TV fans were left shocked in 2006 when Mischa Barton’s character Marissa Cooper was killed off the popular Fox series, “The O.C.” during the Season 3 finale. However, in a new interview, the actress revealed she felt the need to cut all ties to the series after dealing with a stressful work environment.

During an interview with E! News, Barton claimed her exit from the show was based on several factors, including “general bullying from some of the men on set” and her struggle to deal with being thrust into the spotlight.

“It’s a bit complicated. It started pretty early on because it had a lot to do with them adding Rachel [Bilson] in last minute as, after the first season, a series regular and evening out everybody’s pay,” she said.

Barton added, “Just dealing with like the amount of invasion I was having in my personal life, I just felt very unprotected, I guess is the best way to put it.”

Ultimately the actress was unhappy on the show and wanted to broaden her career.

“I was getting offers from big films at the time and having to turn them down. I had always been supporting in ‘The Sixth Sense’ and any of those things. My dream was to be offered those lead roles, so that’s what happened,” she explained.

“It just felt like it was the best thing for me and my health and just in terms of not really feeling protected by my cast and crew at that point.”

Although Barton enjoyed her time on “The O.C.,” the actress revealed she felt overwhelmed by the filming schedule and storylines.

“So halfway through season two I would say, when we started doubling up on episodes and shooting [became] so much harder, and again a lot of that was too much for me,” she said.

“I didn’t know where the character was going. I look back on it pretty fondly, but there’s stuff I think people did wrong and the way they handled it. So, I just didn’t feel I could keep going.”

Barton has since landed in several roles in film and television, including her appearance on the MTV reboot “The Hills: New Beginnings.”

Mischa Barton
Mischa Barton would "probably not" do "The O.C." over again. Reuters