Sophia Bush Says a Friend Told Her "I Don't Think You Like Men" After Grant Hughes Split

She says this helped her better understand her sexuality.

shlyn Harris and Sophia Bush attend the 2024 White House Correspondents' Dinner at The Washington Hilton on April 27, 2024 in Washington, DC.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sophia Bush has opened up about her journey to realizing she liked women.

"I don't think we realize how deep heteronormativity runs," Bush told guests Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allynne on the latest episode of her podcast Work in Progress. "I think so many women are like, 'Well, I’m settling a little bit.' Everyone says everything’s hard, all my friends hate their husbands. And you sort of go like, 'Oh.' And then maybe that’s not it."

She then recalled the conversation she had with a friend following her separation from Grant Hughes, which eventually led her to understanding herself and her sexuality better.

Sophia Bush and Grant Hughes

Sophia Bush and Grant Hughes were married between 2022 and 2023.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

"After my last breakup, one of my best friends looked at me and was like, 'I gotta say, that was just painful to watch, and I’m so glad you’re getting out of it. But, like, I don’t just think he was not the right person for you, but also, I don’t actually think you like men,'" Bush recalled.

She continued, "And there was sort of this aha moment, where I was like, 'Oh, maybe the drama when I fell in love with this beautiful French exchange student when I was 16 wasn't about her being a girl, it was that she lived in France and my parents were like, 'This feels irrational and a setup for heartbreak for you. You're 16.'"

She added that she previously identified as bisexual until when she was 25 people told her she couldn't because she'd mostly dated men. Because she wanted to be respectful to the queer community at the time, she recalled getting "out of the way," until she realized, "Maybe I just get to like who I like!"

The One Tree Hill star was married to Hughes between 2022 and 2023, and in April 2024, penned a moving essay for Glamour in which she came out as queer.

"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," Bush wrote. "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."

In that essay, she revealed that she had fallen in love with girlfriend Ashlyn Harris, with the two seeming blissful together months later.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.