Bethany Joy Lenz’ “One Tree Hill” co-stars attempted to “rescue” her from the cult she was a part of for 10 years and the alleged “spiritual abuse” she faced.

“It was open with them. It was the whisper behind the scenes, like, ‘You know, she’s in a cult,'” Lenz told Variety in a new interview. “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 noted. “I was really committed to what I believed were the best choices I could make.”


close up Bethany Joy Lenz on a red carpet

Bethany Joy Lenz revealed her “One Tree Hill” co-stars tried to “rescue” her from the cult she spent 10 years with. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

“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,” the actress explained. 

“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.”

Lenz fully believes that filming “One Tree Hill” ultimately saved her. The drama series filmed from 2003 until 2011.

Cast of One Tree Hill - Hilarie Burton, Chad Michael Murray, Sophia Bush, Bethany Joy Lenz, and James Lafferty

From left to right, Hilarie Burton, Chad Michael Murray, Sophia Bush, Bethany Joy Lenz and James Lafferty starred alongside each other in “One Tree Hill.” (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

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

Lenz also revealed she lost family during this time in her life.

“Family members who expressed concern or who were like, ‘What are you saying? This is crazy,’ – anyone who kind of went against what I was experiencing in my reality – became a bit of the enemy.”

A representative for Lenz did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Bethany Joy Lenz smiling

Bethany Joy Lenz starred as Haley on the 2000s drama series. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)


The actress first opened up about her 10 years in a cult in July during an appearance on the “Drama Queens” podcast with her former co-stars Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton. Lenz has since revealed more insight into her experience in a handful of interviews.

Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz and Sophia Bush attend a radio event

Bethany Joy Lenz first opened up about her time in the cult during a podcast episode with her co-stars Hilarie Burton and Sophia Bush. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartRadio)

Lenz has gone through “lots of therapy” as she recovers from the “spiritual abuse.”

“Recovery looks different for everyone, depending on your experience of trauma,” she recently told People magazine. “I had to start from a baseline of my personal understanding of God and the experiences I had had. And then there was a lot of going back to who I was before and remembering that, and then acknowledging that there was so much I just didn’t know.”

The “Just My Type” actress has been revisiting the painful moments as she writes her memoir. “I’m a writer at heart, so turning a phrase is easy for me. Exploring the memories, and really facing them, can be challenging – but I’m doing it,” the actress told the magazine. “There’s a lot to tell.”


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