Mary-Kate Olsen, 24, rose to unexpected fame with her twin sister Ashley, playing the youngest Tanner sister on the hit television series Full House, and somehow graduated from the dreaded title “former child star” to the enviable moniker of “fashion icon” with relative ease in her late teens.  Today, she and her sister have an astounding estimated net worth of $100 million.

After years of silence, MK is now speaking about her experiences for the first time in Marie Claire magazine.  She told the publication that she and her sister were nothing shy of  ‘little monkey performers’ as children. “I look at old photos of me, and I don’t feel connected to them at all,’ she said. ‘I would never wish my upbringing on anyone… but I wouldn’t take it back for the world.”  The former child star said rather than envy the twins lives, her friends “feel sorry for us… because it’s kind of bittersweet.”

While twin sister Ashley has been relatively trouble-free, Mary-Kate’s problems: party-girl reputation, numerous romantic liaisons, public battle and hospitalization with anorexia and questionable involvement in the scandalous aftermath  of  Heath Ledger’s untimely death.

Mary Kate explained how her experiences taught her that avoiding  issues can only make the problem worse.  “I think it’s really important to be able to talk when something’s wrong,” she says. “I learned at a really young age that if you don’t talk about it, it can drive you insane.”

Ashley is Mary Kate’s biggest supporter. “Sometimes Ash and I have to bring each other back, or push each other more. It’s really helpful to have another half; we’re constantly checking in with each other.”

Today Mary-Kate has moved on from the past and devotes her time to the various fashion lines she and Ashley run.  Together they’ve founded and designed clothing ranges at every price point – from the critically acclaimed The Row, named after London’s Savile Row, and mid-priced Elizabeth and James, to the cut-price Olsenboye collection for JC Penney.  And she’s not rushing in to the design process.  “It took us a year-and-a-half to make the first T-shirt,” she shares.

Though she hasn’t abandoned her first profession entirely (she has a role opposite Vanessa Hudgens in upcoming horror film, Beastly), fashion is now her primary focus.  “I still read scripts, and if something great comes along, that’s great… but this is my day job. The Row is where I go every day.  It’s kind of like a mask to hide behind,” she admits.

Source: Marie Claire