One Tree Hill’s Bethany Joy Lenz Reveals She Was in a Cult for 10 Years

One Tree Hill alum Bethany Joy Lenz revealed on her podcast with Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton that she was in a cult for 10 years—an experience she hopes to one day detail in a book.

By Hayley Santaflorentina Jul 11, 2023 5:20 PMTags
Watch: One Tree Hill's Bethany Joy Lenz Reveals She Was in a Cult

Bethany Joy Lenz is looking forward to sharing her story.

The One Tree Hill actress recently reflected on her decade-long experience in a cult, explaining to her former costars Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton that she's hoping to one day detail the experience in a book. 

"I was in a cult for 10 years," Bethany shared on the July 10 episode of the OTH alums' podcast Drama Queens. "That would be a really valuable experience to write about, and the recovery—you know, 10 years of recovery after that. So there's a lot to tell."

But while it's a story she wants to share, the 42-year-old, who didn't elaborate further on any details surrounding the cult citing legal reasons, acknowledged the various obstacles in her way.

"But the pressure of getting it right," she added, "and everything having to be exactly real, and all the people that are involved. Also, I don't know how much I can say because there are still people and legal things in place that make it more complicated for the timing of that."

One Tree Hill: Where Are They Now?

Still, the Pearson alum has begun finding her footing in documenting her story.

"I think the ADHD has made it really difficult over the years to... I have lots of essays and lots of chapters and things," Bethany explained. "But to really commit to putting it all together, because I would love to write about my experience."

Mindy Small/Getty Images

Over the course of their One Tree Hill rewatch podcast, which launched in June 2021, the Bethany, Sophia and Hilarie have often gotten candid about their lives both on-set and off. And in addition to reminiscing about the long running series, which ended after nine seasons in 2012, they haven't shied away from difficult topics, including misconduct allegations against creator Mark Schwahn. (He has never addressed the allegations.)

As Sophia put it the three actresses—who also act as producers on the podcast—decided to create the tell-all project with the intention of focusing on the good that came from the show. 

"For us, this was really about reclaiming our show," Bush explained in a January 2022 interview on CBS Mornings. "It was about taking all of the joy and the power back and taking out the trash."

She added, "And that that feels really, really nice to us. It's allowed us to completely love our show. And not to be cheesy, but it feels like it might be a model for healing for other people as well. Reclamation feels pretty badass, if I do say so myself." 

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