Calista Flockhart Got Real About The Anorexia Rumors From When She Was On "Ally McBeal"

This post contains discussion of eating disorders and body image issues.

If you're of a certain age — or, if you're just a really hardcore TV head — you probably know all about Ally McBeal, the hit dramedy that aired for five seasons from 1997 to 2002.

The cast of "Ally McBeal"
/ ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

Perhaps you even caught the cast's onstage reunion at the 2023 Emmys just a few weeks ago.

The cast from "Ally McBeal" dancing on stage
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

So, while Ally McBeal was a big cultural thing, there was a lot of media speculation about Calista's body, which was — obviously — really fucked up.

Calista Flockhart on the red carpet
Frank Micelotta Archive / Getty Images

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Calista addressed a specific rumor from that time: That she was struggling with anorexia nervosa, which Johns Hopkins Medicine describes as "an eating disorder that causes a severe and strong fear of gaining weight."

Calista Flockhart waving as she exists a building
Raymond Hall / GC Images

“I loved working on Ally McBeal, and it just made it sour," she said while discussing the rumors. “I was very sleep-deprived and I was depressed about it. I did think that it was going to ruin my career."

Calista Flockhart
Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

"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.”

Calista Flockhart
Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images

Calista also said that the errant speculation meant that she "had days where I was really hurt and embarrassed and infuriated. I was lucky that I had to work."

Calista Flockhart
Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

"I just put my head down. I always felt like, ‘Calista, you’re a good person, you’re not mean to anybody,’ and I’m confident in that.”

calista flockhart
Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Calista also suggested that such speculation wouldn't take place today, and was a result of past attitudes toward body image.

Calista Flockhart

I'm...not quite sure I agree, personally, but it's certainly a nice thing to believe.

Cindy Ord / Getty Images for SiriusXM

“They call it body-shaming now,” she said. “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.”

Calista Flockhart
Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

You can read the entire interview here.

The National Eating Disorders Association helpline is 1-800-931-2237; for 24/7 crisis support, text “NEDA” to 741741.