Mischa Barton marked the 15th anniversary of her character’s death on “The O.C.” by opening up about “what was really going on behind the scenes” in a recent interview with E! News — but her former co-stars Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke are taking issue with her words.
During the conversation, Barton claimed that Bilson became a series regular at the “last minute,” which resulted in “evening out everybody’s pay — and sort of general bullying from some of the men on set that kind of felt really s**tty.” Barton also said, “there’s stuff I think people did wrong,” and claimed that some people on the show were “very mean” to her.
Claiming she was “not really feeling protected by my cast and crew,” Barton said that exiting “The O.C.” was “the best thing for me and my health.”
Podcaster Danny Pellegrino joined Bilson and co-host Melinda Clarke on their podcast, “Wecome to the O.C., B***hes,” and brought up Barton’s interview.
While the full episode won’t be airing for awhile, Bilson shared that portion of the conversation on Instagram, explaining they released it early “in hopes Mischa would hear us talk about it and would be willing to come join us on the show so we could hear her entire perspective and what she is saying that she experienced.”
Bilson admitted that she and Clarke “were talking immediately after it came out, like, ‘What?'”
Admitting she “cannot speak for somebody else’s experience,” Clarke admitted, “It kind of breaks my heart a little to know — we knew there was a lot of pressure on her — but if it was really that bad of an experience, that’s not right for any young person. But some of the comments were very perplexing to me, so I don’t know what the truth is about that. I do know that, yes, this was an enormous amount of pressure.”
Bilson then addressed what Barton had said about her.
“In one of her first comments she said that I was added last minute after the first season, which is actually completely false and not what happened. So it’s starting out that way, I was like, ‘Well, that’s misinformation. Where is she going with this and what is she trying to say?'” said Bilson.
“I would actually like to talk to her and find out what her experience was from her perspective,” she continued. “I saw things a little differently, I guess.”
Pellegrino then asked about her claims of being bullied, and said it felt to him like she was “alluding to cast members.”
“I’m definitely pretty confused by most of it and I don’t know who she’s referring to,” Bilson said. “I didn’t personally witness any of that, so I don’t know who she’s referring to or what, because I didn’t see it myself.”
Added Clarke: “I did not either. Like I said, everyone has their own experience and it, to me, I couldn’t wait to get to work. It was like going to musical theatre camp, I just loved being there.”