In October 2010, Demi Lovato withdrew from the Jonas Brothers Live in Concert tour to enter a rehab treatment facility for "physical and emotional issues." She left the center in January 2011 and has since dedicated her career to serving as a role model for fans.
Many pop stars in her position have happily declared that they're not "role models" despite having thousands of young fans. In a new interview in the Nov. 15 print issue of Entertainment Weekly, Lovato, 21, talks about why she refuses to think that way.
"I used to say that too," she admitted to the publication. "That was my excuse to do whatever the f*** I wanted and not give a s*** about what other people thought. Then I ended up going through some stuff. I realized I'm never going to escape the fact that I'm in the public eye, so I might as well do the best I can."
Though many former Disney stars have fallen off the wagon, Lovato's story is unique because she was the first to do so while still on the children's network. In addition to working closely with Disney boy band The Jonas Brothers both on tour and in the films Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, Lovato was starring the channel's show Sonny With a Chance when she went into rehab.
"When I was in treatment, I honestly thought my career was over," she said. "But when I came out of treatment, I had more supportive fans than ever."
And though her book of daily affirmations, Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year, hits stands on Nov. 19, the "Heart Attack" singer has already signed on to write a tell-all memoir.
"I'm battling with internal thoughts on how honest I should be," the X Factor judge said. "Yes, I've been very honest, but if people really knew how dark and deep my struggles got -- not just with my eating disorder but with drugs and alcohol -- they'd be really shocked. But I'll most likely end up saying everything. Maybe it'll help other people in the industry who are headed down the wrong path."
And though she says she's not in the position to give her celebrity peers advice, she's often been asked about new-found wild child and fellow Disney vet Miley Cyrus.
"She's having fun and figuring out who she is, and this is the age when that happens," she mused. "I think that… [long pause and a smile] she's doing her own thing. Good for her."