While fans only recently learned that Bethany Joy Lenz was in a cult for 10 years, the actress says it wasn’t a secret on the set of One Tree Hill.
“It was open with them—it was the whisper behind the scenes, like ‘You know, she’s in a cult,'” she told Variety in an interview published Aug. 10. “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.”
In fact, Lenz said that her commitment to the cult, which she did not name, took a toll on her professional relationships.
“The nature of a group like that is isolation,” she explained, “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.”
And Lenz noted that nature “built a deep wedge of distrust between” her and the cast and crew.
“As much as I loved them and cared about them,” she continued, “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.”