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Sophia Bush Feels Like She ‘Can Breathe’ After Coming Out, Confirming Ashlyn Harris Relationship

Sophia Bush is breaking her silence on her relationship with Ashlyn Harris’ — coming out as queer and denying that she cheated on ex-husband Grant Hughes.

“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,” Bush, 41, said in her self-written Glamour cover story, released on Thursday, April 25. “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.”

Bush said she’s “experienced so much safety, respect, and love in the queer community” both as an ally and member.

“I sort of hate the notion of having to come out in 2024. But I’m deeply aware that we are having this conversation in a year when we’re seeing the most aggressive attacks on the LGBTQIA+ community in modern history,” she continued. “There were more than 500 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills proposed in state legislatures in 2023, so for that reason I want to give the act of coming out the respect and honor it deserves.”

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She explained: “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.”

Sophia Bush Feels Like She ‘Can Breathe’ After Coming Out, Confirming Ashlyn Harris Relationship
Lauren Dukoff/Glamour

Bush was married to Hughes, 42, for a little more than a year before the One Tree Hill alum filed for divorce in August 2023. By October of that year, she was romantically linked to Harris, 38, after they bonded amid their respective splits.

“It took me confronting a lot of things, what felt like countless sessions of therapy, and some prodding from loved ones, but eventually I asked Ashlyn to have a non-friend-group hang to talk about it,” she wrote. “And that meal was four and a half hours long and truly one of the most surreal experiences of my life thus far. In hindsight, maybe it all had to happen slowly and then suddenly all at once. Maybe it was all fated. Maybe it really is a version of invisible string theory.”

Bush’s Glamour profile is the first she’s publicly commented on her relationship with the soccer star, explaining that she wishes the “public part” of her journey would have been on her own terms.

“I’m very aware, though, as we discuss bullying and harassment and being outed without consent — that I’m incredibly lucky this happened in my adulthood,” she continued. “I really love who I am, at this age and in this moment.”

Sophia Bush Feels Like She ‘Can Breathe’ After Coming Out, Confirming Ashlyn Harris Relationship
Lauren Dukoff/Glamour

There “were blatant lies,” “violent threats” and “accusations of being a home-wrecker” surrounding her divorce and subsequent romance with Harris — all of which Bush declared are untrue. (Harris was previously married to Ali Krieger, with whom she shares two kids, Sloane, 3, and son Ocean, 20 months.)

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“The ones who said I’d left my ex because I suddenly realized I wanted to be with women — my partners have known what I’m into for as long as I have,” she wrote. “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.”

Sophia Bush Feels Like She ‘Can Breathe’ After Coming Out, Confirming Ashlyn Harris Relationship
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Bush said the journey that she didn’t want to share on social media was “long and thoughtful and exhaustive” overall. She also declared that her parents are fully supportive and noted that things “finally” look right in Bush’s life.

“After the news became public, my mom told me that one of her friends called her and said, ‘Well, this can’t be true. I mean, your daughter isn’t gay,’” Bush wrote. “My mom felt that it was obvious, from the way her friend emphasized the word, that she meant it judgmentally. And you know what my mom said? ‘Oh honey, I think she’s pretty gay. And she’s happy.’”

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