Husband of 'One Tree Hill' star Bevin Prince dies after being struck by lightning

Prince's former co-stars took to social media to show their support.

July 8, 2022, 11:36 AM

William Friend, the husband of "One Tree Hill" actress Bevin Prince, died over the weekend after being struck by lightning while boating off the coast of North Carolina.

Local authorities told ABC News they arrived at the site of the incident, off the coast of Wilmington, and transferred Friend from his boat to theirs. Deputies performed CPR on him until they arrived at the marina where EMS was waiting and took over.

Friend, who was 33, was the CEO of Bisnow, a digital media company for commercial real estate. On Tuesday, the company paid tribute to Friend and highlighted his career in a press release.

"Friend transformed the company from a local events business into a multichannel data, events, news and intelligence platform for the multitrillion-dollar commercial real estate market," the company wrote. "He was the most passionate about his family, especially his wife."

Prince, who is best known for her role as Bevin Mirskey on the hit series "One Tree Hill," married Friend in 2016. Over the years, Prince highlighted their relationship on Instagram and gushed about him and all the milestones they had reached together.

"What a year it has been," Prince wrote in a 2017 Instagram post, marking their first wedding anniversary. "It’s been messy, complicated, and more that I could have ever dreamed of. …I love you, Will."

More recently, Prince posted a sweet shoutout to her husband and their dog Winnie for Valentine's Day.

"Happy Valentines Day! I love you both more than words!" she wrote in the caption of an Instagram photo of Friend hugging Winnie.

During the pandemic, Prince, a Soulcycle instructor, and Friend launched their own outdoor cycling gym in Wilmington, North Carolina, called Recess.

Following Friend's death, members of the gym posted supportive messages on the business's official Instagram page.

"We greatly appreciate the outpouring of love and support we’ve received from our Recess community," Recess staff wrote in the caption of an Instagram photo featuring the couple. "Will’s knowledge, guidance, and support is the foundation that Recess is built on."

On social media, celebrities shared messages of support for Prince, including her former "One Tree Hill" co-star, Hilarie Burton.

"In every group of friends, there's always the 'strong one,'" Burton wrote. "Our friend @bevinaprince is one of those strong ones. She is light personified. As some of you know, her beloved husband @britwilliam passed this week. It’s unfathomable. Bevin is a huge part of our OTH family she and Will believed in Wilmington and the community there so much, they moved down from NYC during the pandemic to open up @recessbybevinprince."

"Please lift our friend up," Burton added. "She is a remarkable woman."

Actress Sophia Bush also took to Instagram, writing in a story post, "Heartbroken and at a loss… Our family is grieving for one of our own. Please lift up @bevinprince in whatever way you are able. Show her the love she deserves; the love her husband always showed her."