July 17, 2009 — -- Skinny vs. bloated. Off the radar vs. all over the news (for all the wrong reasons).
Not to go all Goldilocks on Mischa Barton, but perhaps she should find a middle ground ASAP.
The 23-year-old actress, who has attracted more attention in recent years for her yo-yoing weight and propensity to party than her TV and film roles, missed the New York City premiere of her latest movie, "Homecoming," after being removed from her home by the Los Angeles Police Department Wednesday.
As of late Friday, her publicist, Craig Schneider, said in a statement that Barton remains in the hospital under doctor's orders. The statement does not address Barton's condition.
An LAPD spokeswoman confirmed to ABC News that officers responded to a call at Barton's home Wednesday to assist her with a "medical issue."
While Access Hollywood reported that police placed Barton under an involuntary, 72-hour psychiatric hold (also known as a 5150, the same code used to commit Britney Spears twice in L.A. in 2008), the LAPD would not elaborate on the nature of their role in assisting her or her current health status.
Not true for Barton's publicist. Craig Schneider told People magazine that because of her "celebrity status," Wednesday's police intervention was necessary "to safely transfer her to medical treatment as per doctor's orders."
The incident is the latest twist in the former "O.C." star's roller coaster of health issues. In January, she provoked gasps and gapes when she emerged at Paris Fashion Week looking gaunt, a glittering dress hanging off her frail frame. While critics wondered what caused the once-curvy Barton to whittle down, she defended herself on her blog:
"Things are really well in Mischa world and I've just been watching what I eat," she said. "I still love my pilates and yoga, and have cut back on fatty foods a bit. My time in India and Paris really just helped me lose a little bit of weight but there's nothing drastic going on!"
But it seems Barton took some of the body buzz to heart. In the past five months, she's slid to the other side of the spectrum. The Barton's puffy, makeup-caked face bears little resemblance to the concave cheeks she sported earlier this year.
Barton's Bloating From Surgery or Something Else?
While sources told Britain's Daily Mail that Barton's face bloated after she had a wisdom tooth removed in June and reacted badly to antibiotics, it appears something else might be awry.
Barton has a history of drug and alcohol problems. She was arrested in December 2007 and charged with D.U.I. and marijuana possession. After pleading no contest to the charges, Barton was sentenced to attend alcohol education classes, 36 months probation and pay a fine.
In recent months, Barton reportedly hit the party circuit hard, begging the question of whether she's gotten back to bad habits. Two weeks ago, she was reportedly thrown out of the bathroom of the London nightclub Whisky Mist for attempting to bring a friend into her stall.
The headlines haven't added up to acting work for Barton. Since leaving the sun-drenched set of Fox's "The O.C." in 2006, the ex-Marissa Cooper actress has completed filming a handful of independent movies, including "Assassination of a High School President," "Don't Fade Away" and of course, "Homecoming," in which she plays the jilted ex-high school sweetheart of a small-town football star.
In March, Barton signed on to star in the CW's "A Beautiful Life," a drama about models living together in New York City, scheduled to premiere this fall. In the interim, perhaps Barton can take a cue from her potential character – Sonja, a supermodel struggling to stay on top – and get her real life in order.