Mischa Barton did not survive the ’00s unscathed.
The O.C. alum, 35, wrote an essay for Harper’s Bazaar U.Ok. about feeling pressured to lose her virginity and struggling a number of breakdowns as a younger star, which left her with PTSD. Barton — who just lately stated bullying led to her O.C. exit and opened up about regarding the Framing Britney Spears documentary, having been attacked within the media on the identical time — stated whereas she’s grateful for the alternatives Hollywood has given her, “they have come at a cost.”
Quarantining amid the pandemic “brought a fresh life perspective and prompted me to reflect upon the trauma I have been so scared to speak out about for many years,” Barton wrote, saying she’s lengthy nervous about “backlash and victim blaming,” however that she will be able to longer keep silent.
Barton stated that whereas she cherished being a younger actress, beginning at age eight in an Off-Broadway play, “From a young age, I was sexualized.” She pointed to her first movie, 1997’s Lawn Dogs, which “explored themes of child molestation, and — while the crew did everything to ensure that I wasn’t exposed to the realities of what all that meant – when I did press for the film, it became clear that it was very mature content.”
Two years later, she was in Pups with Burt Reynolds, and had “my first kiss on screen and in real life, in front of an entire crew. My character had her first period in one scene, something I hadn’t even experienced in life yet. The movie blew up in Asia, and I became a strange sex symbol over there. I was 13.”
She went on to name the aughts “a crazy time” as a younger lady in Hollywood, which the Spears doc confirmed. Barton was solid as The O.C.’s Marissa Cooper at 18 — “and fresh out of high school. While everyone at my age was enjoying the carefreeness and untroubled joy of being a teenager, I was working extended hours on set, constantly pressured into meeting needs, demands and goals set by people twice my age or older. I never had the option to speak up for myself. As a teenager in an adult world, I felt a perpetual fear that it might backfire, turning my career on its head.”
Barton made the purpose that even when she “found the courage to open up a conversation about my experiences on set as a young girl” simply final month, she was shut down once more and “publicly referred to as a ‘nightmare’ to work with,” by an unidentified set supply. “References were made about my mother being ‘annoying’ simply because she worked hard to guide and protect her child in a wild industry. I was told by many individuals that I wouldn’t be able to keep working if my mother remained on my team, which led to more complicated dynamics with my family over the years.”
But being Marissa was sophisticated for different causes, too. Barton stated being a virgin in actual life whereas “playing a confident character who was fast and loose,” led to her accelerating her intercourse life.
“The kids in the show were quintessential rich, privileged American teenagers drinking, taking drugs, and of course having sex,” she stated. “I knew it was important to get this thing — my virginity — that was looming over me, the elephant in the room if you will, out of the way. I started to really worry that I couldn’t play this character if I didn’t hurry up and mature a little. Did I ever feel pressured to have sex with someone? Well, after being pursued by older men in their 30s, I eventually did the deed. I feel a little guilty because I let it happen. I felt so much pressure to have sex, not just from him, but society in general.”
It did not finish nicely. When she met somebody new and wished to “remove myself from the situation, it created a toxic and manipulative environment. I felt controlled within an inch of my life.”
During her time on The O.C., Barton stated “nobody was happy that there was so much media attention on me over other cast members.” Her co-stars, whereas not naming any particularly, “thought I was courting publicity… I wasn’t attention seeking, but by that point it had begun to snowball.”
She tried “for a long time to be unfamous,” she stated, however that labored in opposition to her, with the paparazzi changing into extra aggressive. It acquired to the purpose that she did not like leaving home. When she did, “They chased my car. They tried to climb over the walls to my house. They’d track my phone and my car. They’d make deals with restaurants so that when I went to one, someone would notify them. They’d buy cell phones for the homeless, instructing them to call as soon as they saw me walking down the street. I was stalked. They’d shoot directly into my home to the extent where I couldn’t even open my blinds.”
That was only one half. Along with the images got here the hateful tales on celeb web sites and in tabloids. She stated, “It became too much to read about myself every day and to have these publications laugh at my pain.”
That was when her “mental health declined,” she wrote. “The constant feeling of being hunted affected me entirely. I had a few breakdowns,” together with in 2009 after a DUI arrest. “But no one questioned why I was having those breakdowns. I became a target of nasty attacks when I was clearly expressing signs for needing help.”
Barton stated it led to PTSD. Like Prince Harry saying digicam flashes set off him, she stated that “any noises that gave the impression of a shutter would give me a panic assault and make me extraordinarily paranoid. I‘d have full blown panic attacks.”
As a result, “I went to very dark places,” she said, adding, “I‘m proud to say that I certainly am a survivor.”
Barton also wrote about dealing with revenge porn in 2017
“I took my ex-partner to court for selling a sex tape of me that he had recorded without my consent while we were together. The videos were then offered to the highest bidder online,” she said. “My mind had boggled when I heard he had said, ‘I knew that she was one of the only girls, unlike Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian, who didn’t have a intercourse tape.’ He then thought that he might surreptitiously file all our intimate moments, even covertly filming me within the bathe. With the assistance of an unbelievable lawyer, to whom I owe so much, we received the case and stopped the movies being offered.”
Today, Barton has “finally learnt what it means to be in control of my own sexuality. I have grown to love watching women break through these taboos. The more we talk about what we’ve done to generations past, whether it be Britney Spears, who was so poorly treated by the press, or Natalie Portman talking about how she felt overly sexualized as a child, the sooner we can protect our young women and learn from our mistakes as a society.”
Barton’s interview final month with E! about “bullying” from males on The O.C. set drew backlash, however she stated it isn’t going to silence her.
“I realize that these are very complicated conversations to have, with repercussions for many people but I can’t sit back and let people tear me down anymore,” she concluded. “I’m not just a headline, I am a woman, a human being and I have a story to tell. I can’t stay quiet anymore, because these things are still happening — the exploitation of young girls, to people of color, to all women, sexualized while being picked apart and shamed for being alive in their own bodies. If my story can help even one young girl stand up for herself and not let the world tear them down, then all of this will be worth it.”
Read extra from Yahoo Entertainment: