One Tree Hill star Bevin Prince is speaking out for the first time about the tragic death of her husband, William Friend.
As we previously reported, the 33-year-old passed away in July after being struck by lightning during a storm near his home in Wilmington, North Carolina. According to WECT6 News, law enforcement found William on a boat around Masonboro Island, and EMTS attempted to resuscitate him for 20 minutes. However, their efforts were not successful, and he was pronounced dead. So sad…
Bevin did not make a statement about his death at the time, but five months after the incident, it appears she is ready to break her silence. The 39-year-old actress made an appearance on the 1 on1 With Jon Evans podcast on Friday to open up about what happened that day, recalling:
“It’s an absolute living nightmare. It was like any other day that we’d done a million times. The storm was far away, we’re on the boat, everything’s fine. And then in an instant, everything has changed. There’s no normal, and there’s no playbook for it.”
When William was hit by lightning, Bevin said they were near another boat with a nurse, a former member of the military, and a bounty hunter aboard, all of whom immediately sprung into action and helped out. The Recess cycling studio founder noted that the police boat also was driving by at the time, and they quickly moved his body from the couple’s boat to theirs. She continued:
“In my mind, there was absolutely nothing that could have been done. And I have to accept that this is larger than me and my understanding at this time.”
Touching on the grieving process, Bevin shared that everything is “still so day to day” for her, and “some days, it doesn’t feel OK.” But on those days, she said she reminds herself to never give up:
“I think the thing I remind myself is, I have two options. I can stay here on this planet, or I cannot, and that’s not an option for me. So, I really only have one option. I knew when Will passed, I said, ‘OK, I was fortunate enough to experience the kind of love and support and partnership that I know so many people will never feel, so my life now a service. My life now is service. That’s it.’ I’m going to do everything I can to serve the people in my community and the people that work with me and my friends and my family and I will continue to show up and do that.”
“That’s all I know. That’s all I can do. That’s the only option.”
It also helped, Bevin said, that friends have been by her side ever since the accident, including former One Tree Hill co-stars Hilarie Burton and Lee Norris, who rushed to be with her after news of William’s death broke:
“Will was the most fiercely loyal person I’ve ever met in my life, and I learned so much from him by watching how he treats people, and how he shows up for them. Every single person was there to show up for him and me, and so you’ve just got to get up. At that point, his birthday was that Sunday, and that’s when we were going to have his celebration of life, and I felt in my bones Will holding me up. I knew I had to speak, and it wasn’t an option not to, because I know that man would have done it for anyone in his life, and I felt him hold my shoulders up and stand up with me.”
We can imagine how difficult these past five months have been for Bevin. Losing someone is never easy, so we are sending her so much love as she continues to mourn this loss.
[Image via Bevin Prince/Instagram]