Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke Address Mischa Barton's "Perplexing" Claims About The O.C.

Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke broke their silence on Mischa Barton’s recent E! News interview about her experience while on The O.C.. Read on to see what the actresses had to say.

By Kisha Forde Jun 01, 2021 9:36 PMTags
Watch: "The O.C." Alums Address Mischa Barton Allegations

Former The O.C. stars Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke are weighing in on Mischa Barton's recent claims about her experiences while working on the hit show.

While appearing as guests on the Everything Iconic podcast (which was teased in their own Welcome to the OC, Bitches! podcast episode), the actresses opened up to host Danny Pellegrino about their reactions once they learned of Mischa's recent interview with E! News.

"You know Melinda and I were talking immediately after it [the interview] came out," Rachel, who played Summer on the show, recalled. "And we were just like, ‘Wait, what?'" 

Melinda—who played Julie on the teen drama—explained that although she couldn't speak for anyone's experience other than her own, she can understand Mischa's perspective. "Someone who is 16, 17, 18—that amount of hours of work, pressure, at such a young age—at best, you're exhausted," she shared. "And at worst, it's overwhelming and chaotic so, it kinda breaks my heart a little."

The O.C.: Where Are They Now?

"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," Melinda continued. "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."


The "perplexing" comments Melinda alluded to reference Mischa's recent interview, during which she opened up about her experience across three seasons on the popular show.

"It's a bit complicated," Mischa recalled to E! News when it came to her decision to leave The O.C. "It started pretty early on because it had a lot to do with them adding Rachel 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 s--tty."

However, during their podcast episode, Rachel described Mischa's claim that she was added to the cast at the last minute as "completely false."

"That's misinformation," Rachel disputed. "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." 

When it came to filming her last episode in 2006, Mischa also hinted that although there were mixed emotions, she felt it was the right thing to ultimately step away due to the alleged environment on set.

Watch: Why Mischa Barton REALLY Left "The O.C."

"I was really sad I was going because that was like my family," Mischa recalled to E! News. "But, there had also been some things that weren't so cool and I would be lying to say I wasn't a little bit relieved that I was going to extricate myself from that situation. For whatever reasons, years later, certain people, when they see me from the show, they are so excited to see me and they only remember the good times. So, it's a bit of a mixed bag how we all feel about it. I was young, but I was excited to try and get to do new stuff, too, and didn't know if I could keep handling the stress of that environment that I was put in."

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When it comes to singling out those "certain people" Mischa is referring to, neither Rachel nor Melinda seem to have any idea as to their identities. 

"I mean, I'm definitely pretty confused by most of it," Rachel said of Mischa's comments. "And I don't know who she's referring to because I didn't personally witness any of that." 

Melinda then added, "It's hard for me to speculate because I like to speak from truth. But, we can only imagine that it was pretty, like I said, overwhelming and just how to navigate these waters at that age."

Although the two stars stated they could not attest to Mischa's remarks, they extended an open invitation for their former co-star to join them on their podcast. 

Mischa has not publicly commented on Rachel and Melinda's response.