The tragic death of One Tree Hill star Bevin Prince’s husband, William Friend

Bevin Prince’s husband, William Friend, died unexpectedly on July 3. The ‘One Tree Hill’ star married Friend, who was originally from England, in 2016. They seemed an odd couple, after all Prince was a TV star and Friend moved to the US alone when she was 15, but they found a relative soul into each other.

Friend, who relocated to the United States to pursue his version of the “American Dream,” was a dedicated employee with a knack for business, according to Us Weekly. Friend began working at Bisnow as an intern right out of college, and in his late 20s he was promoted to CEO. “What made Will special was his innate ability to inspire and motivate people,” a colleague said in a statement. “To raise people higher than they thought possible.” When not busy with commercial real estate, Friend made it a point to build a life with Prince. In 2020, they launched a bike company, Recess, after moving to North Carolina, according to Us Weekly.

At the time of his death, Friend was only 33 years old. Prince has not yet spoken publicly about the loss, but the tragic circumstances in which he died inspired those close to her to speak out and share fond memories of Friend and the love he had for his wife, to express.

Bevin Prince and William Friend shared a special bond

Local North Carolina outlet, Wilmington WETC, broke the news that someone had been struck by lightning and killed. The man was later revealed to be William Friend, husband of One Tree Hill star Bevin Prince. Friend was reportedly out boating during a thunderstorm when he was hit. “Some people think that there is some protection that comes with just a little bit of metal, but that’s really not the case considering lightning is penetrating your boat’s metal systems and you’re very close to them,” John Jensenius , a lightning expert, said the outlet. “So really very little protection, especially if you’re an open boat.”

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Prince’s longtime friend, actress Odette Annabel, sent her condolences in an emotional caption on Instagram. “Will, it feels surreal to write that. Mostly because it feels like you’ve only just started,” Annabel wrote. “I keep thinking about what a gift you gave Bevin. What a gift you gave to everyone who knew you to witness the passion that burned in your soul.”

While Prince has yet to speak publicly about the loss, her social media is a testament to the deep love she had for their partnership. “I love all sides of you. I especially love the way you show up, support, care and fight for the people you love,” she wrote on the occasion of Friend’s 31st birthday. “You make this world better and I’m so happy to see you do it. I love you.”