Singer Susan Boyle, who became famous after appearing on “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2009, told the U.K.’s The Observer that she has been diagnosed with Asperger’s, a form of autism, The Guardian reports.
Boyle was labeled “brain damaged” after complications at birth, but said she found out about a year ago that she has the high-functioning form of autism.
“It was the wrong diagnosis when I was a kid," she told the publication. "I was told I had brain damage. I always knew it was an unfair label. Now I have a clearer understanding of what’s wrong and I feel relieved and a bit more relaxed about myself."
Boyle was bullied when she was a child, with other kids calling her “Susie Simple,” the story says.
“I went to seek a diagnosis from a Scottish specialist," she says. "Nobody told me to. I thought I had a more serious illness and couldn’t function properly."
Tests showed that her intelligence was above average, the piece adds. People with Asperger’s often suffer from anxiety, while Boyle said she has also dealt with depression and mood swings. After her rise to stardom, there were reports of emotional outbursts and volatile behavior from the singer, the story adds.
“Fox Searchlight is interested in making a film of her life story with three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep in the lead role,” the story says.
Boyle said she hopes the diagnosis will help people understand her. “I think people will treat me better because they will have a much greater understanding of who I am and why I do the things I do,” she said.