MISCHA Barton has emotionally opened up about her heartbreaking past experiences.

The OC star spoke to Alex Cooper on the Call Her Daddy podcast, and looked back on her 2000s fame.

Mischa Barton (pictured in 2008) reflected on her 'darkest times' after The OC

Mischa Barton (pictured in 2008) reflected on her ‘darkest times’ after The OCCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The star admitted she 'gave up' and 'had a full-blown breakdown' after the show

The star admitted she ‘gave up’ and ‘had a full-blown breakdown’ after the showCredit: YouTube/callherdaddy

In a clip from the podcast shared on Instagram, Mischa, 38, reflected on her teens and early twenties on television, most notably playing “It Girl” Marissa Cooper on The OC.

“I was so young. I was experiencing all of my firsts. You can’t help but relate to your character. Notoriously, there was a lot of inter-dating on that show, and I felt overwhelmed and not ready for any of that,” the film star admitted.

“How would you describe that period of your life after The OC?” asked Alex.

Mischa responded, “It was an intense time. There wasn’t anywhere to really hide. There was a lot of friction at home. I’ve been stolen from and lied to in so many different ways.

“I thought I was going to be dead by 27. I was reckless, I was over it, ‘Why do all these things keep happening to me?’ I just had a full-blown breakdown from that, and thank God it wasn’t the end of me. Strength comes at the darkest times.”

While Marissa had struggles with drugs and alcohol on the show, Mischa faced her own troubles after her character was killed off at the end of Season 3.

In 2007, she was arrested for driving under the influence and sent to rehab, but was admitted to a psychiatric ward two years later.

Sadly, Mischa was hospitalised again at the start of 2017, after a neighbour called 911.

Then, only a couple of months later, she revealed she was a victim of revenge porn, and accused her ex Jon Zacharias of secretly filming her in intimate moments, including having sex and being naked.


Alongside her confession about her reckless years, Mischa also shocked fans when she admitted that she’d dated her co-star Ben McKenzie, 45, when she was 17 and he was 25.

“It wasn’t just on-screen either. It was kind of complicated for me,” Mischa divulged, referring to the characters’ relationship on the show.

‘This is disgusting’ The OC fans rage after Mischa Barton reveals romance with Ben McKenzie when she was 17 & he was 25

She added that she “went into the show like a virgin and like a kid,” explaining that she felt that she “needed to grow up quickly” when she was on The OC.

Mischa also confessed that Ben was “her first” and that their behind-the-scenes romance did cause some commotion on set.

“That was my first, I had no idea what I was doing. I think that kind of set things off on the wrong foot too because it was like people hook up on these shows and, whatever, and these things happen, but we threw ourselves all into it very fast […] I remember they were like, ‘Mischa’s disappeared with Ben and like, she’s only 17-and-a-half, 18…’ The producers went to my parents. It was kind of a whole ordeal,” she explained.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, fans wasted no time slamming Ben for dating Mischa when he was an adult and she was a teenager.

“This is disgusting and so so sad. The case for far too many child stars,” one listener lamented.


While Mischa opened up about her controversial relationship, she previously hinted that she’d received strange advice to further her career.

In a 2005 interview, Mischa claimed that when she was 19 she was told to sleep with Leonardo DiCaprio, 49, who was 30 at the time.

Leonardo had just broken up with his girlfriend Gisele Bundchen at the time, after a rocky six-year romance.

Mischa explained that her then-publicist Craig Schneider had seen Leo at a photoshoot, and said to her, “For the sake of your career, go and sleep with that man.”

The star added that she had “no interest in older men”, asking, “Isn’t Leo, like, 30 or something?”

Mischa was arrested in 2007, and was sent to rehab but faced further hospitalizations

Mischa was arrested in 2007, and was sent to rehab but faced further hospitalizationsCredit: YouTube/callherdaddy
In the same podcast, Mischa admitted she'd dated her adult co-star Ben McKenzie when she was just 17

In the same podcast, Mischa admitted she’d dated her adult co-star Ben McKenzie when she was just 17Credit: Alamy
The star previously shared that she was encouraged to sleep with Leonardo DiCaprio when she was 19 in order to further her career

The star previously shared that she was encouraged to sleep with Leonardo DiCaprio when she was 19 in order to further her careerCredit: Getty

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