"It just got really hectic and I started feeling the city," says Olsen. "My world was really small when I was here." When asked if there was a specific incident that made her want to leave, Olsen shrugs: "I think we can all guess."
According to Olsen's best friend, Hayden Slater, the Hilton affair was very much a catalyst for the move. "She's really hurt. Did I see it coming? Absolutely not," he says. A senior at NYU, Slater met Olsen through her ex-boyfriend David Katzenberg and had been taking an acting class with her this past fall. "She likes to keep on the down-low and just hide out, and it's obviously really hard, especially with everything going on recently. She needed to get away from New York."
Olsen is loath to talk about Hilton, although she does concede that she unwittingly introduced her to Niarchos. "[Paris and I] always only had nice things to say about each other," she says. "Now I guess you can tell we're not talking." Of her former boyfriend, Olsen says, "I miss him and I love him and I don't speak with him anymore. It's a hurtful and painful subject. I've pretty much been with someone my whole life, so this is a hard time for me."
And it's particularly depressing to consider that the man at the center of the Mary-Kate and Paris feud is a 20-year-old Greek playboy who, according to the tabloids, recently paid a homeless man $100 to douse himself in soda outside a Burger King. Olsen says of the tale: "I'm not going to comment on that. It's a disgusting, horrible story, and all I can do is hope it's not true. I never knew that person. Now can we change the subject?"
The day we meet, Olsen looks surprisingly sprightly for someone with a broken heart. She's wearing a long, one-of-a-kind coat she bought at Maxfield, her favorite store in L.A. "I love getting amazing jackets," she explains, "because you can wear your pajamas underneath and everyone's like, 'Oh, fabulous jacket,' and I'm like, 'You should see what's underneath!'"
What's underneath today is a tiny Dries Van Noten floral-print minidress that barely reaches her thighs. It's a rather skimpy choice for November, and she has finished off the ensemble with a pair of teetering Minnie Mouse?style maryjanesa departure from the demure flats for which she's known. "I feel like showing off my legs," Olsen says, lifting them in the air. "I feel a little sexier today."
Though Olsen expresses this sentiment almost as a throwaway, it's not an insignificant one. For someone who's been treated for an eating disorder, feeling sexy is a step in the right direction, and, to hear Olsen tell it, the move back to Los Angeles has improved both her health and her self-esteem.