March 7, 2011 / 7:14 PM / in 8 years

Demi Lovato thanks fans during "darkest time"

Cast member Demi Lovato poses at the premiere of "Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience" at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, California February 24, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Disney Channel teen star Demi Lovato on Monday issued her first message to fans since leaving rehab in January, thanking them for their support in what she called “the darkest time of my life.”

The 18 year-old singer and actress abruptly pulled out of a concert tour in November to enter rehab for emotional and physical issues. Her spokeswoman at the time said the “Sonny with a Chance” star had fought eating disorders and had struggled with cutting in the past.

“Your support is what got me through this,” Lovato said in a video message posted on, thanking her fans for their mail and Twitter messages.

Lovato described the last few months as a “very, very difficult” journey in which she had been dealing with issues that confront all girls and young women.

“I can’t tell you how much light you guys brought into my life, and probably the darkest time of my life,” she said, but did not go into detail.

Lovato said she was “excited to get back to work” and start meeting her young fans again, but it was not clear when she might return to television.

Disney Channel has revamped “Sonny with a Chance” in her absence to focus on other members of the cast, and will start airing new episodes under the “So Random” title this spring.

“Demi’s management will inform us when she is ready to return to work,” a Disney Channel spokeswoman said on Monday.

Lovato got her break as the star of the 2008 Disney Channel movie “Camp Rock” and has since released two hit albums. She dated teen heart-throb Joe Jonas in 2010 and was on tour with the Jonas Brothers before pulling out and going into rehab for three months.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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