Billie Eilish: Tourette's Is 'Exhausting'

Pop star talks to David Letterman about her diagnosis
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2022 3:05 PM CDT
Billie Eilish: 'I Have Made Friends' With My Tourette's
Billie Eilish arrives at the 64th annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – At one point during her interview with David Letterman for his Netflix series, Billie Eilish turned her head and opened her mouth, and Letterman jokingly asked if she'd seen a fly, per "No, I'm ticcing," replied Eilish, referring to the tics she has because of Tourette's syndrome. Letterman apologized, and the two spoke about the issue for his series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. The 20-year-old told Letterman she was diagnosed at age 11.

  • “If you film me for long enough, you’re gonna see lots of tics,” Eilish says, per USA Today. She rattles off some—raising an eyebrow, clicking her jaw, flexing an arm, etc.
  • “These are things you would never notice if you’re just having a conversation with me, but for me, they’re very exhausting," she says.
  • “The most common way that people react is they laugh because they think I’m trying to be funny," she says, per CNN. "And I’m always left incredibly offended by that."
  • “I really love answering questions about it, because it’s very, very interesting. And I am incredibly confused by it. I don’t get it." But, she adds, "I have made friends with it."
  • In this clip, Eilish and brother Finneas O'Connell school Letterman on producing her sound.
(Read more Billie Eilish stories.)

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