'a lot of divinity'
Actress Bevin Prince has given an emotional first on-camera interview to Good Morning America about the death of her husband, who was fatally struck by lightning over the summer.
William Friend, the One Tree Hill alum's late husband, was killed in July after being struck by lightning while the two were boating with their family in North Carolina. He was 33.
"We look up and we can see the storm in a distance," she recalled on GMA. "But we've been there so many times, and there was no urgency for anyone to get off the water."
Friend was on another boat with Prince's father, and she revealed that "right before" his death, "he lit a cigar and he looked at my father and he said, 'If we get struck by lightning, Mike, this is where I want to be.' And then it happened. It was instant."
According to Prince, a nurse and a veteran were on a nearby boat and spent "a lot of time" trying to resuscitate her husband but were unable to do so. "I believe it was really his time," she said, adding that there was "a lot of divinity" in his death.
"He was 33 years old, it was July 3, and I believe the exact time that the lightning struck was 3:13 p.m.," she said. "So knowing that all the resources were there to potentially save him, I have to believe that something bigger beyond me was calling him."
The actress also remembered her husband as "one of the funniest people I've ever met," and she choked up as she said she's "so proud that I got to do life with him."
Friend served as CEO of the commercial real estate media company Bisnow Media, according to CNN. The National Lightning Safety Council said his death marked the 21st lightning fatality in North Carolina since 2006, and the first since 2020.