Mischa Barton is opening up about the toll fame had on her as a teenager.
In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, the actress, who rose to stardom at 17 years old after starring as Marissa Cooper on The O.C., recalled the “trauma” she endured working in the industry when she was younger.
“You can go to therapy every day for the rest of your life,” Barton said. “But there’s just a certain amount of trauma [from] all that I went through, particularly in my early 20s, that just doesn’t go away overnight.”
The Neighbours star explained that she felt like she was never “prepared for that level of fame.”
She added, “It has never been something that I have sought out. I really would much rather be anonymous.”
But being anonymous was basically impossible for Barton because she was constantly followed by paparazzi during that time in her life. She said the whole experience “was all very Hunger Games” and really impacted her mental health.
The actress noted that the paparazzi was “doing all kinds of crazy stuff” to her, including tracking her car, attempting to climb over walls to her house and paying off restaurants. She added, “I was stalked. I did go a little bit nuts at [one] point. I just felt really helpless.”
But even when she wasn’t in public, Barton said it was also difficult because she would be attacked online, with bloggers sharing negative commentary about her when she was younger.
“Nothing I did was good enough,” she said. “It was the peak of cruelty about young women’s bodies. It was wild.”
She later added in the interview, “People feel so entitled to you and your body and your image. It’s a strange feeling. It’s strange.”
As for today, Barton said she’s glad to see that people are “more willing to talk about having had depression or anxiety,” as well as acknowledge the behavior that young women faced during that earlier era.
“You can see how sorry people feel for what they did to people like Britney [Spears] then,” she explained. “Everyone now is like, ‘I can’t believe we did that to those poor women.’”