Image Credit: Dave Hogan/Getty ImagesIt’s a Disney story without a happy ending: In the latest issue of GQ, Billy Ray Cyrus says that the fourth and final season of Hannah Montana, the show that made his daughter Miley a superstar, was “a disaster.”
“I was going to work every single day knowing that my family had fallen apart, but yet I had to sit in front of that camera,” he tells the magazine. “The damn show destroyed my family. And I sit there and go, ‘Yeah, you know what? Some gave all.’ It is my motto, and guess what? I have to eat that one. I some-gave-all’d it all right. I some-gave-all’d it while everybody else was going to the bank. It’s all sad.”
As for his daughter, he says, “I’m scared for her. 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.”
“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…”
“How many interviews did I give and say, ‘You know what’s important between me and Miley is I try to be a friend to my kids’? I said it a lot. And sometimes I would even read other parents might say, ‘You don’t need to be a friend, you need to be a parent.’ Well, I’m the first guy to say to them right now: You were right. 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.’ 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.”
In an odd addendum, he compares his daughter’s struggles in the spotlight to those of the late Kurt Cobain, with whom he had an unlikely friendship in the early ’90s: “He was one of those guys that became a friend to me that I never expected. We met at a venue one night and I was standing in the shadows, 1 a.m. in the morning, and he’s ‘Hey man, congratulations — you pissed the whole world off.’ We shook hands, and I said, ‘Thanks, man… I love what you all do.'” He says that the pair bonded over their young daughters, and that Cobain was one of the few not to ostracize him at an awards ceremony during his “Achy Breaky” days.
In the end, says Cyrus, he would trade all his family’s success to regain their happiness: “I hate to say it, but yes, I do. Yeah. I’d take it back in a second,” Cyrus says. “For my family to be here and just be everybody okay, 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 Disney Channel declined to comment on Billy Ray Cyrus’s quotes, and Miley Cyrus’s reps did not immediately respond to calls.