What Rachel Bilson Had To Say About Mischa Barton’s Claims About The O.C.

If you thought all the drama of “The O.C.” — classic teen soap opera of the early aughts — was over when the show ended, you would be very mistaken. The latest dust-up comes following a no-holds-barred interview Mischa Barton (a.k.a Marissa Cooper) gave to E! News in May, and her former co-star Rachel Bilson’s (a.k.a Summer Roberts) response.

In the E! News interview, Barton explained for the first time in detail the real reason her character was killed off at the end of Season 6 in the world’s most dramatic car crash. In the years since, there have been plenty of rumors, hints, and whispers about why Barton left the show, but nothing so explicit. Barton told the outlet discussions about her exit started sooner than you might think. She revealed, “It started pretty early on because it had a lot to do with them adding Rachel [Bilson] in last minute as, after the first season, a series regular and evening out everybody’s pay — and sort of general bullying from some of the men on set that kind of felt really sh***y.”

Well, now Bilson and Melinda Clarke (a.k.a Julie Cooper) have come forward with a response.

Rachel Bilson says she is 'confused'

On the “Welcome to the O.C., B*****s” podcast, former co-stars Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke basically said they weren’t sure what Mischa Barton was talking about.

“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,” Bilson noted, adding, “I would actually like to talk to her and find out what her experience was from her perspective. I saw things a little differently, I guess.”

From the sounds of things, Bilson’s just looking for a little clarity. “I’m definitely pretty confused by most of it and I don’t know who she’s referring to,” she said about the bullying. “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.”

Clarke backed Bilson up, saying she found some of Barton’s accusations “perplexing” and that they “broke [her] heart.” But she caveated that it’s important to remember the kind of toxic scrutiny young women like Barton (i.e. Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan) were under in the early 2000s.

“Rachel and I both think it’s important, if she wants to come and talk to us and share her story, we would love to explore that,” Clarke said. “I think it’s something we’re all becoming aware of and it’s important for us to learn in our culture what can be very damaging to young people.”

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