The O.C.’s Mischa Barton Admits She Still Struggles With “Trauma” From Height of Fame

Mischa Barton, known for her role in The O.C., opened up about her ongoing struggle with the emotional aftermath of her early fame. The actress candidly discussed the challenges she faced during her rise to stardom, including relentless paparazzi scrutiny and online criticism.

Mischa Barton, now 37, revealed that she is still grappling with the trauma of becoming famous at the age of 17. Despite seeking therapy, she emphasized that certain experiences from her early 20s cannot be easily erased. Reflecting on her time portraying the glamorous Marissa Cooper on the Fox show, which aired from 2003-2007, she admitted that fame brought unexpected issues into her life.

“I don’t think I was fully prepared for that level of fame,” Mischa confessed. “Because it has never been something that I have sought out. I really would much rather be anonymous.”

Mischa also highlighted the unsettling aspect of being perceived as older than her actual age during her fame, recalling relationships with much older individuals when she was just 18, which she now considers strange with hindsight.

After her six-season stint on The O.C., Mischa continued to face paparazzi attention, which she described as reminiscent of scenes from “The Hunger Games.” The invasive media presence took a toll on her romantic relationships, intensifying her emotional dependence on her partners for a sense of normalcy.

“I was stalked. I did go a little bit nuts at [one] point. I just felt really helpless,” she revealed. Mischa also shared how online blogs relentlessly attacked her, criticizing her every move and appearance, particularly focusing on her body. The experience was emotionally taxing, leaving her feeling constantly judged and objectified.

Looking ahead to 2023, Mischa expressed relief that modern society is more accepting of discussions about mental health issues like depression and anxiety. She acknowledged the positive shift towards openness and destigmatization surrounding these topics.

Regarding her personal life, Mischa revealed her contentment with being single at the moment. Despite societal pressure about settling down and having children, she emphasized the importance of finding the right person before making such significant life decisions, highlighting her traditional values in relationships.