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Mary Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen, 1993 | Source: Getty Images
Mary Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen, 1993 | Source: Getty Images

Why the Olsen Sisters Left Hollywood at the Peak of Their Fame and What They Do Now – Details

Junie Sihlangu
Jul 03, 2024
11:48 A.M.
  • Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen had some troubles growing up in Hollywood, with one of them battling a disorder.
  • The pair turned to business when they left Hollywood.
  • One of them got divorced while the other recently tied the knot and welcomed a bundle of joy.
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Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen became big names in Hollywood from childhood, but the pair's career paths eventually changed. The sisters struggled with things like health disorders and divorce, and ended up settling for different careers away from the spotlight.

Ashley and her twin sister, Mary Kate Olsen, played Michelle Tanner on season one of "Full House" on April 11, 1988 | Source: Getty Images

Ashley and her twin sister, Mary Kate Olsen, played Michelle Tanner on season one of "Full House" on April 11, 1988 | Source: Getty Images

What Is Known about the Olsen Twins’ Background and Acting Careers

On June 13, 1986, the world welcomed future stars in the form of twins, Ashley "Ash" Fuller Olsen and Mary-Kate "MK" Olsen. The duo was born to Jarnette "Jarnie," a personal manager, and her husband David "Dave" Olsen, a mortgage banker and real estate developer.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen during their appearance at Planet Hollywood in New York City on October 5, 1993 | Source: Getty Images

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen during their appearance at Planet Hollywood in New York City on October 5, 1993 | Source: Getty Images

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The pair were welcomed in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California. The twins have an older brother and younger sister, Trent and Elizabeth Olsen. They also have younger half-siblings, Jake and Taylor. The two boys are from their father's second marriage after he and Jarnette divorced in 1996.

Mary-Kate and her sister worked as producers, fashion designers, businesswomen, authors, and former actresses. The twins are well-known for starring together as "Michelle Tanner" in 1987's "Full House."

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the ABC Fall TCA Press Tour on July 21, 1991, in Universal City, California | Source: Getty Images

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the ABC Fall TCA Press Tour on July 21, 1991, in Universal City, California | Source: Getty Images

Ashley and her sister started their own company, Dualstar, after turning 18 in the early 1990s. They used it to produce many television movies and direct-to-video releases featuring them.

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The Olsens also appeared in "The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley," "Two of a Kind," and "So Little Time." They made their big screen debut by featuring in 1995's "It Takes Two." Two years later they guest-starred in "Sister, Sister." Some fans might also recall seeing them in "Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action!"

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the "It Takes Two" Westwood Premiere on November 11, 1995, in Westwood, California | Source: Getty Images

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the "It Takes Two" Westwood Premiere on November 11, 1995, in Westwood, California | Source: Getty Images

In November 2000, the duo launched a pocket planner designed specifically for girls. The pair then went on to act in 2004's "New York Minute." In 2006, Mary-Kate appeared in her first solo role in "Factory Girl" and she later had a recurring role in "Weeds."

The following year she guest-starred in "Samantha Who?" The twins revealed that if they were to return to the industry, it would be as producers. While Ashley contemplated doing just that in 2009, a few years later they completely quit.

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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen launching a pocket planner designed specifically for girls, on November 17, 2000 | Source: Getty Images

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen launching a pocket planner designed specifically for girls, on November 17, 2000 | Source: Getty Images

The sisters chose to focus their energies on fashion. While the pair have had great successes in their lives, like most people, they've faced some difficulties they had to overcome.

Mary-Kate’s 2004 Health Troubles

In June 2004, Mary-Kate's publicist, Michael Pagnotta, revealed that his client went into a treatment facility looking for help with a "health-related issue." An insider close to her shared that the specific issue in question was an eating disorder.

Mary-Kate Olsen at Nickelodeon's 17th Annual Kids' Choice Awards on April 3, 2004, in Westwood, California | Source: Getty Images

Mary-Kate Olsen at Nickelodeon's 17th Annual Kids' Choice Awards on April 3, 2004, in Westwood, California | Source: Getty Images

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Pagnotta noted at the time that his client was dealing with the matter "head-on," like she handled all areas of her life. He said what she was going through was difficult, but she luckily had everyone's support.

Mary-Kate's continued weight loss in the months before her admission had already sparked speculations. Yet, until then, she had never publicly acknowledged having a disorder. That same year, Oprah Winfrey got in trouble for asking the actress about rumors of the disorder.

Mary-Kate Olsen at the Tribeca Film Festival screening of "New York Minute" on April 5, 2004 | Source: Getty Images

Mary-Kate Olsen at the Tribeca Film Festival screening of "New York Minute" on April 5, 2004 | Source: Getty Images

During an interview that came out before Pagnotta's statement when the duo was 18, Winfrey mentioned how she knew a "new rumor [that's] recently surfaced" that upset Mary-Kate. The media mogul clarified at the time, "You know the one about eating."

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Ashley was quick to defend her sister noting how people were going to write what they wanted. She said they tried to not read the good or bad stuff because "it just kind of comes with the territory."

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the "New York Minute" World Premiere on May 1, 2004 | Source: Getty Images

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the "New York Minute" World Premiere on May 1, 2004 | Source: Getty Images

Mary-Kate's sister noted how people were going to write about them whether they felt they were too skinny or too fat. In an interview published in August 2010, it seemed the star had learned to get help for her struggles.

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen during the MTV Video Music Awards in Miami, Florida, on August 29, 2004 | Source: Getty Images

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen during the MTV Video Music Awards in Miami, Florida, on August 29, 2004 | Source: Getty Images

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She said, "I think it's really important to be able to talk when something's wrong." Ashley's sister explained how she'd learned from a young age that if she didn't speak up about things that troubled her, "it can drive you insane."

Co-founding Fashion Lines in 2006 and 2007

In 2006, Mary-Kate and Ashley started appearing in the advert campaign for Badgley Mischka. That same year they also entered the world of high-end fashion by launching a luxury fashion brand of their own called The Row.

Mary-Kate Olsen at Barneys New York hosts a luncheon for Alber Elbaz and the Lanvin Fall 2006 Collection on March 19, 2006, in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

Mary-Kate Olsen at Barneys New York hosts a luncheon for Alber Elbaz and the Lanvin Fall 2006 Collection on March 19, 2006, in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

The following year, the pair announced the creation of another clothing line named after their siblings, Elizabeth and James. They also co-founded more affordable lines including Olsenboye and StyleMint with Mary-Kate.

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The twins said creating The Row was meant to help them see if an item made with great fabric, a good fit, and beautiful could sell without having a name or logo. The experiment worked and the first T-shirt they made grew their collection.

Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen during Olympus Fashion Week Fall at Bryant Park in New York City on February 5, 2006 | Source: Getty Images

Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen during Olympus Fashion Week Fall at Bryant Park in New York City on February 5, 2006 | Source: Getty Images

The first place it sold was to a boutique in Los Angeles. Each time a T-shirt sold, the pair made two more. Barneys ended up buying it and the duo was able to make more pieces. They took their items to Paris and hired a salesperson.

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen at *NSYNC's party to celebrate the release of their new CD "Celebrity" in Los Angeles, California, on July 23, 2001 | Source: Getty Images

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen at *NSYNC's party to celebrate the release of their new CD "Celebrity" in Los Angeles, California, on July 23, 2001 | Source: Getty Images

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Ashley confessed that their journey into the fashion industry was a hard one at the beginning and until a couple of years before their 2019 interview. But, the siblings didn't take things personally and sell-throughs were all they cared about.

Why and How Did the Olsen’s Ended Up Leaving Acting?

In a 2010 interview, Mary-Kate opened up about her and Ashley's childhood and growing up in front of cameras. She didn't seem to remember the time fondly likening them to "little monkey performers." When looking at her old photos, she said she didn't feel connected to them.

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen at the Women's Wear Daily 100 Anniversary Gala on November 2, 2010, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen at the Women's Wear Daily 100 Anniversary Gala on November 2, 2010, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

The star added, "I would never wish my upbringing on anyone..." Four years into launching The Row, the twins had annual sales of about $12 million! The pair put college and their passion for acting on hold to achieve such greatness.

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Mary-Kate's last acting project was "Beastly" in 2011 where she starred as Kendra. In 2010, Ashley had an uncredited role in "I'm Still Here" and in 2022 she appeared in the short film, "You & I."

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen at the Metropolitan Opera gala premiere  of Rossini's "Le Comte Ory" on March 24, 2011 | Source: Getty Images

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen at the Metropolitan Opera gala premiere of Rossini's "Le Comte Ory" on March 24, 2011 | Source: Getty Images

Ashley recalled spending time reading scripts and telling her representatives that she needed to do "things 100 percent." She explained that she didn't feel like she could give them 100% of her time.

At that point, she'd realized that the entertainment industry came with a lot of compromise. After starring in "The Wackness" in 2008, she noted how she isn't great at not being given control over the final product.

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen at the CFDA Fashion Awards in New York on June 3, 2019 | Source: Getty Images

Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen at the CFDA Fashion Awards in New York on June 3, 2019 | Source: Getty Images

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Ever since she and her sister have disappeared from Hollywood for about 13 years after quitting acting in March 2012. Speaking of their past acting careers in 2019, Mary-Kate noted how they'd been there, done that, and "we started out that way."

She shared that being a businesswoman is how they choose to move on with their lives. They preferred not being in the spotlight but to be a part of something that speaks for itself. Mary-Kate stated that she and her sister put a lot of "self-inflicted" pressure on themselves.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the CFDA Fashion Awards on June 3, 2019, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the CFDA Fashion Awards on June 3, 2019, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Ashley's sister explained that hard work had to be applied if one wanted things to be beautiful or perfect because nothing came easily. She said that's how they were raised and what they believe is required to do different things.

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But, Mary-Kate felt lucky that they had a good partnership where they can rely on each other's support because of how lonely it would have been otherwise. In 2016, executive producer Bob Boyett spoke about the "Full House" spin-off without the twins.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's COSTUME INSTITUTE Benefit Celebrating the Opening of Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology in New York, on May 2, 2016 | Source: Getty Images

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's COSTUME INSTITUTE Benefit Celebrating the Opening of Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology in New York, on May 2, 2016 | Source: Getty Images

He said the then 29-year-old Ashley confessed to not being in front of a camera since age 17. She admitted that she didn't feel comfortable with acting. Boyett said the star's sister reluctantly said she'd do "Fuller House" because Ashley didn't want to.

But she also confessed that the timing was bad for them. The production of the series conflicted with the twins' fashion design schedules. The series was meant to play on their real-life careers with Tanner missing from the family's reunion in the first episode.

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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the J.Mendel Spring Fashion Show on September 14, 2011, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the J.Mendel Spring Fashion Show on September 14, 2011, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

The character was said to be busy running her New York fashion empire. Since changing careers, the Olsen twins have stayed in various living quarters.

Where Were the Twins Living?

In 2016, Ashley was set to buy a two-bedroom condo in the Greenwich Village neighborhood in Manhattan. The apartment at 37 East 12th Street encompasses the full floor. The nearly 3,000-square-foot unit is in a 19th-century building that was being converted to condos by Edward J. Minskoff Equities.

Ashley Olsen at the CFDA Fashion awards on June 4, 2018, in New York | Source: Getty Images

Ashley Olsen at the CFDA Fashion awards on June 4, 2018, in New York | Source: Getty Images

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It boasts a Beaux-Arts cast-iron facade, a 24-hour doorman, and a fitness center. On the other hand, Mary-Kate and her husband, Olivier Sarkozy, separated in April 2020. After being married for five years, Sarkozy moved other people into the Bridgehampton mansion he shared with Mary-Kate.

He relocated Charlotte Bernard, his ex-wife, their children, and his mother from New York into the 4,000-square-foot mansion with five bedrooms. Sarkozy relocated his two children and family to keep them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Olivier Sarkozy and Mary-Kate Olsen at the 35th Anniversary Gala of a Studio in a School on October 02, 2012, in New York | Source: Getty Images

Olivier Sarkozy and Mary-Kate Olsen at the 35th Anniversary Gala of a Studio in a School on October 02, 2012, in New York | Source: Getty Images

What drove him and Mary-Kate to split was growing apart. Him moving the family in was a way to move on, but it was allegedly the final straw for the businesswoman. Other sources said the then-50-year-old concluded their marriage when he canceled their Gramercy Park apartment lease.

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He did this amidst the pandemic and without his wife's knowledge. The then-33-year-old former actor filed for divorce in May 2020. Ashley's sister tried filing divorce paperwork against her husband earlier on April 17, 2020, in a New York Court.

Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy at a game at Madison Square Garden on November 9, 2012, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy at a game at Madison Square Garden on November 9, 2012, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

But she couldn't because the courts weren't accepting any new non-emergency cases and it was "non-essential" amid the pandemic. She attempted to get an emergency divorce, mentioning how her husband ended their $29,000-per-month lease.

Mary-Kate claimed Sarkozy giving her a May 18, 2020, deadline to get her things from the New York apartment forced her to move during a pandemic. Since she couldn't meet the deadline because of quarantine guidelines, she was forced to file for divorce.

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Olivier Sarkozy and Mary-Kate Olsen at the "Take Home a Nude" annual auction and dinner in New York on October 11, 2017 | Source: Getty Images

Olivier Sarkozy and Mary-Kate Olsen at the "Take Home a Nude" annual auction and dinner in New York on October 11, 2017 | Source: Getty Images

The only way she could protect her property was for her to file a divorce petition. She ended up staying at a Hamptons estate. It had a private dock which the star rented for $325,000 for the summer.

Mary Kate Olsen seen leaving a medical building on December 27, 2023, in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images

Mary Kate Olsen seen leaving a medical building on December 27, 2023, in Beverly Hills, California | Source: Getty Images

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The former couple started dating in 2012 and in November 2015 they married in an intimate ceremony held in Manhattan. In August 2022, Sarkozy sold the Turtle Bay Gardens, Manhattan property, for $10.25 million. The penthouse was bought by the founder of an online tile company.

What is Ashley's Life Like Now

In October 2017, Ashley was romantically linked to Louis Eisner. On December 28, 2022, the businesswoman tied the knot with Louis in a private ceremony with around 50 of the couple's closest friends and family at a home in Bel-Air.

Louis Eisner and Ashley Olsen at the YES 20th Anniversary Gala on September 23, 2021, in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

Louis Eisner and Ashley Olsen at the YES 20th Anniversary Gala on September 23, 2021, in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

A source confirmed that the couple wanted something small and their celebration was perfect for them. Her husband is the son of Lisa Eisner, a well-known jewelry designer. Lisa's work has been worn by people like Tracee Ellis Ross, Ashley Olsen, Jennifer Aniston, and more.

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Louis' father is Eric Eisner, a philanthropist, a movie and music mogul, and an entertainment attorney. In 1980 he was named president of the David Geffen Company before retiring after the company was sold to Universal ten years later.

Ashley Olsen and Louis Eisner seen on the streets of Manhattan on July 1, 2019, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Ashley Olsen and Louis Eisner seen on the streets of Manhattan on July 1, 2019, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

He founded the YES Scholars nonprofit in 1999. In 2017, Louis was described as "an artist who commutes back and forth between Los Angeles and New Mexico City." He paints and does airbrushing with Ed Roth, the custom car designer and cartoonist, being named as a source of inspiration.

His work has appeared in California pop-up museums and on his Instagram account. Louis has a brother, Charlie, whom he grew up with in Bel-Air. In August 2023, it was revealed that Ashley gave birth to her first child, son Otto, a few months before.

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