Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke Respond to Mischa Barton's "Perplexing" Claims About The OC

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Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke are speaking out following comments from their former The OC costar Mischa Barton.

Barton recently spoke to E! News about exiting the series at the end of its third season.

The actress said that some people "were very mean" to her on the set of the FOX drama and that she felt some relief after saying goodbye to her character, Marissa.

The OC Cast Attend a Viewing Party

Clarke, who played Marissa's mother, Julie, addressed that it could have been difficult on the show due to Barton's young age.

"The one thing going into this podcast — and Rachel and I discussed this — I can tell you about my experience with total honesty, and transparency, and cannot speak for somebody else's experience," Clarke shared on the Everything Iconic Podcast.

"And, we have touched on this, Rachel, but someone who's 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," she added.

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"So it kind of breaks my heart a little to know that — we knew there's a lot of pressure on her, but if it was really that bad of an experience, that's not right for any young person."

Some of the comments from Barton did not sit right with Clarke, however.

"Some of the comments were very perplexing to me," she said, "so I don't know, I don't know what the truth is about that, but I do know that yes, this was an enormous amount of pressure — for everybody."

Bilson then opened up about Barton, saying Summer was added to the show at the last minute.

Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke

"The one thing that I can say is like, in one of her first comments she says that I was added last-minute after the first season, which is actually completely false and not what happened," she said.

"So it starting out that way, I was like, 'Well, that's misinformation. Where are we going with this? And what is she trying to say?' Which 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."

Clarke looked at the scenario from a 2021 perspective.

"We all do know that… in the early 2000s, the scrutiny of the young ladies going out, and the Nicole Richies, and the Parises, and the Lindsays, and the Mischas — there was a lot of attention," she said.

Mischa Barton Attends L'Oreal Event

"And just by being out there, somehow it got turned against them."

Clarke explained that it would maybe be a good idea for Barton to appear on the podcast to air her side of how she felt.

"I think it's something that we're all becoming aware of, and it's important for us to learn," Clarke said.

"Hollywood is notorious for doing 18-, 20-hour days and… it's not for the faint of heart, let's put it that way" she added. "But being that young, I do think it can be an additional stress."

Bilson went on to explain that she didn't notice mean things going on behind the scenes of the show.

Rachel Bilson Attends Event

"I don't know who she's referring to, because I didn't personally witness any of that," she said, adding that Mischa's interview had some "mixed messages."

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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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