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OTH’s Bethany Joy Lenz Was “Terrified” Before Sharing Cult Past

Bethany Joy Lenz doesn’t want to be anything other than what she’s been trying to be lately.

The former One Tree Hill star recently opened up about her decade-long experience in an unnamed cult, sharing that she spent years recovering from the mental and emotional toll it took on her. And if there’s one message she hopes people will take away from her story, it is that “there’s no shame in being abused.”

“There are really terrible people out there who do bad things,” she told Access in an Aug. 16 broadcast. “That doesn’t make you a bad person and that doesn’t make you at fault.”

In fact, that was a revelation that admittedly took Lenz quite a long time to understand. As she explained, “I didn’t know how to talk about this in a way that I feel like I’ll really be understood.”

“I was kind of terrified of being misunderstood, so I just didn’t talk about it,” the 42-year-old continued. “It was incredibly painful to to heal from that. It took a long time only because I have gone through that process and done a lot of that work.”

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