Mary-Kate Deals with "Health Issue"

Olsen twin heads to treatment center for "health-related issue" said to be an eating disorder

By Lia Haberman Jun 22, 2004 8:45 PMTags

Teen titan Mary-Kate Olsen has proven she's only human.

The actress "recently entered a treatment facility to seek professional help for a health-related issue," per a statement from her rep, Michael Pagnotta, Tuesday.

According to Pagnotta, "She is thankful for the encouragement and support of her friends and family who are with her every step of the way."

Sources say the 18-year-old is seeking help for an eating disorder and entered a facility in the past week or so. She is expected to remain there for a month.

The news comes as Us Weekly proclaims in its latest issue that Olsen suffers from anorexia nervosa. Rumors of an eating disorder had been circulating for months, as the already-tiny twin star seemed to shrink before the public's eyes.

While photos of an extremely thin Mary-Kate have been in heavy rotation in the glossies and supermarket tabloids, she has repeatedly denied reports of an eating disorder as "crazy."

The news comes just two weeks after she and fraternal twin sister Ashley celebrated their 18th birthdays and, upon becoming legal adults, boosted their bank balances by about $150 million each.

But it's not all bling-bling and caviar for the girls, who launched an entertainment empire on the strength of their tag-team portrayal of Full House's littlest Tanner, Michelle.

There have been reports of wild partying and experiments with sex and booze. Ashley recently broke up with longtime boyfriend Matt Kaplan, while Mary-Kate's car was totaled in a fender bender last month when her bodyguard plowed into her SUV.

Meanwhile, the girls had trouble with their initial attempt to make the transition from kid stars to mature actresses. Despite years of success targeting the underage set with their books, CDs, videos, toothpaste and other merchandise, the girls weren't able to duplicate those achievements with their older-skewing movie New York Minute. Minute earned less than $14 million in the first four weeks following its May release.

In addition, the Olsens are involved in a lawsuit against videogame giant Acclaim Entertainment, which they say has done a shoddy job of developing and marketing a line of games featuring the adventures of the young power duo.

Finally, their publicist insists that they be referred to individually as Mary-Kate and Ashley and not collectively as "the Olsen twins" (good luck with that!), as each young woman tries to carve out her own distinct identity.

Things may perk up for the sisters come September, when the twins plan to attend New York University, a decision that won't be affected by Mary-Kate's current setback, according to an interview her publicist gave USA Today.