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Olsen Twins Cut Their Parents Out of Their Business - Inside Family Feud over $500m Fortune

Stephen Thompson
Feb 01, 2022
07:00 P.M.
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Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen are two of the most accomplished women in the business world. However, they had to make difficult decisions as teenagers to protect their wealth. Find out more.

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When fans think of childhood star Mary-Kate Olsen and her twin sister Ashley Olsen, they remember the adorable character of little Michelle Tanner from the late '80s sitcom "Full House." Some also think of the stars' later acting careers that did not last long.

Apart from "Full House," Mary-Kate and Ashley are known for their teenage appearances in productions such as "It Takes Two," "Holiday In the Sun," and "Passport To Paris." 

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen attend the ABC Fall TCA Press Tour on July 21, 1991 [left]. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen at *NSYNC's party to celebrate the release of their new CD 'Celebrity' at Moomba in Los Angeles [right]| Photo: Getty Images

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The twins are all grown up. However, some fans remain unaware of Mary-Kate and Ashley's difficulties in their young days. Here are some interesting facts to know about the Olsen twins, including how they made serious decisions to save their huge fortune as teenagers.

THE SISTERS' FAME

Although Mary-Kate and Ashley share a striking resemblance, the pair are fraternal twins. They were born on June 13, 1986, and have since amassed incredible fame and fortune in the fashion, business, and entertainment industries.

Despite their achievements, the pair built their first fan base during their time in Hollywood. The former child stars started acting when they were babies, sharing the role of Michelle Tanner in "Full House." 

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Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen at the 2017 CFDA Fashion Awards in New York. | Photo: Getty Images

When they were six years old, Mary-Kate and Ashley starred in several film and TV projects and also went on to make straight-to-video movies. The movies brought them further into the spotlight in the '90s.

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By the time they turned 18 in 2004, the twins had already launched the Mary-Kate and Ashley fan club with merchandise and a magazine.

In 2007, they had a net worth of more than 150 million dollars each and ranked amongst the world's richest women in Hollywood. Not long after, they became fashion icons and international figures.

Mary-Kate Olsen during the "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2011 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

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CHILDHOOD PROBLEMS

Mary-Kate and Ashley were introduced to stardom at a very young age. However, they also went through unpleasant experiences in their childhood, including getting fired.

The Olsen twins acted in "Full House" for eight years between 1987 and 1995, but they were once fired by Hollywood star John Stamos and eventually rehired. Although the fashion icons may not remember getting fired, they can recall dealing with their parents' divorce.

Mary-Kate and Ashley were born to Real Estate Developer David Olsen and Personal Manager Jarnette Olsen. Sadly, the women never enjoyed having both parents around for a long time.

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Mary-Kate Olsen during the Christian attends the Louboutin Cocktail party at Barneys New York on November 1, 2011 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

In 1996, David and Jarnette made the headlines after it was reported that they were getting divorced. Reports revealed that the real estate developer lived the old cliché and married his secretary, McKenzie.

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David cared less about the tabloids, as he explained that in reality, everything was going on very well, and his daughters were fine.

David and McKenzie eventually tied the knot with Mary-Kate as the maid of honor. On the other hand, Ashley chose to stay at home and console her hurt mother.

Ashley Olsen attends the jcpenney launch event at Pier 57 on January 25, 2012 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

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At the time, the twins were only ten years old and were forced to cope with the emotional trauma. Speaking about her childhood, Mary-Kate once revealed:

"I would never wish my upbringing on anyone."

She also noted that she and Ashley were nothing more than "little monkey performers." Getting fired and her parents' divorce were not the only challenges she dealt with while growing up.

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For years, Mary-Kate battled an eating disorder called anorexia, which caused her to look thin. The disorder was a huge concern to her family, so they got her help. After her high school graduation, Mary-Kate's father and therapist encouraged her to go to rehab.

The former child star was committed to the treatment facility and eventually recovered. But, looking back on the experience, Mary-Kate was an important learning process to know when to seek help.

Although Mary-Kate has conquered the fashion world, the same cannot be said of her love life.

Elizabeth, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the 2016 CFDA Fashion Awards in New York. | Photo: Getty Images

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THE BUSINESS FEUD

Although Mary-Kate learned a lot during rehab, going to the treatment facility caused a rift in her relationship with her father. 

At the time, David was still managing her and Ashley's empire, but due to the rift, the fashion icons took control of their business worth more than $100 million as soon as they turned 18.

They cut not only David from the business, but their mother also. In the process, David and the twins' step-family were at risk of losing their homes. This decision weighed greatly on Mary-Kate, who thought of it as extreme, despite her estranged relationship with her parents.

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Portrait of twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in 2000. | Photo: Getty Images

On the other hand, Ashley thought of it as the best move, eventually leading to a clash between the sisters. Mary-Kate blamed her twin for forcing her into making wrong business decisions, including the sale of their New York City condo.

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The pair argued over putting the property up for sale, and when Mary-Kate agreed, they quarreled over the price. In conclusion, Ashley thought of her sister's character as appalling and could not stand her bossy character. However, the women are twins and would always love each other.

Mary Kate Olsen attends the ''7th On Sale'' gala at the 69th Regiment Armory on November 15, 2007. | Photo: Getty Images

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MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY'S SIBLINGS

Today, the sisters are still close and continue to make waves in their careers. However, they are not the only Olsens with outstanding achievements. The twins have four other siblings, Elizabeth Olsen, Courtney Olsen, Trent Olsen, and Jack Olsen.

Trent is not fully embedded in the entertainment industry. However, he made appearances in a few of his sisters' video series. On the other hand, Elizabeth is a recognized actress.

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Currently, she features in "WandaVison." The actress did not pursue acting at a young age for fear of being linked to her famous sisters. But today, she is proud of her progress and all the milestones she accomplished on her own. She told The Guardian:

"I never got a job because of my sisters."

In terms of their relationship, Elizabeth and the twins are close. The former also shares a great relationship with their father even though Mary-Kate and Ashley don't.

The Olsens: Elizabeth, Mary-Kate, mother Jarnette, Ashley and brother Trent Olsen, at the ceremony honoring Ashley and Mary-Kate with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004. | Photo: Getty Images

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WHAT ARE THE TWINS UP TO?

Although Mary-Kate has conquered the fashion world, the same cannot be said of her love life. In the past few years, the star was constantly in the news due to her bitter divorce from Olivier Sarkozy.

However, with support from Ashley, Mary-Kate pulled through, and the divorce was finalized last year. These days, the sisters prefer to live private lives while focusing on releasing more clothing designs for the sake of being taken seriously.

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