Inside Billie Eilish & Jesse Rutherford's Controversial Relationship
| LAST UPDATE 05/21/2023
After making their relationship public in October 2022, the Internet had a whole lot to say about the 10-year age gap between Eilish and her newest beau. But Billie, too, had a lot to say about her latest romance...
We know her, we love her, we idolize her, and we want her closet. The singer rose to fame in 2015 with her hit song Ocean Eyes, and from there, she has become one of the strongest voices of this generation.
Her music, fashion choices, and overall being have influenced young people across the globe, creating this Billie Eilish phenomenon. Her 7 Grammy awards, 108 million Instagram followers, countless partnerships, and fashion sense speak for themselves. But what about her dating life?
Besides being a music icon, Eilish has quickly cemented herself into the fashion world as well. Her oversized clothing, mix-matched style approach, goth mall fashion meets California skate culture; streetwear-inspired fashion sense has defined Gen Z fashion.
"I am who I am," Bille told British Vogue regarding her fashion choices. The singer has inspired a completely new wave of fashion, inspiring her fans to feel comfortable in anything they decide to put on their bodies. However, it wasn't always an easy road for her.
The pop star has been in the public eye since she was a young teen - with all sorts of pressure to look a certain way, act a certain way, and date a certain way! And if you know Billie, you know she's not about that life. So when it came down to her dating life, she kept things on the DL.
"I've had relationships and kept them private," the bad guy singer said during an appearance on Capital Breakfast With Roman Kemp in September 2020. "And even the ones that I've had, with the tiny amount that I've let the world see, I regret."
Matthew Tyler Vorce
However, rumors started spiraling in 2021 that Billie Eilish had found a new man! Fans saw her and Matthew Tyler Vorce getting cozy on coffee dates with her dog Shark, but neither party confirmed their relationship. Vorce describes himself as an "Actor. Writer. Director."
Despite her fans not loving their relationship due to some inappropriate comments Vorce had made on social media, the two were described as inseparable. At the height of their relationship, they were spotted at Doja Cat's party together, wearing matching red onesies.
The Break Up
From the beginning of their relationship, cheating rumors circulated the web, accusing Vorce of being unfaithful to Billie. The couple never addressed the allegations, but the rumors just increased over time... and in 2022, the couple called it quits.
Fans speculated their relationship ended in a cheating scandal, but the actor took to his Instagram to make it clear that that was not the case. "Nobody cheated on anyone. Relationships end. Simple as that. Creating rumors and LYING on the internet is dangerous," he wrote. Billie never commented on the subject.
Enter Jesse Rutherford
And then there was Jesse Rutherford. The 31-year-old musician co-founded the rock band The Neighbourhood back in 2011, with himself as lead vocalist. If you recall the song, Sweater Weather? That's them! However, the band is on a little hiatus at the moment.
And what about his life? Well, the actor-turned-musician dated model Devon Lee Carson for 6 years, ending their relationship in 2021, but still continues to talk about her in interviews. However, the musician deactivated all his social media accounts a few years ago, so there's only so much he's choosing to share with us.
So when did the two musicians meet? Although the two didn't start publicly dating until late last year, Billie Eilish and Jesse Rutherford actually met years ago. A fan account posted pictures of the two of them together on December 18, 2017 - when Billie turned 16.
Although it's unclear exactly how the two lovebirds met, devoted Billie Eilish fans estimate they met when she was 15, and he was 25. However, it wasn't until October 2022 that photos of the two of them surfaced, confirming that they were, in fact, an item.
Fast forward a few years, and the two were spotted by a fan holding hands and getting cozy in a now-viral TikTok. Billie and Jesse were seen together as they enjoyed a night out at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights in Los Angeles. And the PDA didn't stop there…
Around the same time, the couple decided to really let their guard down and let the public know they were official. The lovely singer was seen kissing her new beau outside of a restaurant in Los Angeles. However, it was her Instagram post that really did it for us.
"Weird" Instagram Debut
After just glimpses of the couple's love life, the pair finally made it Instagram official at the end of October 2022. Billie took to her social media to share that the couple decided to dress up for Halloween as a baby (her) and an old man (him), which many interpreted as the couple poking fun at their 10-year age gap.
And let's just say Billie's very public announcement of her relationship got the people talking. "I feel so sad for billie… she thinks she's being big and bad and grown trolling the haters, but she's just showing her immaturity and proving the point. jesse is absolutely… disgusting and weird," one wrote.
Red Carpet Official
Following the excitement of Billie's Instagram post, the world instantly wanted more. There were so many questions about their relationship, specifically surrounding their age gap - but her true fans were just really happy for her and her new man.
So, after keeping a relatively low profile, the couple finally made their red carpet-debut. Just a few days after making their relationship Instagram official, Eilish and Rutherford attended the star-studded LACMA Gala in Los Angeles in matching monogrammed Gucci PJS accompanied by eye masks, slippers, and an oversized blanket.
Audiences around the world instantly saw the connection between the two musicians, and for the most part, people were happier than ever for her. So when Eilish decided to open up to Vanity Fair about her relationship with Jesse, the world was ready to listen.
In November of 2022, Eilish sat down with Vanity Fair for her sixth annual interview, where the musician shared with the publication more about her dating life than we've ever heard before. "I just am really inspired by this person, and, you know, he's inspired by me," she said.
Eilish continued to share with Vanity Fair more about her relationship with Rutherford. "Say what you need to say, but, like, I am in control right now. I did this," she said. The songstress was proud of her musical career and personal success - as she should be!
As far as landing Rutherford? "I managed to get my life to a point where I not only was known by a person that I thought was the hottest f****** f***** alive but pulled his a**! Are you kidding me? Can we just [get a] round of applause for me?" But that's not all she said.
And it took work for Billie to become the girl in control! Throughout her career, the 21-year-old musician has always been very open about the "anger" she's felt toward her body. In an interview with Vogue, the singer explained her body had caused her "pain" throughout the years.
She admitted to Vanity Fair that she went through a period of "having an identity crisis" where she was almost "pretending to be Billie Eilish." It took the singer time and work to get to where she is today - and with Jesse by her side, the singer seems happier than ever. As for what that looks like?
Her romance with The Neighbourhood lead singer has just continued to grow, and the singer's friends and family are all on board! According to an inside source who spoke to Hollywood Life, "the chemistry between them is electrifying." We can only imagine!
The source continued to explain, "They are both passionate about their music, and Jesse treats Billie with so much respect and admiration. He does not look at her as a superstar or anything like that." The same source confirmed Billie "feels very comfortable with him."
Seeking Family Approval
In addition to how happy the couple is, their families are also on board! According to the exclusive insider from Hollywood Life, "Jesse gets along flawlessly with [Billie's] brother Finneas, who is so important to her." Audiences know how meaningful their relationship is, so having his stamp of approval means everything.
"Finneas approves of this, as he really loves seeing his sister so happy and giddy," the insider said. "Billie has gone through such amazing changes and growth in the past few years, and she is ready to be with a man who is on her same level. She says that Jesse is the perfect guy for her."
The Age Gap
However happy Billie is, there are plenty of people who have a lot to say about her 10-year age difference from Rutherford. "Billie knows fans may be concerned over their age difference, but it really isn't a concern of hers because they connect on so many levels," the Hollywood Life inside source shared.
From day one, fans have criticized and bashed Billie for dating someone a decade older than her, but it's not like she's the first one to do it... George and Amal Clooney have 17 years between them. Besides that, a source told Us Weekly that Billie is very okay with their age gap and, in fact, "likes that he's older."
Unfortunately, users aren't as optimistic. Twitter users took to the platform to share their negative opinions on the subject. "What could a 31-year-old man have in common with a 20-year-old girl?? The age gap weirds me out," one person wrote. While another tweeted, "Why can't men date someone their own age."
Another person tweeted, "Billie Eilish cannot legally drink, and Jesse has known her since she was 15, gotta love hollyweird!" One Twitter user took the time to point out that Eilish was 12 years old when Rutherford's most famous song, Sweater Weather, reached number one.
On the other side of all the Twitter skeptics, there were the loyal Billie fans who were defending her decision to date Rutherford. One person tweeted, "Not a clue who this Jesse dude is, but Billie Eilish is 20 years old, not 16. She a whole adult."
Another Twitter user defended the couple, writing, "Leave them alone. Billie is a grown woman. So what if they were friends in 2017. He wasn't dating her or grooming her. Give them a break. She looks happy now, and there's nothing wrong with it." And then her brother, Finneas, stepped in...
Finneas Enters the Chat
After all the hate directed towards Billie and Jesse, the singer's older brother Finneas decided to speak up on the subject. After one person perhaps went too far and wrote on TikTok, "Your sister's dating a 31-year-old man, and your music is s*****," Finneas clapped back.
"I want my sister to be happy and safe," he said, "and she is a 21-year-old adult perfectly entitled to make her own life decisions." Besides working together professionally, Finneas and Billie are known to be really close siblings -so of course he has her back.
However, Billie is used to the Internet world criticizing her. Like all Hollywood celebs, trolls are a part of the job - but it definitely doesn't make it okay or make it feel okay. The songstress has opened up in the past about her experience with online abuse, explaining, "people that say the crazy stuff don't even think you'll see it."
She told BBC Radio 1 that those people "would never say that to you in real life" and that they're hiding behind the screen. "What is the point of trying to do good if people are just going to keep saying that you're doing wrong? I try so hard to do good for the world and do good for people," but sometimes it's just tough.
Growing Thick Skin
Despite all the noise about the couples' ten-year age difference, Billie and Jesse seem happy and in love! Neither musician has commented on the Twitter backlash, insulting they are really just doing their thing together regardless of all the drama. "It's all about what makes you feel good," she told Vogue.
Since the day she started, Billie has always had a hold over her fans, becoming a true inspiration for them. The evolving artist has a special ability to make herself feel connected with her 108 million fans at all times, making them feel validated and seen, despite all the controversy surrounding herself.
At the end of the day, Eilish is in a relationship she feels confident and happy with. She and Jesse "have weird inside jokes between them that no one else can understand," according to a source from Us Weekly, and they just love being together.
"They're always laughing and have their arms around each other. Billie and Jesse spend all the time they're not working together," according to the same Us Weekly insider. Again, skeptics are always going to find a way to hate, but Billie and Jesse swear they are content and in love.
Becoming an Adult
As the months continued, they were bound to celebrate some pretty major events with one another - one being Billie's 21st birthday! The Ocean Eyes singer rang in her 21st birthday with a star-studded Christmas-themed bash with every celebrity under the sun in attendance - and her man, of course.
The VIP guests included the Biebers, Kendall Jenner, Avril Lavigne, Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, and more. The crowd got together to celebrate their favorite songstress with plenty of holiday-themed fun, a packed dance floor, and a "Billie's 21st" themed photo booth (of course). What's a Hollywood party without a photo booth?
And more recently, Billie and Jesse walked hand in hand down the carpet of one of the most prestigious evenings in Hollywood. The lovebirds attended the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscars Party in yet another twinning ensemble that sure did catch everyone's attention.
Eilish dawned an unbelievable black Rick Owens gown with a tulle train that followed behind her, while Jesse rocked a black tuxedo, blue shoes, a red silk oversized tie with white roses at the lapel, and some artistic makeup to tie in the look. The two defined modern goth-rock chic walking down the carpet.
Happier Than Ever
We are happier than ever to see her happier than ever! When asked about her love language, she confessed it's "physical touch" and that she wants "to be touching skin all the time." But most of all, she looks for "freedom," "love," "attention," and "equal admiration" from her partner.
In Eilish's Vanity Fair interview, she spilled the tea about her relationship sharing with the publication, "I'm really excited, and I'm really happy about it." Elish added, "It's really cool." We can see her smile getting bigger and bigger with every photograph snapped.
The World's a Little Blurry
In 2021, the musician released a documentary, Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry, where she shared with the world more about her personal journey on the stage and off. In the documentary, we see Billie's life as a teenager transformed into the life of one of the most successful artists in the entire world.
Eilish doesn't hold back with this one, either. The songstress gives audiences a raw look into her personal and musical life, including a deeper look at previous romantic relationships. The bad guy singer opens up about her ex, 7: AMP, and their split after less than a year together.
In the documentary, we learn more about Billie's relationship with rapper Brandon Quention Adams, otherwise known as 7: AMP or Q. Although the details are unclear how they met, they began dating back in 2018, and she was even featured on his album cover for Bleaupro. However, their relationship ended less than a year in.
Fans speculate that one of Billie's most famous songs from her Happier Than Ever album was about Adams. Your Power was about people taking advantage of those younger than them. "Try not to abuse your power... you swear you didn't know, you said you thought she was your age...?" Q was 5 years older than Billie, so you do the math…
What Went Wrong?
Speaking about her heartache, the singer admitted, "I just wasn't happy." Eilish admitted in the documentary, "I didn't want the same things he wanted, and I don't think that's fair for him." So evidently, they were looking for two different things that led to their demise.
When talking about her relationship with Q, she said, "I don't think you should be in a relationship super excited about certain things that the other person couldn't care less about. I don't think that's fair to you. I didn't think that was fair to him."
Trusting Her Intuition
It's all those experiences that make you stronger, right? During her annual interview with Vanity Fair, she told the publication, "The most important thing to me now is being in touch with myself and how I am actually really feeling and listening to my gut—trusting my gut."
The songstress has overcome a lot in the past few years, growing up in the public eye, but she is trusting her gut this year and ready to attack some big and brave activities. "For the first time ever next year, I would like to maybe skydive, maybe do, like, a big bungee jump off a cliff or something. I really enjoy fear."
Looking Into the Future
2022 was a busy year for Eilish. Between kicking off her world tour, headlining Coachella and Glastonbury, securing a new partnership with Nike, and everything else in between, the musician has proved yet again that she can do it all - and perhaps do it better than the rest.
Let's also not forget that 2022 was the year she began dating Jesse Rutherford, and in the same year, she started opening up to her fans more about her romantic relationships. And from the sounds of it, this story is just getting started... Stay tuned.