Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke respond to Mischa Barton’s The O.C ‘bullying’ claims

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Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke from The O.C say they’re “confused” by Mischa Barton’s revelation that she was bullied on the set of teen drama.

Speaking on the Everything Iconic podcast, Bilson, who played Summer Roberts on the show, said she has a different recollection of their time on set, admitting she was shocked by what Mischa Barton told E! News last month.

“You know, Melinda and I were talking immediately after it came out. And we were just like, ‘Wait, what?’” Bilson explained of the conversation she had with Clarke, who played Julie Cooper – Barton’s on-screen mum – on the show.

“I mean, I’m definitely pretty confused by most of it. And I don’t know who she’s referring to because I didn’t personally witness any of that,” Bilson said of the bullying claims.

RELATED: Shock reason Mischa Barton left The O.C

Barton, who started playing Marissa Cooper when she was 17, told E! News she decided to leave the hit show because she was allegedly bullied by “some of the men on set”.

“There were people on that set that were very mean to me. It wasn’t, like, the most ideal environment for a young, sensitive girl who’s also been thrust into stardom to have to put up with,” the 35-year-old told the publication in May.

Barton said another factor in her departure from the show was the producers’ decision to make Bilson, 39, a lead character, which affected everyone’s pay.

Barton left the show when her character, Marissa, was killed off in the third season finale in 2006.

RELATED: Mischa Barton surfaces after TV acting

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Responding to the claims about the cast’s pay, Bilson labelled it “misinformation”.

“That’s misinformation. Where is she going with this, and what is she trying to say? I would actually like to talk to her and find out what her experience was from her perspective, because I saw things a little differently,” she said.

Meanwhile, Clarke said that while she can only speak to her own personal experiences, she understood Barton was under a lot of pressure on the show.

“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,” she said.

“Someone who is 16, 17, 18 – that amount of hours of work, pressure, at such a young age – at best, you’re exhausted. And at worst, it’s overwhelming and chaotic, so it kinda breaks my heart a little.”

RELATED: The O.C: Where are the stars now?

She went on to say she, too, was surprised by Barton’s interview.

“But some of the comments were very, um, 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 for her. And for everybody.”


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