What You Never Knew About Mary-Kate Olsen

Even though Mary-Kate Olsen made her television debut at only 9 months old, she is anything but public. She and her twin sister Ashley were the child actresses who fans first fell in love with on "Full House" and grew up with through movies like "Passport to Paris," "When in Rome," and "New York Minute." However, she virtually disappeared from Hollywood since her role in the 2011 film "Beastly." Mary-Kate instead entered the fashion industry alongside Ashley.

Not only has she vanished from the big and small screens, but Mary-Kate Olsen also has no online presence. "We've spent our whole lives trying to not let people have that accessibility, so it would go against everything we've done in our lives to not be in the public," she once told Vogue. Mary-Kate's wish for privacy is an unsurprising request after spending her early adolescence surrounded by camera crews and paparazzi alike, but curious fans still love learning about the Olsen twins. And there's probably plenty you don't know about Mary-Kate, in particular.

She's a competitive horseback rider

Most of us know Mary-Kate Olsen as an actress or fashion mogul, but fewer of us are familiar with her success as a horseback rider. According to her profile on HITS, a special events management company that puts on jumper horse shows, Olsen fell in love with a horse named 4x4 while on the set of "To Grandmother's House We Go." She was just 6 years old at the time. She took up horseback riding while growing up and became a member of her high school's equestrian team, but she was forced to give up the sport when she moved to New York.

Eventually, Olsen returned to riding and has since competed and placed in a number of competitive equestrian events. "I came back to the sport because I missed it every day that I wasn't riding. It was the hardest thing to leave and the hardest thing to come back to," she said (via HITS).

Even when she isn't riding, Olsen continues to be inspired by her passion. "[Riding] allows me to practice being accepting, patient, disciplined, compassionate, competitive, and all of those other emotions that are very important to have in your everyday life," she went on. These sentiments manifest not only in Olsen's values as a businesswoman but also within the details of the clothes she creates. In fact, one of her jumping coats directly influenced the fit and comfort level of one of The Row's first blazers. It's official: Mary-Kate may just be the coolest horse girl there is.

Her passion for fashion doesn't extend to internet shopping

Despite being one of the biggest celebrity names in modern fashion, Mary-Kate Olsen is not one for buying things online. In a 2016 interview with Vogue about The Row's flagship store located in New York City, Olsen shocked the interviewer by sharing that she had never bought anything via the internet.

Why? She didn't elaborate, but her twin sister Ashley agreed before going on to explain that she likes to "see, touch, feel, and experience" whatever she's going to be investing in before she commits to it. Mary-Kate and Ashley's shared preference for shopping in person is emphasized in the overall experience that walking through one of their stores creates. "Shopping can be a little uninspiring now, so I think if we can bring a little bit of that experience wherever we are to stay, that's great," Mary-Kate shared of The Row's Manhattan location. "That was our ultimate goal when we started—to bring an experience to life, and we're making it happen. Everything looks the same now, and we wanted this to be special."

'Naked with heels' is her go-to loungewear

Mary-Kate Olsen's hobbies don't stop at horseback riding, and her other favorite activity may surprise you even more than her athleticism. In an older interview with Harper's Bazaar, Olsen divulged a very unique pastime: running around practically naked in heels.

Even though she didn't even start wearing high heels until her late teens, Olsen said that since giving them a try, she rarely takes them off. "I run around my house naked with heels all the time. It's so funny. All my friends will tell you I love running around in kimonos and jewelry or naked with jewelry," she shared.

Interestingly enough, Olsen later realized that she shares this cheap thrill with Posh Spice herself. While watching Victoria Beckham's "Coming to America" TV special, Olsen realized Beckham also struts around the house wearing few garments. "[Beckham's] running around in a bikini and heels, and I'm like, Oh, my God! I do that, too!" Olsen told Harper's Bazaar.

Gigi Hadid is her top style icon

Mary-Kate Olsen's labels aren't all she's known for in the fashion world — she's also recognized for her individual style. She has worn a number of original, eccentric outfits to prestigious events like the Met Gala, various award shows, and store openings. While many fans may look up to Olsen for her sense of style, Olsen herself idolizes the fashion sported by one of today's most successful models, Gigi Hadid.

In a 2015 interview with Vogue, Olsen explained why she admires Hadid's taste: "Whether she's on the carpet or the street, she always looks effortless and cool." It's no surprise then that Hadid has gone on to model for The Row both on and off the runway, which we can only imagine has been a dream come true for Olsen. In an interview with i-D, Hadid similarly sung both Mary-Kate and Ashley's praises, saying she "[feels] very understood by them." She added, "When I walk for Mary-Kate and Ashley, I don't feel taken advantage of."

She is left-handed

Prepare to be shocked: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are actually not identical twins (via The New York Times). Genetically, the twins are sororal, or dizygotic, but you'd never be able to tell by looking at them — the two are virtually indistinguishable.

In the past, the twins have thrown off their sameness by rocking different locks — maybe to differentiate themselves or maybe just to express their personalities — but apart from this, there are only a couple of notable details that separate the two from each other. One such difference is that Mary-Kate is left-handed while her sister is right-handed, as the sisters once explained on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Mary-Kate is also an inch shorter than Ashley.

While the two may look undeniably similar, they are each their own person. As Mary-Kate told Oprah Winfrey, "Our main thing is just that, you know, we're individuals." She continued, saying, "We have two different bodies, two different hearts."

Mary-Kate Olsen sought treatment for an eating disorder

In 2004, after years of facing scrutiny about her appearance from paparazzi and various media outlets alike, Mary-Kate Olsen's representative confirmed that she had been admitted to a facility to receive treatment for an eating disorder. "This is a challenge that Mary-Kate has made a decision to face," Michael Pagnotta, Olsen's representative disclosed to People. "This is a challenge she will meet."

Even after Olsen's eating disorder became public, comments about her physical appearance — comments that may have even encouraged disordered eating — did not cease. For instance, a 2005 article published in The New York Times quoted stylist Karen Berenson as saying, "She makes skinny girls in baggy clothes look cool."

Since she received treatment nearly two decades ago, Olsen has not publicly commented on her eating disorder, but in a 2008 interview with Elle, she said, "Everybody is going to go through hard times. It's a part of life. I think the hardest part to get to is that point of asking for help or reaching out to other people and being honest with yourself."

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

Her love of coffee is partially based in nostalgia

While none of Mary-Kate Olsen's fashion brands have expanded into coffee cups, that accessory is a significant part of her/ uniform. Not only is almost every paparazzi shot of Olsen completed by a coffee cup, but her love of the drink has also been noticed by the infrequent interviewers she speaks with.

Back in 2005, she told W Magazine that she drinks two to four large caffeinated drinks a day. The drinks typically alternate between a chai latte and a skim latte, but at the time of this interview, Olsen had also discovered red-eyes — which combine coffee and espresso — and we can only assume those have since been added to the rotation. Even though she's often seen carrying a Starbucks cup, Olsen doesn't only rely on coffee shops to fuel her — she also took to making her own lattes and cappuccinos at home. In fact, when asked about her most prized possession, she gushed about her espresso machine, calling it "the most amazing thing" she's ever had.

Olsen isn't alone in her love of coffee, but she has been drinking it for longer than most people her age. "When I was younger, on weekends, my mom would make us pancakes with our initials on them and then a tiny cup of coffee," she told W. "I remember at 10 sneaking my own coffee and pouring a ton of sugar in and going up to the playroom and drinking it."

She took a strong interest in Freud while at NYU

In 2004, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen joined New York University's class of incoming freshmen as students in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study — a program in which students can "design unique courses of study." During their time at NYU, paparazzi hounded the Olsen twins, and Mary-Kate shared with New York Magazine that she didn't even feel protected in her classes. "They'd have internships at the weeklies," she said of her classmates. "Learning is not fun if you're not safe."

Just about a month into her sophomore year of college, Mary-Kate dropped out and moved back to Los Angeles. While the never-ending paparazzi didn't help, the event that really catalyzed Mary-Kate leaving school — according to an interview she did with W Magazine back in 2006 — was her ex-boyfriend, Stavros Niarchos III, entering a relationship with Paris Hilton.

Even though her time at college was short-lived, Olsen insisted to the publication that academics did not affect her decision to leave. In fact, she often became "obsessive" about the subjects she explored in her classes, especially the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. "It just really hit me, just the way he explains the mind and, like, how it works in certain people or certain diseases. How people may look at his stuff as a little off because some of it's pretty extreme, but how much truth there is behind it, you know?" she said.

Her relationship with Heath Ledger may have been more than a friendship

Before he passed away back in 2008, actor Heath Ledger was rumored to have been romantically involved with Mary-Kate Olsen. According to People, the two met when Ledger was living in Hollywood's Chateau Marmont during the summer of 2006, and they bonded over their love of partying. According to an anonymous source, the two had allegedly been "casually dating" for three months before Ledger passed away of an accidental overdose in January of 2008. "They just had the same sensibility," the source told People.

Although the specifics of Olsen's relationship with Ledger remain unclear, even many years after the actor passed away, we do know that she was the first person to be called after Ledger's masseuse, Diana Wolozin, found him unconscious in the bedroom of his New York City apartment. Apparently, Wolozin used the speed dial function on Ledger's phone to call Olsen and ask for help.

Mary-Kate's vintage engagement ring cost over $80,000

In 2012, Mary-Kate Olsen and banker Olivier Sarkozy decided to go public with their relationship, and two years later, the two got engaged (via Us Weekly). At the time, Olsen's engagement ring was the talk of the town. According to the jewelry company Taylor & Hart, Olsen's chunky ring features a four-carat European-cut diamond at its center, 16 calibre-cut sapphires encircling the centerpiece, and one-and-a-half carats of single-cut white diamonds lining the basket. Sarkozy bought the ring, which was designed by the Cartier family in 1953, for $81,250 at a Sotheby's jewelry auction before proposing to Olsen in February 2014.

Allegedly, Olsen rejected Sarkozy's first proposal — which took place a few months earlier — because she wasn't ready. "She didn't need to be wined and dined. She wanted to make sure he would be good to her," a source told Us Weekly of the initial proposal. 

She had a cellphone-free wedding

Mary-Kate Olsen has described herself as a "discreet" person, so it only makes sense that her 2015 wedding paralleled the intimacy she values within every other aspect of her life. As Page Six reported, she and Sarkozy had a very private ceremony in Manhattan before moving the celebration to a private home on 49th Street, where 50 guests were required to hand over their cellphones.

Although not much is known regarding the reception, an anonymous source reportedly told Page Six that there were multiple bowls of cigarettes available to the guests. "Everyone smoked the whole night," the source shared. The guests were also served cocktails in the residence's garden and dinner was served inside.

Olsen and Sarkozy's marriage lasted for five years, when Olsen filed a divorce petition on April 17, 2020, according to Us Weekly. It's rumored that the divorce was a result of Sarkozy moving his wife, children, and mother into the couple's Bridgehampton house, per Page Six. "While Mary-Kate loves his children, it was too much to have his ex-wife living with them during the pandemic," a source alleged to the publication. "Would you want the ex-wife living with you for an unforeseeable amount of time in the middle of a crisis?" It took nearly a year to be finalized, but the couple's divorce was officially granted by a judge on January 25, 2021.

She considered appearing in Netflix's Fuller House

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were offered to reprise their role as Michelle Tanner in Netflix's "Full House" reboot, "Fuller House." According to the show's executive producer, Robert Boyett, Ashley didn't feel comfortable acting in front of a camera after such a long hiatus, but Mary-Kate seemed more willing — though both ultimately declined (via People). "Mary-Kate said, 'It would have to be me because Ash doesn't want to do it. But the timing is so bad for us,'" Boyett revealed.

The series was first announced in April 2020 when "Uncle Jesse" actor John Stamos revealed that Netflix was working on the project (via CNN). The show features many of the actors from the original sitcom, such as Dave Coulier, Jodie Sweetin, Andrea Barber, and Candace Cameron Bure.

Coulier, who played Uncle Joey, expressed his thoughts on the twins turning down the role. "They're family members, but I think they have a different perspective," he shared with People. "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."