(CNN) -- Teen superstar Miley Cyrus -- better known as Hannah Montana -- apologized Sunday after Vanity Fair magazine published provocative photos of her.
"I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed," Cyrus said in a statement her publicist released. "I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans, who I care so deeply about."
The 15-year-old Cyrus, daughter of country music star Billy Ray Cyrus, stars as an ordinary teenager with a double life as a rock star on the Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana." The channel says "Hannah Montana" is the top-rated cable television show for children aged 6 to 14, reaching more than 164 million viewers around the world.
Cyrus completed a 70-date tour this year that sold out venues nationwide, starred in a movie that ranked number one in February and saw two albums rocket toward the top of the charts.
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.