Billy Ray Cyrus is scared for daughter Miley
February 15th, 2011
12:37 PM ET

Billy Ray Cyrus is scared for daughter Miley

In an explosive new interview with the March issue of GQ, Billy Ray Cyrus finally speaks out about troubled daughter Miley, saying the TV series "Hannah Montana" destroyed his family and expressing concern that the teen could go down the path of Kurt Cobain, Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson.

“I’m scared for her,” Cyrus says of Miley, with whom he has had little contact since her bong-smoking video surfaced in December. “She’s got a lot of people around her that’s putting her in a great deal of danger. I know she’s 18, but I still feel like as her daddy I’d like to try to help. Take care of her just a little bit, to at least get her out of danger. I want to get her sheltered from the storm. Stop the insanity just for a minute. When you go through what she’s been through, it takes a beating on you.”

Though Miley has practically made a career out of making headlines — posing in a bedsheet for Vanity Fair, wearing skimpy outfits, pole-dancing on stage and drinking beer at a nightclub in Spain — her father has always taken the blame, mostly because he was told to.

“Every time something happened in Miley’s career, every time the train went off the track, if you will — Vanity Fair, pole-dancing, whatever scandal it was — her people, or as they say in today’s news, her handlers, every time they’d put me… ‘Somebody’s shooting at Miley! Put the old man up there!’ Well, I took it, because I’m her daddy, and that’s what daddies do. ‘OK, nail me to the cross, I’ll take it," he says. “All those people around, they used me every time. It became so obvious that, man, no matter what happens, they’re going to put you up there and let you take the bullet.”

But when Cyrus found out that Miley was celebrating her 18th birthday at a bar, he put his foot down and refused to attend. “It was wrong. It was for 21 years old and up. Once again all them people, they all wanted me to fly out so that then when all the bad press came they could say, ‘Daddy endorsed this stuff.…’ I started realizing I’m being used.”

Not surprisingly, Cyrus says the business has driven a wedge between him and Miley, and he wishes he had done things differently.

“I should have been a better parent. I should have said, ‘Enough is enough — it’s getting dangerous and somebody’s going to get hurt,’” he says. “I should have, but I didn’t. Honestly, I didn’t know the ball was out of bounds until it was way up in the stands somewhere.”

Cyrus said he's seen other celebrities — including Kurt Cobain, Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson — become destroyed by fame and doesn't want the same to happen to his daughter.

“I think that his world was just spinning so fast and he had so many people around him that didn’t help him," he says of Cobain. “Like Anna Nicole Smith — you could see that train wreck coming. I was actually trying to reach out to Anna Nicole Smith, because I kept telling [my wife] Tish and everybody around me, going, ‘This is a disaster.’ Michael Jackson — I was trying to reach out to Michael Jackson."

Now Cyrus is attempting to do the same for his daughter. “You know, it seems at this point there’s not a lot that I can say she doesn’t already know. And of course I’ve sent her the texts of ‘I’m here if you need me,’ ‘Always still love you,’ those kind of things… Who knows? Maybe she knows exactly what she’s doing."

Reflecting on the four years that have passed since “Hannah Montana" premiered, Cyrus — who split from wife Tish last October — now says he wishes the Disney show had never happened.

“It destroyed my family. I’ll tell you right now — the damn show destroyed my family," he says. “I’d take it back in a second. For my family to be here and just be everybody OK, safe and sound, and happy and normal, would have been fantastic. Heck, yeah. I’d erase it all in a second if I could.”

The March issue of GQ hits newsstands on February 22.

soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Michelle

    This is just another example of what Hollywood does to kids. It is sad, you Billy need to pray for your daughter, ask God to bring her back home. You get right with God, go back to your first love in Christ, talk to God, get on your knees and pray fervently for Miley.

    August 10, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
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    August 17, 2012 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
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    March 17, 2012 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. drake bell

    i love you miley

    October 25, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. chris ludden

    Catch all Episodes of Hannah Montana TV Show online. I always use this source for watching all my favorite episodes."

    June 9, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mack K

    How did kids like Justin Timberlake (also a former child Disney star) or Amanda Bynes, or that young girl from True Grit manage to not get in these types of situations? There aren't many kids who make it from child star to unblemished adults but there are a few. Makes you wonder what was different for them that helped keep them level-headed.

    February 19, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mandy

    Mr Cyrus is right. I mean his daughter is headed in a sinful direction and needs to stop. She needs to realize that her change of path is making her loose her And soon her career. What happened to the girl I knew growing up watching the tv who was sweet,nice pretty and sheltered somewhat where at least she dressed and acted age appropriate? Things have gone too far Miley. You need to step back and realize what your doing and what your about to loose if you continue this " fun route" you seem to keep going toward

    February 18, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. Valhallaarwen

    If Miley is out of control, according to Billy Ray, than what is Brittany and Lindsay. As far as I am concerned, she is doing okay. She is not in rehab, a teen mom, or running with a bad crowd. She is doing what most normal teens do. The only thing I think is wrong is that he let her date someone who was too old for her at that age and let the man move in. Other than that, he didn't have her go thru what Drew Barrymore did at 12 (a coke head) who did get help later. Other than that, she is not a bad kid.

    February 17, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. tara mills on facebook

    yes he is now saying oh i fail my daughter. Billy Ray was rakin'in the dough MULTI-MILLION BUCKS$$$$ i am sure she is goin to lose most of it,along wit her PATHETIC self,both are to blame,but him more,let her date a guy what when she was 14 or 15 and dude was 19???but billy let it happen,then when she is 16 it was ok he is 20,clearly this was doom from the start
    the mother should have handle her NOW faltering career,NOT dad,then again both are to blame in my opinon,and i say good for him,loser.

    February 16, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Vic

    Sure he hates the show now, but when he was cashing in all those nice Disney paychecks and enjoying living vicariously through his daughter's success he sure as heck wasn't hating it!


    February 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. golf lady

    He didn't have any problem raking in the money all those years – why not speak up sooner?

    February 16, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Lynn

    Who is the father here? He was right there when she started all this and was proud as punch as she was bringing
    home the money. Please, Billy Ray, you are making yourself sound more stupid then you are.

    February 16, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. cisco27

    Oh, thank God...Billy Ray CYRUS was trying to "reach out to Michael Jackson." Well why the F didn't it work...I'm sure Michael Jackson was just waiting at the phone for life coaching from BILLY RAY CYRUS...

    February 16, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mark F Hill

    Its very hard to have kids in this business, and i am sure he never realized she would become such a big star and all the stuff would happen when he took the job with Disney, most handlers, agents studios don't care anything about the people they employee or work with they just care about the MONEY. Meet Billy Ray a few times and he was a very nice man, as was his father. I wish them all the best.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Terrence Wayne

    I was both saddened and relieved a bit after reading this Marquee Blog about Billy Ray Cyrus's fears and concerns for his daughter Miley. As her friend, I am still a little worried and concerned about Miley (although her recent interview in Marie Claire made me feel a little better as she sounded more like herself), so I can only imagine what Mr. Cyrus was going through for the past couple of years. Whenever a mini-scandal broke out about something Miley did, I was always a little surprised that Mr. Cyrus was OK with it. If anything, I thought he would be upset. I'm relieved to know now that he was and that he acknowledges that he should have been her dad then and not so much her friend. Mr. Cyrus had a fine line to walk, and being the nice guy that he is, he always supported her as a friend. I can't criticize him for that; parents don't have a manual to consult, and certainly what he was going through was hardly typical. For all the kind (and unkind) ribbing the man has had to put up with over the years, I knew he was a nice guy and a good man who loves his family. I don't blame him for regretting the past few years and the toll it took on his family. I don't blame him for being angry, sad, and frustrated with the cost of such sudden success and this new age in which the public's need for incessant information about celebrities has effectively robbed them of any kind of private life. I know Mr. Cyrus is a man who has the strength to get through this, and I hope that he will have some faith in his daughter that she will find her way. Some time has passed since that interview was conducted, so things have probably changed since then, hopefully for the better. I know that Miley does know better than to do some of those things that caused such scandalous stories, and I have told her that her dad may mystify her sometimes, but still he is a great dad. I wish my own father was more emotionally supportive of me, more like Mr. Cyrus, but I have accepted that he won't be the father I wish he was. Now my father is dying in the hospital, and I have to appreciate the time I have left with him. I have to believe, have to have some faith in Miley that she will make (or has already made) things right with her dad, who is due that respect. My message to Miley is "Love your dad and your mom while they are still here on this crazy, mixed-up world. Cherish them and treasure them for as long as you can." My message to Mr. Cyrus is "Don't lose faith in people, no matter how much people can sometimes let you down. There are still a lot of good people out there who aren't interested in knowing what you're doing every minute of every day, but who are genuinely appreciative of what you, your daughter, and your family have contributed to making our world what it is."

    February 16, 2011 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  16. D

    Drew Barrymore is the very small percentage of stars who were able to put their life back together-the majority just go downhill because they don't have any of thier own limits. I don't know about Miley though...

    February 15, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Karen

    Miley is a teenager. She making the same mistakes millions of teenagers make. Its headline news because she's a star. Remember when Drew Barrymore was a teenager? Drew pulled her life back together. Let's hope Miley does also.

    February 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Rock With You Horsegirl

    I used to watch Hannah Montana. I also like some of her music. I don't anymore since she has taken the path like Madonna, and probably even Anna Nicole Smith. My prayers are with her, her role model for kids are LONG over!

    February 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Sandi

    This is pathetic. He only mention his own faults once, yet goes on and on about Disney Inc., Hannah Montana, Miley's people, etc. Miley was a minor this whole time. He had 18 years to do what real fathers should do. Instead, he marries his (third?) baby mama, has more children, drops them off in Hollywood, watches all 3 take marijuana, salvia and cocaine (yes, Trace and Braison have also been pictured with drugs), does absolutely NOTHING and says "Oh my gawsh, I am sooo sorry, ya'll!" after.
    I'm sorry, too, Billy. But running off to Tennessee and blabbing to the press is not going to fix this mess. You led your own family into the quicksand.

    February 15, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • derp

      Anna Nicole Smith? Seriously? Smith was a pole dancer who married a 900 year old zillionaire and then posed nude in Playboy. She OD'd on a pharmacy load of of pills that would have killed an elephant. Exactly what has Miley Cyrus done that is anywhere near that. She did a bong hit, big deal.

      February 16, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  20. Chris

    @Marquee.blogs.cnn, It's amazing to me that anything connected with CNN could be so wrong in such a stupid way: The GQ interview with Billy Ray Cyrus appears in the March issue, but it was conducted in December, before Christmas, which you not only fail to mention, based on what you write, it doesn't even seem that you are aware of that crucial detail which is stated in the GQ article. After the GQ interview, Miley Cyrus and the rest of her family except her two older brothers, including her mother, spent almost two weeks with Billy at his Tennessee farm. So for you to say that Billy Ray "has had little contact [with Miley] since her bong-smoking video surfaced in December" is about as inaccurate as you could get. Spending two weeks together in the same house, way out in the country-side south of Nashville, would sound like a lot of contact to most people, especially since Billy Ray lives in Tennessee and the rest of his family lives in LA. and Miley Cyrus spent most of the last three months filming in New Orleans–except for the holiday break, which she spent with her mom and dad.

    February 15, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Seriously?

    This is a load of bull!! He is trying to cover is own @$$! He expolited his daughter and now he is saying WHOOPS! I don't buy it for a second. It was completely obvious that Miley was being exposed to too much too young and he didn't care because he was getting the fame he never was able to achieve. Again, he is using his daughter and exploiting her personal problems for his own benefit. Shame on you Billy Ray, and you achey breaky heart!

    February 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  22. dfirefox

    As a young adult, you always tend to think you're invincible to the world and been told if you want to make yourself be something – Go Big. Then as you get older, you suddenly realize you're mindset gets warped into one of your parents and you long for the more simple things in life that can't be brought back. Sure, the fame and money are there but there's something about the cliches of enjoying "the simple things in life". I'm sure Miley can go back to that if she want but its not going to be an easy road for her since her father knows how toxic and tempting it is to be in that limelight. It's a shame but I feel bad for him...

    February 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  23. jay

    clearly this is a father who is in pain talking. clearly he gets it now that his daughter is an embarrassment and out of control. i hope people will stop putting him down and help him try to reach his daughter senses and get her out from bad influence or else were just going to see another lindsay lohan trainwreck waiting to happen

    February 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bohee

      I get where you're coming from and I REALLLY hope she doesn't get a huge taotto or like on her neck or face but all her taottos actually have a meaning. If you want I will name them all

      March 17, 2012 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  24. Smithy

    As soon as I saw the Vanity fair photos I knew this would probably be the result. Too much over the top adult exposure for a young mind...

    February 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Francis R.

    It's never too late. Keep reaching out to her. Keep letting her know that you're there if she needs you. That way she won't be come back, knowing she's disappointed you. A child never wants to disappoint their parents but we've all make mistakes and regret them later.

    February 15, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  26. beasterdamas


    There's not much you can do when their hormones are raging...Just pray that she makes it to 23 or so and she'll come back home...Right now she's just "Flying By"...We all know you're a good Dad Man, just always be honest with her and tell her to do the same...Regardless of how painful what she's doing may be to you...



    February 15, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  27. audrey papke

    I'm happy to hear the blame game. It was the show that ruined his marriage, rather than something like infidelity. If it was infidelity, and not the program, he would be entirely to blame.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  28. CallitLikeiSeeit

    Can't start saying unfair when you choose to be a hands off father. Guidance of a child starts at 1 and doesn't stop. Can't begin the process at 18 and hope to be heard. Time you grew up then maybe you will have something to say that helps your daughter.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Timme62

    Disney was an alright boss while the money was still coming in though. The show didn't ruin the family, Cyrus and the wife let the kid rule the roost instead of sitting limits. She's 18 now, little late to try to be a daddy.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  30. MJJJusticeProject

    Billy Ray never the one to let the hot topic of the day (Michael Jackson) get by without insinuating him into his own family dysfunction? The Anne Nicole Smith, Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain references seem slightly off the mark. He should lump his daughter in with the proper group of girls like Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Demi Lovato...etc..

    Furthermore, if the basic foundation of ethics and morality is not taught from an early age then it doesn't take much of an outside influence to set a young immature mind spinning in the wrong direction. They say keep your children grounded but give them wings to fly. Well... Miley is a flying!

    February 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  31. ProperVillain

    Call me crazy but he had to sign off on her being on that TV show, etc as she was a minor. He could have stopped the insanity at any point in time and he chose not to. Sorry bud, there is always the chance that your kid could go off the rails no matter how great of a parent you are but I really do think he didn't keep tight enough reigns on her for a very long time and is now paying the price...

    February 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kira

      une idee9 pour la suite d'hanna montana miley va a l'ecole comme caquhe matin pour annoncer officielement qu'elle est hanna montana a tout ses amis mais tout ne tourne pas elle le voulait car quand elle sort de chez elle elle trouve une lettre provennant d'un inconnu disons qu'il va mettre fin a sa carriere .

      March 14, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  32. viggen

    I'd say that lots of fame is a really bad thing to have during your formative years. I'm honestly not too surprised to see this. But, Billy Ray did let it happen, despite all the evidence of previous train wrecks. I think this guy has an overbearing ego himself: who in the world actually believes they could've "reached out" to Anna Nicole Smith or Michael Jackson?

    February 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Superhiro

    Wow is that a mullet? Someone capture it and put it in a wildlife preserve before it goes extinct.

    February 15, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Hmmm

    Anybody else want to see a Michael Lohan/Billy Ray Cyrus spy/black-ops movie about trying to take down Disney from the inside as a form of revenge for what the company did to their daughters?

    February 15, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Actually

    I'm kinda scared of that hairdo.

    February 15, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |

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