Billy Ray Cyrus’s Mullet speaks: “Hannah Montana destroyed my family”


The Mullet Speaketh. To GQ. Billy Ray Cyrus has given his first big post-split interview after the drama with his estranged wife Tish (and perhaps Bret Michaels). I honestly have a twinge of sympathy for The Mullet. I think he got cuckolded (I’m trying to bring back old-timey terminology), and I think the pain of it still stings. Anyway, the interview takes place in The Mullet’s old, rambling Tennessee home, where The Mullet has been living alone, post-split. He doesn’t even want to turn the lights on for guests. It’s a surprisingly good read! The full piece is here, and here are the highlights:

The Mullet is nostalgic: “My kids learned to color on this table. There’s been a lot that’s went around this table. Waylon Jennings sat right there in that chair and showed Miley the chords to ‘Good Hearted Woman.’ Sitting in that chair. This table’s a bit like life. It’s a circle. And I believe everything in life is a circle. You come into this world a little teeny wrinkled-up fetus…”

The Mullet on Miley-money rumors: “I’m proud to say to this day I’ve never made one commissioned dollar, or dime, off of my daughter.”

Battling against Miley‘s controversies: “Every time something happened in Miley’s career, every time the train went off the track, if you will—Vanity Fair,2 pole-dancing,3 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….’ 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

Why he chose not to attend her 18th birthday party: “Because they were having it in a bar. It was wrong. It was for 21 year olds 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.…’ 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.”

On David Lynch: “Were it not for David Lynch,” Cyrus asserts, “Miley would never have been Hannah Montana.” The most wildly incongruent item in Billy Ray Cyrus’s CV is his appearance in David Lynch’s 2001 movie Mulholland Dr. Cyrus is smart enough to know that to a certain kind of audience this will count firmly in his favor, and has likewise learned that a sound bite like “were it not for David Lynch…” will always get quoted in an interview like this. (The slightly tenuous reasoning: If not for Lynch’s leg up, Cyrus might not have spent four years in Toronto starring in the uplifting, moral TV medical drama Doc, in which his daughter Miley would get early opportunities to guest-star…and so on.)

On Hannah Montana: Still, the acting role for which he is now most famous is as a teenage pop star’s father, a part he says he only took to support his daughter. “I knew I was working for peanuts. I’m not the smartest man in the world, but I know the difference. I went from $12,000 a week to, after four years and the millions that they make, $15,000 a week. Hell, yeah.”

After the first two seasons he felt things changing. “The business was driving a wedge between us,” he says. He tells me that he has never been able to discipline his kids and that he now wonders whether that was a mistake. “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.”

On the Mullet: “It started way before me,” he points out. “David Bowie rocked a heck of a mullet long before I did.” Cyrus’s contribution, if that is the word, was to popularize the extreme version where the hair clipped short at the front and the hair cascading past the back of the neck seem to belong to two entirely separate hairstyles. “I read that I have the distinct honor of creating the Kentucky Waterfall,” he notes. “I think that’s a pretty good name for it. Though I do love the Missouri Compromise.”

On trying to help Miley through her controversies: “You know what, there’s no doubt I did stuff when I was a teenager that I’m sure could have turned out horribly,” he agrees. “I’ve done some stupid crap—I do stupid crap. We all do. But it’s different when you sit back and you see it happening to your little girl. I feel like I got to try. It’s my daughter. And some of these handlers are perhaps more interested in handling Miley’s money than her safety and her career.”

On Hannah Montana’s impact on his family: “Oh, it’s huge—it destroyed my family. I’ll tell you right now—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.”

Wishing it had never happened: “I hate to say it, but yes, I do. Yeah. I’d take it back in a second. 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.”

[From GQ]

The Mullet even has a Kurt Cobain story – it’s a sweet one that made me like Kurt Cobain more. He compares Miley to Kurt – thankfully not musically. He compares her to Kurt in the “everybody can see the train wreck” way. He’s very grandiose, the Mullet. He also talks about God and Jesus and the Devil and God’s Way, and there’s some New Age stuff thrown in too – I don’t think he has a God Complex, I just think he considers himself a man of faith, and his convoluted understanding of his faith has lead him to do strange things. But this was seriously not the interview I was expecting – it’s interesting to think The Mullet is in a position to disavow the Disney machine that has made his daughter a millionaire hundreds of times over.


Header photo courtesy of GQ. Additional pic by WENN.

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105 Responses to “Billy Ray Cyrus’s Mullet speaks: “Hannah Montana destroyed my family””

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  1. devilgirl says:

    Hmmm, this interview made me sort of like him, and that scares me.

  2. Jen says:

    I was completely prepared to trash BRC until I read the excerpts. Either he’s the best actor (not likely) or he now realizes what so many other people saw a long time ago.

    Guess we’ll see if he’s sincere or not – there’s still Noah who, last we checked, was dressed like a hooker for halloween.

    Go get her, Billy.

  3. brin says:

    He would have more credibility if he wasn’t in the business himself. Sorry, he can’t blame all this on Disney.

  4. Rosanna says:

    Poor man! I feel for him!

  5. boohoo says:

    i know it’s peanuts in the entertainment biz, but 15,000 bucks a week (to say a dozen lines in a shitty sit com) is a sweet deal that makes him better off and luckier than 99% of people in the world.

  6. Sarah says:

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Billy Ray. After reading this, I like him even more.

  7. annaloo says:

    I agree with Brin– there comes a choice of every parent of whether or not to put their child in the business or not. The Cyruses chose, for lack of a better term to sell out to the devil in this case and he came back for payment. We have seen little Noah grinding on a pole and dirty dancing to “Smack Dat”.. are we going to blame Hannah Montana for that?

    There are many show-business families who purposefully choose to keep their children out of the spotlight. I feel terrible that Billy Ray learned this lesson at the expense of his family. This interview is sad, and is of a man maybe realizing his mistakes…but it isn’t the end of the world. I hope he realizes that and that the Cyruses do not become further fractured in the future.

  8. flourpot says:

    Red bull? Taco Party Pack? Condiments, Cereal and is that garlic? Kick in those rolled up sleeves and those dark circles and you’ve got one pathetic photo. For a GQ photo shoot? … i don’t get it.

  9. Rita says:

    A very good interview. His pointing to the chair where Waylon sat was particularly moving. All in all he still seems to have a hold on himself. Looks in the mirror with some regret because things went wrong but it also means he sincerely loved and loves his family.

    Let’s remember that Miley hasn’t really done much but give us the “impression” that she’s a train wreck in training. Time will tell and for the mullet, reflection is a good thing.

  10. Marjalane says:

    I have a lot of sympathy for him on this- It’s easy to see how the “machine” could steamroll anything in it’s way. Yeah, he should have been firmer in telling the handlers to get bent, but I doubt if Tish, (God, that name makes me shudder) ever said no to anything that involved money or attention. Look how she’s pimping out the younger one now! I think he’s a parent that in hindsight, regrets not doing things differently. I see a long road of ugliness ahead for Miley; She doesn’t have the talent to withstand time.

  11. gabs says:

    Well, at least hes not like dina lohan still making excuses for her kid and acting entitled. He seems to genuinely regret letting miley become famous and his poor parenting. Idk, im usually a cynic but this sounds sincere like he realizes what its done to her and yeah, like kurt cobain, we can see the trainwreck coming for sure. Hopefully he can reach out to her b4 then but..not likely

  12. mln76 says:

    Oh wow I actually-gulp-agree with him and like him for speaking up. The Disney machine takes these little girls and destroys their psyches. Christina, Britney, and Selena, all have that in common and it isn’t right. I read somewhere that the first thing Disney does with these kids it marginalize the parents. Kid friendly my ass.

  13. LesliPaige says:


  14. eja102 says:

    I’m all for Lucky Charms.

    I would rather this interview be about what he plans to change, how he’s grown and how he will strive to rectify his mistakes.

    edit: he’s still selling out. Even as he disavows Disney, he is making money off it.

  15. dorothy says:

    Kids in show business….it just never leads to a normal life. Are you listening Wil and Jada Smith?

  16. Schnauzers!!!! says:

    I wish I got paid his “peanut pay”…

  17. serena says:

    Well I’m on his side, and I don’t get why ALL of his and Tish children are on her side, leaving him all alone. Wtf. I just don’t get it.
    Did she brain-washed them? Or maybe she just let them do whatever they want.. I don’t know. But surely I pity him.

  18. NayNay says:

    Oh cry me a River Bill Ray. You loved every second of sponging off your daughter. Maybe if you didn’t push your daughter into the spot light, you wouldn’t have destroyed your family. Hannah Montana didn’t destroy your family, your selfishness did. Get over it! Too little, too late!

  19. devilgirl says:

    That Taco Bell box has me hungry! Sorry, I am white trash that way! Love me some nasty Taco Bell.

  20. Delta Juliet says:

    There’s all that shit on the counter but the cupboards are empty? Weird.

  21. Quest says:

    It’s a genuine reflection of a concerned parent seeing where their child may be heading. I like him for that but it was all good when Miley was raking in the Montana dough.

    I give him props for the road he is taking and acknowledging the wrongs, unlike other parents (Lohans) who are feeding the negative behaviour of their offspring rather than trying to foster positive ones.

  22. texasmom says:

    Hannah Montana didn’t destroy that family, irresponsible parents did. The world is full of stuff you have to protect your children from — in this case, the threat was holding a big-ass checkbook.

  23. Someone Else says:

    Well, at least one of them has finally woken up.

    Sadly, I think even if he did try to intervene with Noah, Tish would block it like a wall.

    I just hope he doesn’t become the next Michael Lohan. (shudder)

    His Alsatian (the shepherd) is gorgeous.

  24. EdithP says:

    Isn’t he still Miley’s parent? Doesn’t he have other kids at home? Don’t just throw your hands up and say “Disney made me do it”, Billy, go be a parent, not a friend.

  25. Wif says:

    “but 15,000 bucks a week (to say a dozen lines in a shitty sit com) is a sweet deal that makes him better off and luckier than 99% of people in the world.”

    Not a good enough deal to sell out your family.

  26. devilgirl says:

    I don’t think he is saying that Disney is at fault. I think he is saying, and I may be wrong, that his poor parenting led him to be okay with the Disney machine, and that those decisions ruined his family.

    I may be reading things differently than everyone else on here, but I think he is owning up to his part in the shambles that his family is in.

    As for why he doesn’t step in now and do something, I read that Trish pretty much has the hold on the kids, and she is the one who is now calling the shots. She is a Mini Dina Lohan in the making.

    For the record, I am no Cyrus fan, nor apologist, I just like the fact that he can own up to his part in the way Miley is.

  27. Riley says:

    I think this is probably the strangest interview I have ever read. He sounds as if he realizes Miley’s life is off the rails but he does not know how to stop the train (to use a metaphor he may use). He sounds like he has given up on ever being a father to his daughter because “the handlers” have a hold of her. Let me see if I can put this in terms Daddy can understand: First all, Miley ain’t done nuthin’ that she can’t repair. Her life ain’t over and there is plenty of time for her to be a successful, happy, adult. It ain’t like she done pulled a Britney or somethin’ like that. She ain’t shaved her head. Hell, it ain’t like she is a Lindsay either. She ain’t stole nuthin’ except maybe a pack of candy cigarettes from the local Food Lion. So, Daddy, stop the pitty party and be a man. Hell, be a daddy to your little girl. There is still time…

  28. Jayna says:

    I think the divorce is hitting him hard. A family breaking up and a child still at home is hard to leave. I’m glad to admit he has regrets. She has a lot of money and that does mean his daughter will have a lot of yes people. But we’ve all done things at 18, spreading our wings, and turned out okay. She seems to have her head on her shoulders more than most, save that new, large God awful tattoo. of course, mom has a bunch, too, and probably so does he.

  29. Majosha says:

    LMAO at the “Missouri Compromise”! That and my love for tacos almost makes up for the fact that this wannabe dropped the great Waylon’s name. Almost.

  30. Isabel says:

    He’s not blaming it all on Disney. He’s blaming himself as well. Very clearly, in fact.

    Aw, now I want to give Billy a hug.

  31. Hater from Siloam Springs says:

    Compare/contrast to Mama Lohan.

    Pros: Mullet (I think) realises he lost everything that really meant anything to him someplace along the way.

    Cons: I also think he thinks the money would have made it better. Doofus.

  32. Granger says:

    I am seriously insulted by his reference to $15,000 a week as “peanuts.” That’s nearly $400,000 for just half a year’s work.

    I know what he’s trying to say — that in show biz, where everyone else was making millions off his kid, his salary paled in comparison… But “peanuts” is still a really tacky, thoughtless and callous way of expressing it.

  33. kelbear says:

    Um, is he stupid? Hannah Montana is the ONLY reason Miley is/was popular in any way.

  34. MarkyMark says:

    I never thought much about any of the “Miley” stuff, but I do feel bad for him. A lot of money & egos were involved in this & of course you always need someone to throw under the bus.
    As far as his wife “Tish”–She’s simply another Lynne Spears. HAG!

  35. Cherry Rose says:

    Sorry, but Billy didn’t exactly make anything better by being a friend to Miley instead of being a parent. That was his biggest mistake right there.

    If I was Billy, I’d be getting concerned about Noah. Tish seems to have no qualms about pimping out Noah, and let’s her dress and do what she pleases.

    Learn from Miley, don’t let the same things happen to Noah.


  36. sapphire says:

    I hate, hate, hate to admit that I developed a tiny bit of respect for the guy after reading this-. Yes, monday-morning quarterbacking in the worst way, but the guy admitted fault. And I remember listening to his “My kids are my friends” interview and the interviewer (Maybe Glenn Beck?) telling him to get a clue.

    Of course the kids go with Tish-she says “yes” to anything.

  37. Praise St. Angie! says:

    yeah, I also don’t get the impression that he’s pushing the blame on Disney; I think he fully recognizes that he was part of the problem.

    as for Tish moving onto the next kid to pimp out, I honestly don’t think that they have a chance with Noah. I think it’ll be like Dina Lohan with Ali…Tish will try, REALLY HARD, to make Noah’s fame happen, but the public will reject her.

  38. Sara says:

    Remember when Miley first started Hannah Montana? Billy Ray was all like, “She’s not going to end up like Briteny Spears”. I read that and thought Miley probably would end up a lot like Spears. Because of that I think he knew what he was getting into. I think he messed up.

    I do give him props for admitting it though.

  39. di butler says:

    I’ve said this before here, but I’ve spent time with both Papa and Miley at a charity event. Truly, I know ya’ll love to hate on them, but they have to be some of the most upfront showbiz people I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a few. Very down to Earth, nice, people. I think everything just blew up on BR, he could see things happening he didn’t like, but didn’t do what now, in reflection, he should have. Love them or hate them, they both will readily admit their mistakes, a practically unheard of occurrence in H’wood.

  40. lucy2 says:

    At least he seems to take some responsibility, better than Lohans. Of course, compared to Lohans, even rabid wolves would seem like good parents.

  41. Rose says:

    EdithP@ Miley is 18 and rich enough to live on her own and do whatever she what’s it to last to start parenting when your kids 18 the only think he can do now is try guide her in the right direction and do things differently with his youngest daughter . My friend’s mother let her 17 year old sister do whatever she wanted come home whenever and she end up pregnant, and only then did her mom what to start acting like a parent and giving rule but it was a little too late for that. My friend’s sister was 17 with a baby out of control and was not going to start listening to her mother after 17 years of doing what she wanted.

  42. carrie says:

    come on! he’s afraid to lose his meal ticket and i don’t know a kid actor who didn’t destroyed his life by Hollywood except maybe Dicaprio(and again he’s all business,he’s not married and he lives as a teenager)

  43. JustBe says:

    I appreciate him being honest enough to admit his mistakes. Especially about something so personal as child-rearing. I think one reason that there was such a firestorm surrounding Amy Chua (Tiger Mother) is that so many parents (especially moms) chafe at the thought or suggestion of a possible parental mistake.

    But, I have to agree with the other posters that in the interview he seems to be throwing his hands up as if to say that he’s powerless right now. He’s still their dad and I think that, despite the possible negative influence from the mom and the professional handlers, his kids would still value and need his input in their lives. He could have gone to that party and acted as a parent. If he saw underage/inappropriate drinking, he could have put a stop to it. He can still perform his role as a model for his children. He can’t just be worried about the possible fallout for his own public image. He is still their father, he is still responsible for acting like one.

    His cautionary tale (although unfinished) should be a red flag for any parent that may be considering exposing their children to showbiz. Of course every child desires a certain amount of fame as a singer or actor or whatever, but it seems like 90% of the time, the cost (childhood) is just too damn high. I know that there are examples of child actors who have made the transition to adulthood without a lot of scars, but they still seem like they have grown up too fast. There not drinking/drugging, but they don’t necessarily have the level of creativity and imagination that one associates with youth either.

    When I was a kid, I wanted to be a famous singer. I got with some of the kids on my block and we fashioned ourselves into a singing group (playing out of a garage). But, it was a kid’s fantasy that was fun to imagine/play out and it seems like for most kids, that’s the level where it should stay.


  44. REALIST says:

    Hmmm-I admire his candor, but all is not lost..
    His daughter has made some missteps, but overall, she seems like a good kid and he should be thankful for that. When I look at my life, which is pretty screwed up at the moment-grad school, finances, fear of being jobless and alone-I always come back to the fact that my boys are growing up to be thoughtful, compassionate little men. I also think about how much I value their love in my life.
    Miley seems pretty level headed (love her with the Ewok puppy!), so B.R. should just take that ball and run with it. If he is a positive, loving, supportive dad, she’ll be just fine.

  45. Fire says:

    peanuts = $780,000 a year
    color me an elephant any day of the week

  46. Gwen says:

    A very honest interview. Wow.

  47. mymy says:

    I feel he hasn’t fully seen the impact of his decisions. From the looks of it Tish subscribes to the same parenting philosophy. Only she tries to look as young as her child also. One big problem I see is parents not aging gracefully.
    Trying to be hip and cool long after it is needed or wanted by children.
    Witness Lyndsey’s mother Dina.
    I think he is on the right track mentally as painful as it might be. I feel he will have little impact on Miley at this point. And I think he knows it. I applaud him for not going to her 18 birthday party. I would sue the handlers around her for allowing it.
    Fight the power Billy.

  48. Rosalita says:

    The show ruined his family or did the lack of involvelment ruin his family. Take a little responsibility here. If you can see that something is destroying your family – your daughter, why as a parent or husband, would you contine with it? She was under 18 – pull in the reigns. He sure wasn’t hating on Hannah Montana three years ago…

  49. OXA says:

    As a parent he signed the contracts and cashed the fat checks. All as he allowed his daughter to associate with the people he now blames for destroying his family.
    Duh Daddy did this to her.

  50. l says:

    In my opinion, He is not saying $15,000 a week is peanuts, money wise.

    He is saying that in the big picture of Disney/Hannah Montana, they make MILLIONS each week and that he can’t believe he sold out his marriage/family/life for 15,000 a week, which to give up everything truly of value, for that, IS peanuts.

    That’s how I interpreted it.

  51. Bodhi says:

    I’m pretty sure the crap food on the counter & the empty cupboards is meant to emphasize his new status as a single dad. (I love what I can see of that kitchen!)

    I’ve always rather like BRC & this interview just cemented it. I think he is totally owning up to his parenting mistakes & not blaming everything on the Disney Machine. Yeah, he made some bad choices as far as his kids go, but at least he admits them, which makes him a worlds better parent that his soon-to-be ex wife & the Lohan-like status she appears to be striving for.

    And ditto Praise: I think Tish will try to push Noah, but that it will never work…

  52. renai(jrt) says:

    his hair is more of a mohawk grown out.

    money and greed is the root to all evil and the fact that he even mentions it says a lot

  53. Ari says:

    @ I – #49 – I agree

  54. j says:

    Have you seen his adopted son, Trace? Look him up and tell me that he didn’t see all the warning signs with Miley’s older brother. A part of me feels bad for BR but another part of me just says that he is doing damage control.

  55. normades says:

    yeah cry me a river Mullet

  56. TG says:

    Kaiser – cuckold is a great word. I have been obsessing over regency romances by georgette heyer and mary balogh from england and wales and I love the language: cuckolded, set downs, betrothed, dunning, ect.

    Yes I feel bad for billy ray sounds like he has a brat and a tart for a daughter. wish dina lohan would read this interview.

  57. Mia says:

    I don’t have an ounce of sympathy for Billy Ray. He was in the business & if memory serves, it almost destroyed him. He & Tish made the decision to bring their kids into the business. He & Tish made the decision to be their kids’ friends, instead of their parents. So explain to me…why is he coming forth now?

    As others have said, he can still be a strong influence in his kids’ lives. What’s stopping him? Yes, Miley has made some mistakes, but that’s a part of growing up. She’s nowhere near the level of messed up that is Lindsay Lohan. It really does feel like damage control for any potential badness Miley might wreck upon the world.

  58. LittleFATMe says:

    That is a lot of product placement!

  59. MSat says:

    I have said it a million times. Kids and teens don’t need you to be their “friend.” They already have lots of friends. What they need are consistent boundaries and cold hard consequences. But here’s the good news. It’s not too late for BR to be the father he should have been all along. She’s 18, but that doesn’t mean Miley doesn’t need her father anymore. Damage has been done – no doubt about it. But if he hangs in there and fights, he could be the one thing that saves her from the crash and burn in her future.

  60. malachais says:

    I think its pretty admirable to see that Billy Ray is still living in the same home where his kids were raised, it just comes to show Trish is money-hungry and was more interested in using Miley as a money machine. I think his interview was very interesting and I’m glad he didn’t point fingers at anyone specifically while admitting his own mistakes.

  61. Alice says:

    I also regret his decision to allow his daughter to be Hannah Montana. Not so much for her welfare and the fact that she is clearly on a road to self-destruct, but because those of us who like to read celebrity gossip will be assaulted by articles about her until she fades away (unlikely, given what a train wreck she is) or dies. But then again we’re still hearing about Michael Jackson so we’ll probably continue to hear about her well after she’s rotted.

  62. operagirl says:

    I can’t even think what to post… everyone has posted exactly what I was thinking.

  63. original kate says:

    “I knew I was working for peanuts. I went from $12,000 a week to, after four years and the millions that they make, $15,000 a week.”

    oh really? that’s peanuts? hey, douchemullet – that’s over $600,000 a year before taxes. i would love to have that “peanuts” salary. and why is he complaining that “all these people” around his daughter used them? she was a minor and he could have pulled the plug on all of it but he was too wrapped up in being his daughter’s “friend” when what she really needed was a parent who would look out for her interests and be the bad guy when necessary.

    he seems like a whiney, ineffectual babyman – no wonder his wife left.

  64. Amy says:

    Miley is going to be the new Lindsay. In a few years she will be in and out of rehab and her mother will be insisting she is fine. Hopefully Billy Ray will not turn into Michael Lohan and run to the press every chance he gets. It’s fine for him to give an interview of his side of the story… just don’t do it 1495 times. At least he realizes his daughter is headed on the wrong track. Hopefully Miley realizes it too.

  65. DGO says:

    Well now we know where Miley learned not to take responsibility for her actions.

  66. Weeble says:

    He wasn’t complaining when he was cashing checks and encouraging his kids to get into the business. In fact because he’s been in the business it seems this would give him better insight on how to parent his kids in the business.

  67. lucy2 says:

    About him saying they’d bring him in to be the approving parent every time things went bad, such as the Vanity Fair thing – makes me wonder, if he saw that was a bad idea, why not say NO? If he really thought it wasn’t good, why participate? That doesn’t make it magically better. He was still her parent, still should have had final approval. He’s taking blame for other things, I think he should there as well. It’s easy to blame the “handlers” and Disney, but people are always going to push and it’s up to the parents to push back and protect their kid.

  68. lilred says:

    @ MSat: Totally agree.

  69. Chica T says:

    Billy Ray is bringing it with some down home common sense. He is clearly blaming himself and that is a hard pill to swallow as a parent. Show business and parenting are not a good mix.

  70. Kim says:

    To bad its all in hindsight. Him and his wife had no problem with her making tons of money etc but NOW he sees what it really did to his daughter (entitled spoiled young girl living life of an adult) and his family.

    But him and his wife enabled her by not discipling her and him being fall guy whenever she made a mistake.

    To bad he realizes it all way to late.

  71. tomas says:

    The only thing that destroyed Billy Ray’s family is his and his wife’s LACK OF PARENTING! Many kids have come out of Disney and do just fine…ever heard of Raven Symone, Justin Timeberlake or Selena Gomez?

  72. lulu says:

    I just have to comment too.

    He sort of owns up and then digresses.
    “Well, it’s my fault But if it hadn’t been for that dang
    Lord, is that a tear tattoo under Trace’s eye?
    These parents are sooo dysfunctional and they seem to blame it on outside circumstances, not themselves.
    To that I say, “Grow up!”.

  73. Lynne says:

    Billy, the only thing that ruined your family is your crappy parenting….until you see that, there isn’t much hope. Where has personal responsibility gone??

  74. Lynda says:

    You are the adult, you are the parent, you are the father. it’s your fault.

  75. nanster says:

    This whole thing smells of Michael Lohan – Billy Ray giving the press an interview to “help” his daughter. It just seems like more famewhoring to me.

    @ Mia – I totally agree. It’s like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped.

  76. TXCinderella says:

    I feel bad for him. As a parent myself, we all have regrets in how we raise our children. Many teens do the same things she has been doing, only hers is in the spotlight and with the technology today, everything she does will be on display for the public to see. Billy Ray shouldn’t blame Disney though, he knew full well from his own celebrity how the Hollywood machine works.

  77. Tammy says:

    He’s being honest, but I still get the feeling this is all about HIM!!!

    How he’s embarrassed by his family and how it makes him look bad. Maybe I’m wrong but his motives seem very selfish to me.

  78. Leslie says:

    Eh … I’m in the middle here. Yeah, he made some (should have been) obvious bad choices to allow his daughter to be celeb-exploited at a young age, but his comments are too raw to be insincere. He’s clearly struggling. And because he took the wrong path for so long, he clearly doesn’t know how to get on the right parenting track. As people have said, all is not lost (yet) with Miley. She seemed a major daddy’s girl in the past, and my guess is she still yearns for that connection. I hope this interview doesn’t burn their bridge.

    As for $12,000 a week, you know I’d take it, but it’s all about perspective. The question is, how much did Miley make, and who is helping her manage it? To me, it’s less about fame struggles than about having nothing to look forward to because you have the cash to instantly gratify your every whim. Some of my sweetest teen memories involve pining after a boy and saving up for a sweet new outfit to impress him. Poor Miley has never had those simple thrills.

  79. Johanna says:


    He IS saying that the whole be your children’s friend over parent was wrong. And as far as the whole Hannah Montana quote, I don’t really know what he meant by that but I would hope to think that he isn’t blaming Disney per se but he’s stating that the Show was the beginning of his families down fall.

    I think he’s admitting that he was wrong in some issues & for that you got to give the man some credit because there are some Hollywood parents (yes, Dina Lohan I’m looking at you) that will DENY DENY DENY until they’re blue in the face. We’re just going to have to wait & see if he’s being genuine & then make up our minds accordingly.

  80. dread pirate cuervo says:

    I agree with the posters that say he is owning up to his mistakes. What else can he do at this point except admit his errors & do better moving forward? I also believe that he made no $$$ from Miley (like being her manager), but I bet her mom did. Tish is a starfucker & now that Miley has more $$$ than Billy Ray (&full access to it being 18), she’ll just mooch off her daughter while she tries to bang aging rock stars.

  81. Chris says:

    I get where he’s coming from. He’s got a financially independent teenage daughter who is surrounded by all the temptation in the world and he realizes he hasn’t got a hope in hell of getting through to her. All he can do is sit back and let her make her own mistakes which is hard when you can see them coming a mile away and there’s not a thing you can do to stop them from happening.

  82. jen34 says:

    I do feel for him. He sounds regretful. But as the saying goes, when you get into bed with the devil, sooner or later you’re going to have to f**k him.

  83. Dingles says:

    *plays the world’s smallest banjo*

  84. Brooklyn says:

    Wow. I went into this with an eye role and came out kind of touched. nicely plated billy ray.

  85. Cookie says:

    MSAt is absolutely right, parents can’t be friends to teenagers don’t even try. There is this stage most kids go through when they hate you and I think this is when a lot of parents can’t handle it and give in and try to be friends because the other option is tough, it hurts. But you have to go through it, stick to your guns. Say no and be tough with them because saying yes won’t make them like you or respect you. I guess in this case, Miley was the breadwinner and that is just bad for everyone.

  86. chasingadalia says:

    I knew you’d have something snarky to say about this.

  87. Chris says:

    @Cookie (and others who made similar comments): Your post reminded me of a quote I read on the Stuff White People Like blog:

    “If you are a strict parent who makes your kid have a curfew, do homework, and not smoke weed – then you are almost guaranteed to have them scream at you, write poems about how much they hate you, relate to songs by bands from Orange County and Florida.

    Eventually, they forgive you and thank you for the tough upbringing, but still resent you because their high school experience wasn’t a carbon copy of the OC or My So Called Life.

    On the other hand, if you are a super laid back parent who lets your kid go to parties, drink in the house, and you smoke weed together, you are only delaying the hatred. Because these kids eventually end up doing something stupid with their life – dropping out of university, trying to become a painter, or spending time in a Thai prison. At which point, they hate YOU for being too lax and not caring enough.”

  88. *-* says:

    Greed is good Billy.
    Remember when you stood up to applaud your daughter when she pole-danced at some show?
    If you disagree, don’t support her dumbness and she’s been doing dumb stuff for a while now.

  89. gia says:

    @texasmom: agreed

    Furthermore, he was no stranger to the entertainment field.

  90. jemshoes says:

    Faith only gets convoluted when you want your cake and eat it, too.

    I think there comes a point when using your “credentials” as a “man of God” or as an ex-pastor (ie Joe Simpson) to justify a celebrity career and lifestyle – and the choices you make for yourself and/or your offspring to pursue that kind of career and lifestyle – is about as valid as saying, “God made me do it,” “I feel this is what God wants for me,” etc. It’s not really God’s will for you if you’re just going to name-drop the Almighty to further your own agenda.

  91. Grace says:

    I’m way behind on my Z-list celebrity gossip because I thought he and Tish got back together. What happened to that?

  92. Lukie says:

    That’s what happens when you pick a groupie for a wife that wants to live vicariously through her celebrity (and wanna be celebrity) child(ren).

  93. theresa says:

    I read entire GQ article, which gives somewhat different picture than excerpts. Cyrus seems like dumb hick, swathed in pentacostal patriarchy when he feels like it. Knocked up 2 chicks at same time and that was fine. Wife, maybe, cheats on him and he files for divorce and declares that Disney destroyed family. Strong indication that he is jealous that Dumbley Daughter got both the big bucks and the big fame, instead of him. Ick.

  94. Isa says:

    This made me sad. :(

    I like that he admited that he was wrong and others were right. He addressed it head on and I think a lot of celebrities that get in tough spots should just admit it.
    I like them more when they do that.

    P.S. What is that corn thing? I have no idea what it’s for but I want it!

  95. Jennifer Leigh says:

    My cynical side is wondering if Miley’s PR team is setting her up for a breakdown, and already have a plan for her “comeback” all at the benefit of their wallets.

  96. moonage says:

    And Achy Breaky Heart destroyed mine…..

  97. sue says:

    Poor schmuck, now what?

  98. original kate says:

    “when you get into bed with the devil, sooner or later you’re going to have to f**k him.”

    @ jen34: awesomely put. yeah, billy seemed to have forgotten that when he was letting his 16 year old daughter pole dance on tv.

  99. Stubbylove says:

    Well put @jen34 perfect. Sorry – not a lot of sympathy here. Billy Goat is a good ‘ol boy from TN – no problem. That doesn’t excuse someone from being stupid and being a friend to his daughter rather than a parent. I am SO SICK of parents wanting their kids to like them and be their besty – it’s so friggin’ selfish and all you’re doing is crippling your child. If he wants to “take it all back” – then donate all that money you made from Disney to a charity who focuses on children/parenting. THEN I’d have some true empathy for him….um.. but I just don’t see that happening.

  100. truthzbetta says:

    Hollyweird gives you nothing for your kids. A few years ago I’d have been relieved and happy if they were into Miley Cyrus. To watch the family break up over the show negates it.

    There’s a lot of crap they do that you need to protect your family from, and not much uplift. It’s a world giving us a lot of junk for your 7 rebellious years and not much of substance for the rest.

    Entertainment’s getting mindless, nasty, and only good for a perma-Sheen these days.

  101. Karen says:

    I’m not trying to piss all over the empathy many of you have expressed for Billy Ray. It is tough when a parent realizes where they could have stepped in to make things different for their kids. A problem all too common among parents rich or poor. My issue is that I am not buying the “her handlers are taking advantage and I don’t know what else to do” attitude.

    Billy Ray is not some naive country bumpkin who had to be talked into moving his family to California and didn’t know what he was getting into. He experienced success and was riding the top of the charts, making all sorts of appearances, garnering all sorts of attention so he DOES understand the entertainment business. He acts as though he fell off a turnip truck and is so puzzled as to how he let this happen. What is the main point of the GQ article? If he’s using it as a way to “save” Miley, then he’s doing it all wrong. It didn’t work for Michael Lohan because the public accuses him of insincerity. No magazine or gossip mag would spit on him if he was on fire if it wasn’t for the Disney machine that Tish and he agreed to for Miley.

    Another commenter stated that he couldn’t have been so naive to the mistakes Miley is now making. That horse faced Trace doesn’t seem like a quiet church going youngster.

    Bottom line – I hope he repairs the relationship with his kid. But I am not on the “Aw, I kinda like the guy now” bandwagon. He reaped what he sowed.

  102. elisa says:

    We always love to hate the child stars that grew up to be hot messes – Miley (sort of), Lindsay, Christina A, Britney, etc – but we always forget the child stars that grew up to be NORMAL people, even Disney child stars. I think we just remember the wrecks more than the normals. For every train wreck, there are normal people too. Just off the top of my head, there’s Ryan Gosling, Christina Milian (a child starlet, but she’s been around for a while), Keri Russell, even Hilary Duff seems to have turned out pretty well. I think the parents make a big difference.

  103. elisa says:

    oh, and I forgot to add Natalie Portman and Anna Paquin, and of course Jodie Foster. But I think the best example is Hilary Duff, she was Disney’s “It” girl between Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus, she seems to be ok. Also Raven-Symone, she very recently stopped doing Disney, and she seems to be the most level-headed of all (and didn’t buy into the bobble-head starlet syndrome!)

  104. Jersy says:

    hannah montana is my favorite celebrity girl

  105. alldis says:

    @104. But for me, Miley cyrus is my favorite celebrity girl :p