Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Justin Timberlake Has OCD?

There's a news story making the rounds today that Justin Timberlake "confessed" he has OCD and ADD during an interview posted June 16 on Collider.com. Why it took so long to make it to the mainstream media is anyone's guess, but the buzz seems to have began this morning when the Arizona Republic took the story and ran with it.

My questions: Was disclosing a true mental illness his real intent? Or was his comment a flip off-the-cuff and in-the-moment joke? We don't know for sure, since no statements have been forthcoming from the Tennman's camp. Fortunately, Collider published an audio recording of the actual interview. Here's what I heard.

Timberlake comes into the room for a group interview about the upcoming film, The Love Guru. He is apparently arranging the tape recorders on the table, possibly to make room for a cup of coffee, based on the snippets of conversation. Someone in the background asks jokingly, "Do you have the OCD where you have to fix everything?" To which Timberlake retorts, "No. Yes. I have OCD and ADD. I mean, you try living with that!" A lot of shifting around and giggling can be heard, then on to the interview. That's the entirety of Justin's so-called confession.

The story in the Republic is somber. "Justin Timberlake says he suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The 27-year-old singer has revealed the condition affects many parts of his daily life - right down to making sure objects are always lined up perfectly. Justin, who also claims he has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), is quoted by website Collider.com as saying: "I have OCD mixed with ADD. You try living with that. It's complicated." Sounds adequately confessional, no?

Justin, if you have OCD, three cheers for you! Well done! Whenever a celebrity, especially a bright, talented and uber-achiever like Timberlake comes out of a closet, any closet, the positive shockwaves can ripple throughout society and have beneficial effects.

On the other hand, if it's a case of a few reporters and editors making hay out of a comment made in jest, shame on them for making fools of themselves and, in many minds, their profession. And let's not forget the celebrity who may have been unwittingly caught up in this.
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