By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
The OC actresses Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarke have shared their surprise at former co-star Mischa Barton’s claims over why she left the show.
Barton, who played Marissa Cooper on the teen drama, was killed off at the end of season three.
Last month, the 35-year-old told E! News that Bilson being added to the show “last minute”, “bullying from some of the men” on set and an “invasion” of her personal life led her to leave The OC, which ran from 2003-2007.
However, her former colleagues expressed surprise at the claims.
Speaking on their podcast Welcome To The OC, Bitches, Bilson, who played Summer Roberts, said: “Melinda and I were talking immediately after (the interview) came out and we were like ‘Wait, what?'”
Clarke, who played Julie Cooper, said she agreed Barton was under enormous pressure while playing Marissa but found her other comments “perplexing”.
Bilson, 39, said some of Barton’s claims were “completely false”.
She said: “In one of her first comments she says that I was added last minute after the first season, which is actually completely false. I was like ‘Well, that’s misinformation.’ Where are we going with this and what is she trying to say?”
Bilson and Clarke, 52, said they were open to hear more from Barton.
Both actresses said a lot had changed since the early 2000s and there was more awareness of what young celebrities had to endure.
They referenced Britney Spears, whose life and career was examined in a documentary earlier this year.
Clarke said: “If she wants to come and talk to us and share her story, we would love to explore that. I think it’s something that we are all becoming aware of and it’s important for us to learn in our culture what can be very damaging to young people.”