"I was very sleep-deprived and I was depressed about it," Flockhart told 'The New York Times' of the speculation
In a new interview with The New York Times, published on Friday, the actress, 59, explained the unseen toll that the rumors, which she said were false, had on her health and her state of mind.
"I was an easy target, I guess. It was painful, it was complicated. I loved working on Ally McBeal, and it just made it sour," she said of the persistent talk about her weight, which began when she played the titular character on the hit Fox legal dramedy, which aired for five seasons from 1997 to 2002.
Flockhart continued: "I was very sleep-deprived and I was depressed about it. I did think that it was going to ruin my career. I didn’t think anybody would ever hire me again, because they would just assume I had anorexia, and that would be the end of that.”
She said she was thankful to be working steadily at the time because it distracted her.
"I had days where I was really hurt and embarrassed and infuriated," she continued. "I always felt like, ‘Calista, you’re a good person, you’re not mean to anybody,’ and I’m confident in that.”
Per the Mayo Clinic, anorexia nervosa is "an eating disorder characterized by an abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of weight."
"People with anorexia place a high value on controlling their weight and shape, using extreme efforts that tend to significantly interfere with their lives," the Mayo Clinic's explanation continues.
Flockhart said she never had to watch her weight and that her mother also has a small stature.
The Supergirl star admitted that she hasn't thought about the hurtful eating disorder rumors in a long time, but noted that they were unfair and she doesn't think they would happen in today's culture.
"They call it body-shaming now. I haven’t thought about it in a long time, but it’s really not OK to accuse someone of having a disease that a lot of people struggle with," she told The New York Times.
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"I look back at pictures, and I’m the same then as I am now, and nobody says a word now."
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please go to NationalEatingDisorders.org.
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