The rumors flew when Selena Gomez canceled the last part of her tour in 2013 and went to rehab in 2014, with much of the tabloid media speculating that she was struggling with addiction. But, she reveals in a Billboard cover story, what she was actually struggling with was ... an autoimmune disease. "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. "I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re assholes.' But I was angry I even felt the need to say that. It’s awful walking into a restaurant and having the whole room look at you, knowing what they’re saying. I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again."
She doesn't hold back, continuing to bash gossip websites: "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. It took away everything I loved about this business," she says. But, she adds, "the hate motivated me," and the result is the 23-year-old's upcoming album, Revival, out Friday. And, yes, she also discusses Justin Bieber, with whom she had a three-year relationship that ended more than a year ago: "We’re on good terms, but no," they're not talking, she says, and she prefers not to discuss him. But she will say of his recently maturing: "I’m proud of him. This is what I always saw in him, why I always believed in him." (Read more Selena Gomez stories.)