Although Patrick Lovato has spoken out in the press about his troubled famous daughter Demi -- currently seeking treatment for "emotional and physical issues" -- they've been estranged for most of her life.
A source close to the Disney star, 18, tells UsMagazine.com: "It is unfortunate that [Patrick] chose to speak out in the media, because he hasn't played a role in Demi's life for years."
"No one speaks for Demi except for her designated representatives," Lovato's attorney Jamie Young told UsMagazine.com Friday. "Unfortunately, several people have taken it upon themselves to speak out -- both on and off the record – about a situation they know nothing about. Demi and her family appreciate the outpouring of support she has received while she's working to get better."
Now 18, Demi spoke with the New York Daily News in 2009 about her relationship with her dad, noting "we still are" estranged. "The last time I talked to him was two years ago," she said. "You try to have faith in somebody, even when you're the last person that believes in him. But when somebody lets you down after you've been the only one there for them, and so many times, you don't know what else to do."
In the end, the singer-actress explained, "I had to cut off all connection [with Patrick]. It was hurting me too much."