There’s a reason we don’t know much about Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s lives.
In a rare interview published earlier this week, Mary-Kate says she and her twin are “discreet people – that’s how we were raised”.
That’s a bit of an understatement.
The former child stars, who went on to build a media empire when they were tweens, are now fashion moguls and considered practically hermits when it comes to the celebrity world.
The pair, who recently turned 35, almost never grant interviews and aren’t on social media.
But they recently spoke to British magazine i-D in honour of the 15th anniversary of their fashion line, The Row, with Mary-Kate admitting they’re “a bit out of practice” when it comes to giving interviews.
“We’d just moved to New York. We were 18 years old and wanted to take that time to take a break from what we were previously doing and to explore things that interested us, and explore what life has to offer,” Ashley explains of their decision to start the label.
If the twins had their way, people wouldn’t even know the label was theirs at all.
“We didn’t want to be the front of it, we didn’t necessarily even want to let people know it was us,” Ashley says. “It was really about the product, to the point where we were like, ‘Who could we get to front this so we don’t have to?’ ”
On their close bond and working together, Ashley says, “We like working together and we like having that dialogue. I think it helps harden your ideas to be able to hear them out loud, to speak something through.
“We definitely go by intuition and instinct and it can either confirm that feeling, or if we’re both not feeling right about something for some reason, we just don’t do it. What’s great is we have each other to lean on.”
But work isn’t the only thing that’s reportedly strengthened their bond.
A well-placed insider claims Mary-Kate’s divorce from Olivier Sarkozy has made the twins even closer.
“Obviously they’ve always been close, but her marriage to Olivier did create a divide,” the source says. “It wasn’t the [17-year] age difference, but Ashley never thought they were a good match.”
Mary-Kate and Olivier (52), the younger half-brother of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, finalised their divorce in January, nine months after separating.
But the process proved to be more trying than expected.
Mary-Kate, who married the French banker in November 2015, signed a petition for divorce in April 2020 but her motion was stalled due to court closures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
She tried her luck again in May by filing an emergency order to end her five-year marriage, but a judge rejected the bid at the time.
In court documents, she states the relationship had fallen apart over several months.
“It was clear my marriage was over,” she says. “The relationship has broken down irretrievably.”
At the time sources claimed that while Mary-Kate was more of a homebody, Olivier liked to be out on the town. And while she was keen to have children, Olivier, who has two kids, Julien (20) and Margot (17), with his first wife, children’s book author Charlotte Bernard (48), was not.
“He felt like he’d closed that chapter of his life and didn’t want to go back. She didn’t like the idea of not even being able to explore the possibility.”
Ashley – who’s dating artist Louis Eisner (32) – was a pillar of strength to her sister and helped her adjust to life as a singleton.
“Mary-Kate doesn’t want to be alone, so she’s staying with Ashley,” a source said at the time of the split.
“Ashley is one of the few people Mary-Kate trusts and can rely on.”
Sources: i-d.vice.com, usmagazine.com, intouchweekly.com, harpersbazaar.com, pagesix.com