One Tree Hill star Bethany Joy Lenz reveals details of cult she was in ‘for 10 years’

One Tree Hill star Bethany Joy Lenz has revealed more details about the decade she spent in a cult.

The actor, 42, is best known for her role as Haley James Scott on the hit Noughties teen drama, starring alongside Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton, James Laferty and Chad Michael Murray. The series ran for nine seasons, from 2003 to 2012.

Last July, Lenz said on her podcast Drama Queens that she “was in a cult for 10 years” and that she hoped to write a book about her experiences. “That would be a really valuable experience to write about, and the recovery – 10 years of recovery after that. So there’s a lot to tell.”

That book is set to be published by Simon & Schuster later this year under the title Dinner for Vampires. It is subtitled: “Life on a cult TV show – while also in an actual cult!”

The official synopsis states: “In the early 2000s, after years of hard work and determination to breakthrough as an actor, Bethany Joy Lenz was finally cast as one of the leads on the hit drama One Tree Hill.

“Her career was about to take off, but her personal life was slowly beginning to unravel. What none of the show’s millions of fans knew, hidden even from her costars, was her secret double life in a cult.

Bethany Joy Lenz attends the premiere of ‘Ordinary Angels’ in New York, 19 February 2024 (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
Bethany Joy Lenz attends the premiere of ‘Ordinary Angels’ in New York, 19 February 2024 (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

“An only child who often had to fend for herself and always wanted a place to belong, Lenz found the safe haven she’d been searching for in a Bible study group with other Hollywood creatives. However, the group soon morphed into something more sinister—a slowly woven web of manipulation, abuse, and fear under the guise of a church covenant called The Big House Family.”

It goes on to say that Lenz was encouraged by cult leaders to give up her autonomy, and that she eventually relocated to their compound in the Pacific Northwest.

There, a domineering minister allegedly convinced Lenz to marry one of his sons while steadily stealing millions of dollars from her television income.

It was only after Lenz became a mother that she decided to leave the cult, in order to spare her child from growing up under the group’s control.

Lenz had previously said about the book that she felt the “pressure of getting it right 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,” she added. “But I do write. I write all the time.”

Dinner for Vampires will be published on 22 October.