Billy Ray Cyrus: Disney's 'Hannah Montana' 'Destroyed' My Family
He says that "damn" series tainted his relationship with his teen daughter; wishes he could "erase it all in a second"; compares his daughter to "train wreck" Anna Nicole Smith.
In a shockingly candid GQ interview, Billy Ray Cyrus slams Hannah Montana, the smash Disney series that catapulted his daughter Miley Cyrus to the spotlight.
"It destroyed my family," says Cyrus, who split from wife Tish last year and says he is no longer speaking with his 18-year-old daughter. "I'll tell you right now -- the damn show destroyed my family ... it's all sad."
As for his daughter's scandal-ridden career, Cyrus claims he never was able to "have a voice" and always took blame for her various controversies.
"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. 'Okay, nail me to the cross, I'll take it....' "
That's why he skipped her 18th birthday party last December (a video later surfaced online showing Cyrus smoking salvia). "You know why I didn't go? Because they were having it in a bar. It was wrong," her father tells GQ. "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. If I would have went out there I would have been right in the middle of all this stuff that's going on right now with the bong. They'd be hanging it on my ass. I had the common sense... I said, 'This whole thing's falling apart up there and they just want to blame all of this stuff on you again.' I'm staying out of it."
He says he isn't on regular speaking terms with his daughter. "You know, it seems at this point there's not a lot that I can say she doesn't already know," he says. "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."
He says her "handlers are perhaps more interested in handling Miley's money than her safety and her career." And he's "scared" for his daughter. "She's got a lot of people around her that's putting her in a great deal of danger," he says.
In the interview, he puts his daughter in the same category as Kurt Cobain, Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson. "That's why I'm concerned about Miley," he says. Referring to Cobain, he adds, "I think that his world was just spinning so fast and he had so many people around him that didn't help him."