Selena Gomez ‘s grandparents reportedly confirm the former Disney star suffers from the auto-immune disease Lupus and worries about former boyfriend Justin Bieber.
Selena Gomez may have hoped her Nepal trip for UNICEF would refocus the media on her charitable work, and away from rumors about her rehab stint and the end of her relationship with Justin Bieber.
But the starlet may need to send that memo to her grandparents.
Ricardo Gomez Sr., the father of Selena’s father Ricardo, has opened up to Radar Online and British magazine Heat about his worries and fears for the little girl he and his wife Mary “raised” until she was “about three or four years” while his son and Selena’s mother Mandy Teefy — then just 16 and 15 — worked.
After watching the precocious younger Selena advance through auditions and talent shows to getting cast on Barney & Friends at the age of 10, and getting her big break on Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place at 13, her grandfather is reportedly concerned about the change he sees in Selena and the pressures she is under.
As previously reported, Selena canceled the Australian and Asian dates on her “Stars Dance Tour” last December, while citing her need to take time out to be “the best person” she could be.
Then on January 5, the 21-year-old checked into a rehab facility in Arizona.
A month later, Gomez’s rep publicly stated Selena’s rehab stay wasn’t for substance abuse.
However, that was challenged by reports from TMZ, Radar Online and others all alleging the actress-singer has/had a problem with alcohol and Ambien, a sedative used to treat insomnia in the short-term.
Of this Ricardo Sr. told Heat:
“She was working a lot. She was exhausted. She hardly takes some time out. There was some pressure, first because it’s a lot of work.”
He went on to say, “The doctor was telling her she needs to take some time out. It’s just too much pressure what she’s going through. It’s just too much! She doesn’t have a single day’s break… It’s getting to the point with all this pressure… that it’s too much.”
In addition to rumors alleging the “Come & Get It” singer has substance abuse issues, E! News previously reported sources said Selena’s rebab stint was to help her with “tools on how to deal with Justin and letting go of that relationship.”
Ricardo Sr. confides to Heat, “We just saw in some newspaper that she was doing drugs. I called her and said, [you] need to watch out.”
He recalls Selena insisted all was well.
“She said, ‘No, you know better than that, Pap,'” he said.
Adding that Selena “was worried about lot about Justin,” Ricardo elaborated:
“She was telling us that she didn’t want to be with him because of what he was doing, that he was getting into drugs and it was something she doesn’t like. They still go out. We worry, not just because of their relationship –- we hate to see him in trouble.”
The up and downs in Bieber and Gomez’s relationship have been widely reported over their three-year relationship – and more recently – when the pair were spotted together in Texas, Miami, Coachella, and Hollywood.
However, that rekindling imploded after Justin and Selena spent time with Kylie and Kendall Jenner at Coachella, with Gomez unfollowing the sisters on Instagram then everyone else — amid rumors of Bieber’s flirting with the girls.
But Ricardo Sr. seems to have continuing affection for Justin.
“It’s got out of his hands, he can’t understand all that so quickly,” he tells Heat. “He’s just at this age, everything he does is about having fun – he doesn’t think of the consequences.”
These new interviews appear to have been given after Selena recent Instagram declarations of “Taking my power back” and criticisms of Justin’s liking for models, but according to her grandfather the former sweethearts are in touch despite these dramas.
Revealingly, he told the UK magazine: “The agents say it is good for her to be next to him, keep him out of the bad habits.”
“They say she has been a positive influence on him. She’s doing all she can to get him on track.”
Ricardo puts Bieber’s negative headlines and incident-prone life down to those around him.
He insists the boy who used to visit with Selena, “was just a nice little fella. Totally different from what he is right now… It just makes me feel upset because he used to be a real nice boy.”
He went on to say: “We [have known] him since he started and he was the real bright young man.”
Later, he adds, “Lately we are upset about his behavior. He’s been getting into trouble lately a lot. I really don’t know why. We blame it on the people they hang around with, his friends are bad influences.”
Referring to Bieber’s January DUI arrest, Ricardo describes it as “just a shock,” and says, “He went out of his head with the people who are surrounding him.”
But, even though Ricardo and Mary “worry,” it seems they still think Justin and Selena could have a chance together.
“I think she loves him,” he says. “We’d be happy [if Justin proposed] because she’s happy with him. “
“She knows that whatever she decides to do. I mean we stay behind her.”
“We love her and we like Justin,” Ricardo explains. “Because like we say we know him from the beginning and we always thought it was a good couple, a real bright couple — and they were an example for most.
“They were always in the news, everywhere had them as an example,” he adds, seemingly wistfully.
(Photo: Bieber and Gomez, back in the day.)
The family member also reportedly confirmed Gomez was diagnosed with the Lupus, “a couple of years ago.”
“She’s in treatment,” Ricardo allegedly said of the starlet’s autoimmune disease. “She’s getting along pretty good.”
He added, “What worries [us] more,” he says, “is that she doesn’t know how to say no. She won’t take time for herself to relax, to eat well.”
Then, sounding every inch like a doting grandfather, he said:
“When she’s going to come by the area [Grand [Prairie, Texas], she will just call us and say ‘grandma, I’m going to be by Saturday so make me some tamales. One evening she will eat with us and then go back.”
But Ricardo says those visits are now far and few between and he continues to worry about Selena.
[Images via Mail Online.]