Bethany Joy Lenz' One Tree Hill co-stars tried to 'save' her from cult

Bethany Joy Lenz says her belonging to a cult was common knowledge on the set of 'One Tree Hill' and her castmates wanted to "rescue" her but she wouldn't listen.



Bethany Joy Lenz was in a cult for 10 years
Bethany Joy Lenz was in a cult for 10 years

Bethany Joy Lenz has revealed the cast of 'One Tree Hill' tried to "save" her from life in a cult.

The 42-year-old actress - who portrayed Haley James Scott in the drama series - revealed last month she had spent a decade with a strict religious group and she's now acknowledged everyone on the set of the show were aware of her circumstances and wanted to help, but she had too much "distrust" to open up to any of her colleagues.

She told Variety: "It was open with them — it was the whisper behind the scenes, like 'You know, she’s in a cult.' 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. I was really committed to what I believed were the best choices I could make...

"The nature of a group like that is 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.

"It built a deep wedge of distrust between me and my cast and crew.

"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."

The 'Drama Queens' co-host credits the show for having "saved" her life because she was able to put distance between herself and the cult, rather than be surrounded by its members and beliefs all the time.

She added: "A lot of the people in that group lived there, and were in it day after day.

"So in a lot of ways, 'One Tree Hill' saved my life, because I was there nine months out of the year in North Carolina. 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."