Selena Gomez has opened up about her battle with lupus for the first time. The "Good For You" singer was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease in 2013, and has revealed she underwent chemotherapy shortly after to alleviate symptoms.
The treatment meant that the 23-year-old was forced to cancel the Australian and Asian legs of her tour and take some time out of the spotlight.
Selena Gomez revealed she underwent chemotherapy in 2013 Photo: Getty Images
"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," Selena explained to Billboard magazine.
Selena's absence from the public eye lead to speculation that she had entered rehab, much to the frustration of the star. "I wanted so badly to say, 'You guys have no idea. I'm in chemotherapy," Selena said. "I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again."
In the revealing interview, Selena also admitted that she was hurt after being targeted by body-shamers in April. The former Disney star shared a photo that showed off her curves with the caption, "I love being happy with me y'all #theresmoretolove," but was surprised when she was criticized for the body-positive post.
"I was in a bikini and got publicly ripped for being overweight," she said. "That was the first time I'd experienced body shaming like that. I believed some of the words they were saying. When somebody else has your self-esteem in their hands…"
However, Selena has made it through with a little help from her friends, including close pal Taylor Swift. "Taylor makes me feel empowered, like I can trust new people," she said of her place in Taylor's group of friends. "All of those girls are so dope. We ran around taking pictures, changing dresses, dancing – super-cliché girly stuff, but it rocked. The way she cares about women is so adamant. It's pulling me out of my shell."