Selena Gomez says 'tabloid' scrutiny of her personal life 'got out of control'

Selena Gomez opened up to friend Amy Schumer about her mental and physical health for Interview magazine. Schumer began the conversation by remarking how if Gomez coughs it’s “trending news.”

“The sad part is that I don’t remember a time when that wasn’t the case,” Gomez replied. “What has kept me afloat is that I know eventually it’ll be someone else — and I don’t mean that in a negative way. Sometimes it’s been bad for my career, but other times it’s like, ‘Now I can talk about things like my depression and anxiety, things that I’ve struggled with and which I’m totally open about, because I believe in seeking help.’ But other than that, what keeps me grounded is that I do my best to avoid it. It’s not like I don’t live my life.”

Gomez’s on-again, off-again relationship with Justin Bieber made sure her personal life remained tabloid fodder. The “Lose You to Love Me” singer told Schumer, “My intention was never to become a tabloid.”

Read more: Selena Gomez ‘felt victim to certain abuse’ during Justin Bieber relationship

“So when things kind of happened that way, it got out of control. And then I was like, ‘Wait, none of this is true,’” Gomez explained. “The way the media has sometimes tried to explain things has made it sound really bad, when in reality there’s nothing wrong with the fact that I needed to go away or that I fell in love.”

Selena Gomez, left, and Justin Bieber arrive at the 39th Annual American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Selena Gomez, left, and Justin Bieber arrive at the 39th Annual American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Gomez has been open about seeking treatment for anxiety and depression. Earlier this month, she revealed she was diagnosed bipolar.

“I had to start opening up because people were taking away my narrative and it was killing me,” the Disney alum said. “I’m so young and I’m going to keep changing, and no one has the right to tell me how my life’s going.”

“You’ve already helped a lot of people, especially younger people, with understanding their own mental health issues. Do you feel like that’s your calling?” Schumer asked.

“I don’t know if that was ever meant to be my role, but I love people. I care, a lot. I’ve gone through a lot of medical issues, and I know that I can reach people who are going through similarly scary things — an organ transplant, or being on dialysis, or going away for treatment,” Gomez replied. “A huge part of why I have a platform is to help people. That’s why I think I’m OK with the magnitude. I mean, I’m not really OK with it — but I’m going to say that I am because it’s worth it. I know that I’m making someone somewhere feel good, or feel understood or heard, and that’s worth it for me.”

Selena Gomez opens up about her mental and physical health.
Selena Gomez opens up about her mental and physical health. (Photo: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)

In 2013, Gomez learned she had lupus. It required her to have a kidney transplant four years later. The 13 Reasons Why producer revealed she had “no physical signs” of the autoimmune disorder prior to her diagnosis.

“I’ve worked with the Lupus Research Alliance for a few years, and basically there are different types of autoimmune diseases,” she explained. “Some people with lupus have physical effects, and those are more noticeable. But I had no idea that I had it. There were no physical signs of it.”

Gomez continued, “And when I was 16, my blood pressure was at a level that doctors said I should have had a stroke. They put me in the hospital because they couldn’t figure out why my blood pressure was so high. Some people need to get transplants because of it, and it’s something that isn’t talked about a lot. I’m extremely honoured to be a part of that community and to find ways that are safer for people to get treatment, or to make it easier to detect quicker.”

Read more: Pink had ‘a hard time breathing’ with coronavirus

Although the 27-year-old recently achieved a major career milestone — her third number one album with Rare — Gomez admitted she has trouble celebrating her successes.

“I’m very, very happy. And it’s sometimes hard for me to be happy for myself,” she admitted. Gomez noted she’s “been talking about it with some people.”

“Millions of people have so much love for you, and when someone meets you, they can see your kindness and your intelligence and your vulnerability. I think people worry about you. I’ve worried about you. Should we be worried about you?” Schumer asked.

“No,” Gomez replied. “I’ve gone through some really difficult stuff, and because of those moments, whether I liked it or not, a picture was painted of my life. That was scary because I didn’t want it to affect my career.”

“You didn’t want what to affect your career? Your personal life?” Schumer followed up.

“Yeah,” Gomez affirmed. “It got out of control when I was super young. I think it showed people that I was weak in certain moments, and that I had troubles. Some people just get off on building people up and then trying to bring them down.”

Gomez emphasised she’s “OK.”

“I guess what I mean is that people worry about me because I’ve had some trouble in the past,” Gomez added. “And it’s kind, it is. But I’m OK. I deal with what I deal with, and if I feel like I’m having a rough week or I’m not up to doing something, I don’t do it.”