Mary-Kate Olsen: ‘I would never wish my upbringing on anyone’

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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have been in the spotlight for a long, long time.  The twins began their careers on Full House, then starred in a number of self-titled movies, and spent their teen years promoting themselves as fashionistas.  And yet, uncharacteristically, they recoiled and became intensely private in their 20s.

In an interview with Marie Claire, Mary-Kate Olsen describes her fashion line The Row as “kind of like a mask to hide behind.” Looking back on her childhood, she remembers her and her sister as “little monkey performers,” casting a shadow on the way they were raised. “I look at old photos of me, and I don’t feel connected to them at all… I would never wish my upbringing on anyone…”

In the interview, Olsen goes on to talk about her struggles with an eating disorder:

When the topics turn to her tabloid-plastered problems with an eating disorder (she entered treatment for one in 2004) and with a hard-partying lifestyle (including her time with the late Heath Ledger), she only says that she’s learned to seek help when she needs it: “I think it’s really important to be able to talk when something’s wrong. I learned at a really young age that if you don’t talk about it, it can drive you insane.”

Mary-Kate’s focus is fashion, and she remains dedicated to her line: “I still read scripts, and if something great comes along, that’s great … but this is my day job. The Row is where I go every day.”