Photo: David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

The Olsen Twins Are Living The Most Bizarre Post-Child Star Lives Possible

After putting out a lengthy catalog of children's movies, the Olsen twins have remained out of the public eye for over a decade. The twins do not take part in reality television, they rarely do interviews, and they haven’t starred together in anything since 2004's New York Minute. Despite their reclusiveness, many people are still fascinated by the former child stars. What have the Olsen twins been up to all these years? 

As it turns out, there are a lot of things you didn't know about the Olsen twins. The identical siblings were only nine months old when they landed the part of Michelle Tanner on the family sitcom Full House. Now in their 30s, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen no longer look totally alike, and Mary-Kate has actually taken up smoking cigarettes. 

After spending their childhood in the spotlight, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen today want nothing more to do with show business, and even turned down a lucrative offer to appear in the Full House reboot. Just because the cameras have stopped rolling doesn't mean that the siblings' lives are any less interesting, and some of their more recent adventures could definitely inspire feature-length films. 

Photo: David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

  • Their Company Was Sued By Their Interns

    Their Company Was Sued By Their Interns
    Photo: Full House / ABC

    Despite being worth millions of dollars, the Olsen twins did not pay their interns. In 2015, a former intern named Shashista Lalani brought a class action lawsuit against the Olsens' company Dualstar. In the case, a total of 40 interns sued the Olsens, claiming that they were treated unfairly and not properly compensated for their work.

    “I was doing the work of three interns,” Lalani alleged. "I was talking to her all day, all night. E-mails at nighttime for the next day, like 10 p.m. at night... You’re like an employee, except you’re not getting paid. They’re kind of mean to you. Other interns have cried.”

    The case was ultimately settled out of court in 2017 after the Olsen twins paid $140,000 to 180 past and present interns. However, that sum only amounts to $530 per claimant, which is less than two weeks pay for full-time, minimum wage California workers. 

  • Mary-Kate Has A Strange Connection To Heath Ledger's Death

    Mary-Kate Has A Strange Connection To Heath Ledger's Death
    Photo: Howie Berlin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    When Heath Ledger passed away in 2008, there was speculation that he was involved in a casual relationship with Mary-Kate Olsen. When Ledger's masseuse Diana Wolozin found the Academy Award winning actor unresponsive in the apartment, she allegedly attempted to reach Olsen multiple times before dialing 911. Additionally it was suggested that the former child actor was uncooperative with the authorities during their investigation into Ledger's untimely death.

    It has been reported that Mary-Kate would not speak with the DEA unless she was guaranteed immunity from being charged for the narcotics found in the apartment where Ledger died. When a medical examiner assessed Ledger's corpse, there were painkillers, sleeping pills, and anti-anxiety drugs in his system, and it was ruled that the actor died of an accidental overdose. 

    To combat these allegations, Mary-Kate's attorney stated, "Mary-Kate Olsen had nothing whatsoever to do with the drugs found in Heath Ledger's home or his body, and she does not know where he obtained them." Mary-Kate also released her own statement, saying, "Heath was a friend. His death is a tragic loss. My thoughts are with his family."

  • The Twins Left Show Biz Because They Felt Like "Monkey Performers"

    The Twins Left Show Biz Because They Felt Like "Monkey Performers"
    Photo: Full House / ABC

    Like most child actors, Mary-Kate and Ashley had little say in their early careers; the twins began playing Michelle Tanner on Full House when they were nine months old. In a 2010 interview with Marie Claire, Mary-Kate said that she and Ashley felt like "little monkey performers."

    She added, "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."

  • The Olsen Twins Are All About Fashion Now


    In 2012, the twins unofficially retired from acting so that they could concentrate on their fashion careers. Since then, the duo has started several clothing lines. Their more expensive line is called The Row, but they also have a couple of budget-friendly lines called Olsenboye and StyleMint.

    The twins were 25 when they revealed their true passion. Ashley described the duo's transition in an interview with Elle France:

    "We don't have time to think about it. We are entirely devoted to fashion. We go on slowly but surely. We are listening to a lot of advice. We are very disciplined. Working is the best way to reach our goal." 

  • The Twins Passed On The 'Fuller House' Revival, As Ashley No Longer Enjoys Acting

    Full House fans everywhere were disappointed to hear that the Olsen twins would not be joining the cast of the Netflix revival series Fuller House. The majority of the original show's cast agreed to appear on the revival, but the Olsens opted to not reprise their role as Michelle Tanner. 

    According to Fuller House executive producer Bob Boyett, Ashley said, "I have not been in front of a camera since I was 17, and I don't feel comfortable acting." Mary-Kate added, "It would have to be me because Ash doesn't want to do it. But the timing is so bad for us."

    To take part in the revival, the Olsens would have had to fly out to Los Angeles. Their fashion empire is located in New York City, so it would have been difficult for them to split their focus between coasts. It's also worth mentioning that the twins were only nine months old when Full House began. Dave Coulier, who plays Uncle Joey, explained his take on the twins' situation: 

    "They're family members. But I think they have a different perspective. When we get together and we reminisce, they were babies [at the time]. So they don't share those same memories. I can't really speak for them but I would understand why they don't have the same sentiments that we all do."

  • Mary-Kate Looks Different, And The Cause Could Be Plastic Surgery, Or Smoking


    After the Olsen twins turned up at the Met Gala in 2017, many people remarked that the duo looked noticeably different from one another.  Even though Mary-Kate was just 30 years old at the time, rumors quickly spread that she had undergone a lot of plastic surgery, and many added that the results did not look great.

    However Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Rain Maerks believes that Mary-Kate's appearance change should be attributed to cigarette smoking, rather than invasive surgery:

    "I would say that technically the majority of the changes we see could be due to accelerated aging associated with nicotine products tobacco or other environmental factors, as she is a known smoker... The most significant factors are eyebrow ptosis (the dropping of the brow), and atrophy of the periorbital (area around the eyes) and perioral area (the area around the mouth)."

    While both these rumors seem potentially plausible, a more tragic theory is that illness has taken a toll on Mary-Kate's body. The star admitted to having an eating disorder in 2004, and has since received treatment. It's totally possible that the disease has had a lasting effect on her body, so perhaps rumor-mongers should try to be a little more considerate.