Earlier this month, singer Billie Eilish referenced Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against Amber Heard in an unreleased song that she performed to fans on her UK tour.
Now, the 20-year-old singer has explained the inspiration behind the song as the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v Wade – the landmark decision that legalised abortion nearly 50 years ago.
In an interview with NME published on 24 June, Eilish said that she wrote the song after the court’s initial draft opinion in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked last May.
“I was in this state of depression, losing my own rights to my own body, and then I’d go on the internet and it would be people giving their take on this trial,” she told NME. “Who f**king gives a f**k? Women are losing rights for their bodies, so why are we talking about celebrities’ divorce trials? Who gives a sh*t?
“Let them figure it out on their own. The internet bothers the sh*t out of me sometimes,” she said.
On 7 June, the Happier Than Ever singer performed at Manchester’s AO Arena, where she debuted a new song titled TV. The track – which is yet to be released – made a reference to the highly publicised Depp v Heard trial, which came to an end on 1 June.
“The internet’s gone wild watching movie stars on trial, while they’re overturning Roe v Wade,” Eilish sang while she sat on a stool opposite her brother and collaborator Finneas.
According to NME, the sibling duo felt a strong urge to perform the track, echoing the early days of her career when Eilish didn’t have enough material to hold off from playing unreleased songs.
“I just wanted to go back to my roots: to put a little guitar song back out, and feel like how I used to. I was just missing that feeling and missed doing a song that no one had heard yet,” she said.
The historic defamation trial between Depp and his ex-wife Heard came to a close this month when the jury found that Heard had defamed Depp on all three counts. The Pirates of the Carribbean actor was awarded $10m (£8m) in compensatory damages and $5m (£4m) in punitive damages, while Heard was awarded $2m (£1.6m) in compensatory damages, but no punitive damages. The six-week trial was also met with a circus of memes, edited clips, and conspiracies shared to social media.
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Eilish’s interview comes as the Supreme Court’s conservative majority ruled 6-3 in favour of a Mississippi law that seeks to outlaw abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy. The ruling reversed key precedents established by the 1973 decision in Roe v Wade, as well as an affirming decision in 1992’s Planned Parenthood v Casey.
Now, women across America seeking abortion services will have to travel hundreds of miles to access the procedure, as a number of states have already criminalised or effectively outlawed abortion.
Since the ruling was announced this morning, several actors, singers, politicians, and other celebrities have spoken out against the Supreme Court’s decision to roll back the rights of American women. Taylor Swift admitted she was “absolutely terrified” for the future of the nation in a statement posted to Twitter.
“I’m absolutely terrified that this is where we are – that after so many decades of people fighting for women’s rights to their own bodies, today’s decision has stripped us of that,” she tweeted.
Swift also re-tweeted a lengthy post by Michelle Obama, who shared her “heartbreak” over the decision.
Meanwhile, fellow singer Phoebe Bridgers spoke out against the decision at Glastonbury Festival, where she led chants of “f*** the Supreme Court” during her set.
“It’s super surreal, but I’m having the s****iest time,” Bridgers said during her performance. “Any Americans here?”
After asking if there were any fellow Americans in the audience, Bridgers said: “Who wants to say ‘F**k the Supreme Court?’ One, two… F**K THE SUPREME COURT,” Bridgers shouted as the audience joined in.
“All these irrelevant old motherf***ers trying to tell us what to do with our fucking bodies. F**k it,” she said.
The Motion Sickness singer recently revealed that she had an abortion last year.