‘One Tree Hill’ Actress Says Her Co-Stars Tried To Rescue Her From Cult

Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, and Sophia Bush arrive at the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena on September 23, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

“One Tree Hill” actress Bethany Joy Lenz said her co-stars on the popular show tried to rescue her from the cult she was a part of for a decade — but she was “very stubborn.”

The 42-year-old star told Variety magazine that several of her well-known friends from the show noticed she was in trouble and tried to “save” her, but she was “very committed” to what she believed was best.

“It was the whisper behind the scenes, like, ‘You know, she’s in a cult,'” Lenz said. “For a while, they were all trying to save me and rescue me, which is lovely and so amazing to be cared about in that way.”

“But I was very stubborn,” she added. “I was really committed to what I believed were the best choices I could make.”

The actress then talked about how the “nature of a group like that is isolation,” which she said “built a deep wedge of distrust between me and my cast and crew.”

“They have to make you distrust everyone around you so that the only people you trust are, first and foremost, the leadership and then, people within the group if the leadership approves of them and isn’t in the middle of pitting you against each other, which happens all the time also,” Lenz told the outlet.

In the end, Lenz said she believes that in “a lot of ways,” being on the show and the demands of the series saved her life.


“I had a lot of flying back and forth, a lot of people visiting and things like that, but my life was really built in North Carolina,” Lenz said of the nine months shooting the show out of the year. “And I think that spatial separation made a big difference when it was time for me to wake up.”

The “Royal Matchmaker” star recently talked about how she’s writing a book about being in the cult, something she told the outlet she started during the pandemic.

“Why I wanted to talk about it is because I think it can be really healing for a lot of other people,” Lenz said. “I know I’m not the only one. What good are our painful experiences if we just lock them away and pretend like everything’s perfect? That’s not doing anybody any good.”

She admitted the reason it took her so long to open up about it was because she had to first overcome “shame,” and secondly, “because I don’t like to identify as a victim.”

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