On the eve of the release of her latest album Revival, Selena Gomez has made the startling revelation that she was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus last year.

“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 said by way of explaining why she spent most of 2014 out of the spotlight. Lupus is a condition that has no cure and can only be managed, in which the human body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, and affects the nervous system as well as the vital organs.

Selena GomezSelena Gomez revealed that she was diagnosed with lupus last year

All those media commentators who were speculating that she was in rehab for substance abuse must be feeling pretty bad about themselves! “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 told Billboard.

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Speaking about her determination to carry on with her career, she said that her grievances at how she was being portrayed by the media during that time was a motivating factor in making Revival, her second solo album.

“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. “The hate motivated me.”

At the same time, she categorically denied all the allegations of bad behaviour that were being thrown around in the press. “I've never had a problem with drinking,” she said flatly. “I felt like I'd lost everything. Just because it's not plastered everywhere doesn't mean I didn't have my rock bottom. I've had my moments, and it's almost unsafe for me to even talk about them, because I'll be taken advantage of.”

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