Bethany Joy Lenz Details Her 10 Years in a Cult, Reveals One Tree Hill Costars Tried To ‘Rescue’ Her


Bethany Joy Lenz is speaking out about the decade she spent in a cult.

The One Tree Hill star opened up to Variety in a wide-ranging interview and revealed that her costars tried to help rescue her from it.

“It was the whisper behind the scenes, like, ‘You know, she’s in a cult,'” she explained to the outlet.

“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 stated.

“I was really committed to what I believed were the best choices I could make.”

Lenz shared that her time in the cult led to severe isolation.

“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,” the actress, best known for playing Haley James Scott, shared.

“It built a deep wedge of distrust between me and my cast and crew,” she added.

“As much as I loved them and cared about them, there was a fundamental thought: If I’m in pain, if I’m suffering, I can’t go to any of these people. So you feel incredibly lonely.”

Lenz believes the WB/CW teen drama and its filming location helped save her life.

“I was there nine months out of the year in North Carolina,” Lenz elaborated.

“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.”

“And I think that spatial separation made a big difference when it was time for me to wake up.”

The actress shared that she doesn’t feel like she was ever “consciously scared,” during her time with the cult, there were “a few physical interactions” she won’t forget.

“And some of those moments actually caused me to be able to recognize a bit of what was happening to me and start to make strides to get out,” she said.

Lenz confirmed she left the cult after the conclusion of One Tree Hill in 2012.

Lenz revealed she was in a cult recently during her Drama Queens podcast with Hilarie Burton Morgan and Sophia Bush.

She revealed her intention to document her experience in a book at the time.

Remember, you can watch One Tree Hill online right here via TV Fanatic.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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