U.S. teen movie star Ashley Olsen has canceled a trip to Australia to stay with her twin sister Mary-Kate who wasthis week, a spokesman for the pair said Thursday, amid rumors Mary-Kate was suffering from an .
Ashley will not attend the Australian premiere of "New York Minute" — the twins' new film — in Melbourne next week, said Robert Thorne, the chief executive of Dualstar Entertainment Group, their entertainment empire, in a statement.
"Ashley Olsen has decided to be with her family at this time," Thorne said.
Earlier this week, U.S. magazines reported that Mary-Kate was suffering from anorexia nervosa. Anorexics are obsessed with losing weight and often exercise excessively or refuse to eat.
Mary-Kate entered "a treatment facility to seek professional help for a health-related issue," her publicist Michael Pagnotta said Tuesday, but did not elaborate.
Seventeen magazine editor-in-chief Atoosa Rubenstein said during a recent photo shoot, staffers noticed that Mary-Kate was much smaller than Ashley, but there were no indications then that Mary-Kate might have an eating disorder.
"I think that the message that I hope people take from this is to get out of the culture of saying, 'oh, you look so thin,' 'oh, you look so pretty,' to our daughters, to our friends and start recognizing each other for the smart things that we do, for our integrity, for our kindness, for other things other than the superficial," Rubenstein said Thursday on CBS News' The Early Show, "because if a girl like Mary-Kate Olsen, who is worshipped by so many for being so beautiful, struggles with this, imagine an ordinary girl."
Rubenstein told Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith that Mary-Kate's problem may have started with a family vacation about a year ago, when paparazzi photographed the twins in bikinis.
"I thought that was really invasive," Rubenstein said. "I could see how that could make a young girl like her feel funny."
"While it is unfortunate that plans have been canceled, Mary-Kate and Ashley appreciate everyone's support and understanding at this time. They look forward to coming to Australia and New Zealand in the very near future," Thorne's statement said.
Mary-Kate and Ashley turned 18 on June 13, assuming control of Dualstar Entertainment. They are estimated to be worth $150 million each.
They've been acting together since they were 9 months old, most notably on the sitcom "Full House" and in a series of direct-to-video movies. They have also attached their names to a line of merchandise including clothing, beauty products and home decorating materials.
"New York Minute" did poorly at the U.S. box office after its May release.