our time on The Royals is not exclusively ours. And we were angry then, and we are angry now.”

The letter ends with a final thank you to the women of OTH — which includes Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Shantel van Staten, Jana Kramer, Danneel Harris and Daphne Zuniga — for speaking out: “But thank you most of all to the women of One Tree Hill, whose solid gold backbones have moved us enormously. To you we doff our crowns.”

Schwahn was suspended from The Royals, which already wrapped filming its fourth season, but does not have a premiere date, on Wednesday, November 15.

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“E!, Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television take sexual harassment allegations very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and independently, and take appropriate action,” the studios said in a statement to Us Weekly. “Lionsgate has suspended Mark Schwahn from The Royals as we continue our investigation.”

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