A controversy had erupted over the photo of the 15-year-old teen superstar Miley Cyrus (better known as Hannah Montana):
One photo shows Cyrus topless but clutching a sheet to her chest, her bare back exposed, looking toward the camera over one shoulder.
A caption alongside the photo reads: "Um, was Cyrus -- or Disney -- at all anxious about this shot?" It then quotes Cyrus as saying: "No, I mean I had a blanket on. And I thought, 'This looks pretty, and really natural.' I think it's really artsy."
The photos were taken by Annie Leibovitz, a renowned photographer known for her portraits of celebrities.
The magazine refers to the "topless but demure portrait" as Leibovitz's idea and quotes Cyrus as saying, "It wasn't in a skanky way ... And you can't say no to Annie. She's so cute. She gets this puppy dog look and you're like, 'O.K.'"
A Disney Channel spokesman, Patti McTeague, said in a statement on Sunday that the photos were meant to sell magazines.
"Unfortunately, as the article suggests, a situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines," her statement said.
My respect for Annie Leibovitz, an accomplished photographer known for her portraits of celebrities, had just gone to zero. I've never had any respect for Vanity Fair. Ugh.