Celine Dion says burden of lying about her condition became ‘too much’ in emotional interview

Celine Dion has admitted that she “did not take the time” to rest or try to work out what was happening to her, as she revealed why she chose to make her health struggles public.

The Canadian star, 56, will be interviewed on NBC on 11 June, as she opens up about her diagnosis with Stiff Person Syndrome.

Dion was diagnosed with SPS, a rare and incurable autoimmune neurological disorder that causes muscle stiffness in a person’s torso, in December 2022.

Over time, sufferers can develop rigidity and painful spasms in their legs and other muscles, the Cleveland Clinic says.

Dion was forced to reschedule the European leg of her world tour following her diagnosis, later cancelling the entire world tour in May last year.

“I want you all to know I’m not giving up,” she wrote on Instagram at the time.

In a preview of the NBC broadcast, Dion said that “lying” about her condition had become too much to bear.

Celine Dion says she couldn’t stand to lie about her condition any longer (NBC)
Celine Dion says she couldn’t stand to lie about her condition any longer (NBC)

“I could not do this anymore… we did not know what was going on,” she told NBC. “I should have stopped, take the time to figure it out… my husband as well was fighting for his own life. I had to raise my kids.

“I had to hide. I had to try to be a hero. Feeling my body leaving me, holding onto my own dreams. And the lying for me was – the burden was like too much.”

Dion told NBC that before she revealed her diagnosis, she felt as though she was “lying to the people who got me where I am today,” adding, “I could not do it anymore.”

The rare interview is Dion’s first on TV since she was diagnosed with SPS. The full interview will air as a special primetime hour on Tuesday 11 June at 10pm ET / 3am BST.

Dion is also the subject of a new documentary, I Am: Celine Dion, from Oscar-nominated director Irene Taylor.

Celine Dion in ‘I Am: Celine Dion’ trailer (Prime Video)
Celine Dion in ‘I Am: Celine Dion’ trailer (Prime Video)

Billed as “a love letter to her fans”, Dion’s documentary will highlight “the music that has guided her life while also showcasing the resilience of the human spirit”.

A teaser trailer released in May left fans “sobbing”, as it offered an emotional first look at the “All By Myself” star’s struggles behind the scenes.

In between clips of her in physical therapy, Dion said: “I’m working hard every day. But I have to admit, it’s been a struggle.”

Breaking down into tears, she continued: “I miss it so much. The people. I miss them. If I can’t run, I’ll walk. If I can’t walk, I’ll crawl. And I won’t stop.”

I Am: Celine Dion will be available to stream on Prime Video from 25 June.