Selena Gomez took a break early last year, one that spawned rumors that the singer was dealing with addictions and relationship troubles. But in an upcoming interview with Billboard, Gomez revealed that she has been diagnosed with lupus, and is receiving chemotherapy to treat the autoimmune disease. The 23-year-old pop star says the condition began to affect her health in 2013 when she had to cancel a concert tour in Asia and Australia.
“I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy. That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke,” Gomez says of her time spent out of the spotlight, which gossip-mongers took as fodder for addiction rumors. “I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re assholes.’ I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again.”
She certainly appears to be regaining her confidence, as the former child star has taken a more provocative tone promoting her new album, Revival, teasing the new material by showing off some skin. And that confidence has empowered Gomez to direct a word at the haters.
“I’m so f—ing nice to everybody, and everyone is so vile to me. I’ve been working since I was 7. I’ve been a UNICEF ambassador since I was 17. It’s so disappointing that I’ve become a tabloid story,” Gomez says. But it helped propel her to new places for Revival: “The hate motivated me.”
Of course, what’s a Selena Gomez interview without a question about former boyfriend Justin Bieber’s career revival, and whether that influenced her own second life? Again, she was bold: “This is my time. I’ve deserved this. I earned it. This is all me.”