Billie Eilish has remained open about honest about a number of personal topics during her time in the spotlight. She has spoken candidly about her struggles with mental health, her gripe with society’s body image standards, the ups and downs of fame, and much more. One example came when she revealed the exact moment she stopped feeling comfortable in public during a recent interview. She recalls the moment occurring when she was 16 years old ice skating with a friend in Los Angeles. Eilish says it resulted in a “huge stampede” that left her feeling very “powerless.”
In her latest interview, one that came with David Letterman, Eilish opened up about a topic that she’s been very tight-lipped about before: her experience living with Tourette’s Syndrome, which she says she was diagnosed with at 11 years old.
It didn’t appear to be a topic that Eilish planned on talking about during the interview, but it eventually came up after a change in the set’s lighting seemingly provoked one of her tics. “If you film me for long enough, you’re going to see lots of tics,” Eilish said. “I don’t care. It’s really weird, I haven’t talked about it at all. The most common way people react is they laugh, because they think that I’m trying to be funny. They think I’m [ticcing] as, like, a funny move… And I’m always left incredibly offended by that.” Eilish continued:
“What’s funny is so many people have it that you would never know. A couple artists came forward and said ‘I’ve actually always had Tourette’s.’ And I’m not gonna out them, because they don’t want to talk about it, but that was really interesting to me. I was like, ‘You do?! What?’”
Letterman extended some gratitude to Eilish, saying, “I hope to God what we’ve done didn’t exacerbate this,” adding, “I know nothing about [Tourette’s].” Eilish replied, “I actually really love answering questions about it because it’s very, very interesting. And I am incredibly confused by it, and I don’t get it.”
She continued, “These are things you would never notice if you’re just having a conversation with me, but for me, they’re very exhausting,” she explained. “It’s not like I like it, but it’s part of me. I have made friends with it. And so now, I’m pretty confident in it.”
Eilish’s conversation with Letterman is a part of the latter’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman series on Netflix. Eilish’s full episode is available on the platform now.