Demi Lovato’s Birth Dad Says That She’s His ‘Partner’

Apparently, rumors that Disney queen Demi Lovato has reunited with her estranged birth father have been greatly exaggerated.

Despite earlier reports that the Sonny With a Chance star had reached out to her birth dad, Patrick Lovato, from the undisclosed rehab facility where she’s currently receiving treatment, her father tells Rumor Fix that it just isn’t so.

In the interview, the elder Lovato admits that he hasn’t seen his troubled daughter since May. He does, however, allow,

“We talk to each other, but we talk to each other privately without other people knowing.”

Painting a chilly portrait of his relationship with his daughter, Patrick—who characterizes himself as “an honest and truthful guy”—says of his interactions with Demi, “You can put it down in one word—partner.” Lovato elaborates,

“That’s something between she and I. She will absolutely always be my partner. Ever since she was a little little girl, she’s always been my partner. She’d sit up next to me and I’d put her in my seatbelt with me, and we’d be driving down the road.”

So why the more recent distance between them? Patrick explains that he’s just been trying to give Demi and her mother, Dianna (whom he divorced in 1994), their space:

“Kids grow, and I’ve been away from the family for so long,  It’s  because of me. I mean, I haven’t been in jail or anything, it’s just that I’ve always tried to leave them [Demi and her mom] the space that they need and I respect them so much that that’s why I’ve stayed away.”

The elder Lovato, 46, emphasizes that his spotty relationship with his daughter isn’t due to any skeletons in his closet. He does say, however, that his ongoing battle with cancer and money woes have made him less inclined to reach out:

“I have been embarrassed of my recent financial situation because of my medical issues. It’s not because I go out and party or anything like that, that would be the last thing, and it’s not because I drink or do drugs. My family always knows where I am so if they wanted to contact me, they could. My phone number and address hasn’t changed, it’s not hard to find me. I’ve been here forever.”

He might not want to hang around waiting for the phone to ring.

News broke that Lovato, 18, had entered rehab for “emotional and physical issues” on November 1, shortly after she dropped out of her tour with the Jonas brothers after reportedly getting into an altercation with a female dancer on the tour. Last week, Lovato issued a Thanksgiving video message to her fan club, thanking her fans for their support, though it was recorded prior to her admission to rehab.

Do you think Patrick Lovato’s sudden reappearance in the media is helping or hurting Demi’s recovery? Render your verdict in the comments section.