Bush left the series in 2017, around the same time her co-star was being investigated for inappropriate behavior.
Now, she’s finally opening up about what led to the decision to only call out her experience on The WB drama, revealing that she was "professionally" advised to speak out against only one series for fear that it would look like her fault.
Back in 2017, Bush's Chicago P.D. co-star Jason Beghe (who plays Hank Voight) was under investigation for accusations of inappropriate behavior on set, but Bush was already in the process of writing a letter accusing director and producer Mark Schwahn of sexual harassment along with physical and emotional manipulation with her OTH crew and co-stars, including Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz.
"My rep said to me, 'You're going to have to pick. You can either tell the story about your first boss or you can tell the story about your co-worker, but you can't tell both because then it looks like it's your fault,’” she said, adding that it was advice on how the public would perceive the situation.
She elaborated that she stands by her decision to support her OTH family, however, she feels that it is important to address her experience on the NBC police procedural as well, even if her former co-stars would rather she kept quiet.
"When people on that other job say, 'Why won't you stop talking about it?' or 'Why do you need to bring it up?' I'm like, 'You have no idea what I withheld that's benefitted you,'" she noted. "And in the same way we all feel about our boss on [One Tree Hill]...I'm not going to be able to take this chip off my shoulder until you face some f---ing accountability."
She continued, seemingly referring to Beghe: "You got to do this thing. You got to scar all these women. You got to hurt all these people. You've left a body count in your wake of people who have to go to therapy and do all of this gnarly work — and we didn't ask for that."
While she doesn’t have all the answers, she called for more accountability on TV show sets in the future, stating, "I don't know what we're supposed to do that our boss was allowed to never make a comment," she said, adding, "I don't know what I'm supposed to do that my next employers rebranded sexual assault with witnesses as 'anger management issues' in the press."
Burton then recalled being yelled at by Schwahn in public yet none of the men, including her boyfriend at the time, did anything to intervene, which fueled Bush further as she had a similar experience.
"What you experienced that night, the way you got yelled at, that's exactly the s--t I was dealing with in Chicago and also had a group of men who were like, 'I love you so much, you're our best friend.' [They] never got involved and never stood up," Bush said.
"And I know some of them are mad that I acknowledge that when we talk about this show as well, and you know what? I don't care. That fear that I'm going to keep talking about it better be what makes you behave better on every set you're on. From the time that you left North Carolina, the time I left Illinois, they better behave better. They better be a little afraid,” she added.
Bush was an original cast member on the Dick Wolf series, debuting the role of Erin Lindsay in 2014 before her shocking departure at the end of season 4 in 2017.
Around that time, NBC launched their investigation into Beghe after receiving several complaints of “volatile behavior” and “offensive comments,” per Variety. The network—along with UTV and Wolf Entertainment—provided him with an anger management coach, which Beghe credited with helping him “learn how to mitigate my temper."
"It's an ongoing process, and it has been a humbling one” he explained in his public apology.