Hit show Hannah Montana has a huge teenage fanbase in the US
Miley Cyrus, star of Disney's Hannah Montana, has apologised over photos of the teen star which are due to be published in Vanity Fair magazine.
Cyrus, 15-year-old daughter of singer Billy Ray, said she was embarrassed by the Annie Leibovitz photos.
"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."
"I apologise to my fans who I care so deeply about," she said in a statement.
In the images Cyrus, who said she was "thrilled" to work with celebrity photographer Leobovitz, appears wrapped in a blanket, apparently topless.
The Disney Channel, which airs hit show Hannah Montana, accused the magazine of trying to manipulate the young star.
"A situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines," said a statement released by Disney.
But in a statement to US TV show Entertainment Tonight, Vanity Fair defended itself.
"Miley's parents and/or minders were on the set all day," it said.
"Since the photo was taken digitally, they saw it on the shoot and everyone thought it was a beautiful and natural portrait of Miley."
Cyrus has also apologised over a second set of photos currently circulating on the internet.
The images show Cyrus draped over the lap of a former boyfriend, while another shows her revealing part of a green bra.
"I appreciate all the support of my fans, and hope they understand that along the way I am going to make mistakes and I am not perfect," she said.
"Most of all, I have let myself down. I will learn from my mistakes and trust my support team. My family and my faith will guide me through my life's journey."
The Disney show sees Cyrus playing a girl who leads a double life as a teenager and a pop star. A film version, Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds, topped the US box office in February.
Leibovitz is best-known for her images of a naked John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono, and the 1991 shot of then-pregnant actress Demi Moore.