Why Billy Ray Cyrus Says Disney 'Destroyed' His Family

After seeing his daughter's scandals, Billy Ray blames 'Hannah Montana.'

Billy Ray Cyrus Says Disney Show 'Destroyed' His Family Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

When Miley Cyrus started shedding her tween-sensation image, a lot of fingers were pointed in the direction of Billy Ray Cyrus. Between nightclub birthday parties, pole-dancing onstage and bong-smoking snaps, plenty of people were wondering where Cyrus was in the midst of his then-teenage daughter's many scandals.

Apparently, he was around at the time, but the situation had blown up before he could get a handle on it. In 2011, Cyrus sat down in an interview to explain, and here are a few snippets from the conversation.


"And I sit there and I 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," Cyrus had said.

"Every time the train went off the track... her people, or as they say in today's news, her handlers, every time they'd put [the blame on] me... I took it because I'm her daddy... OK, nail me to the cross."

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The singer was also extremely blunt about Hannah Montana the show that had catapulted his family, especially Miley, into the spotlight. He fired back at those "handlers" and even those seemingly innocent Disney execs.

"I'd take it back in a second," he said. "I'll tell you right now — the damn show destroyed my family."

As if the Miley debacle wasn't enough, at the time reports had surfaced that Cyrus' wife of many years, Tish, may have cheated on him with Bret Michaels. However, Michaels denied the rumors

And Cyrus' main concern had still been for his daughter, who was rapidly heading down the wrong road.

"I'm scared for her," Cyrus said at the time. "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. At least get her out of danger. I want to get her sheltered from the storm. Stop the insanity just for a minute."


Cyrus' worries were so deep, he even went on to compare Miley to fallen stars Kurt Cobain, Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson.

"That's why I'm concerned about Miley," he said, referencing Cobain first.

"I think that his world was just spinning so fast and he had so many people around him that didn't help him. 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 Tish and everybody around me, going, 'This is a disaster.'

Michael Jackson — I was trying to reach out to Michael Jackson. I knew he had kids, and I was going to invite his kids down to a taping of Hannah —I just felt it would be good for Michael."


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When Miley had continued to play with fire, having her 18th birthday celebration at a club, Cyrus finally refused to go along with it. 

"It was wrong," he said. "It was for 21 years old and up. I said, 'This whole thing's falling apart up there and they just want to blame all this stuff on you again.' I'm staying out of it."

He may have pointed a few fingers of his own during the interview, but he was fully aware of his role in the Miley situation.

 "I should have said, 'Enough is enough — it's getting dangerous and somebody's going to get hurt'... Honestly, I didn't know the ball was out of bounds until it was way up in the stands somewhere."


However, 2011 was a long time ago, and since then, Cyrus's relationship with his daughter has changed. In the years since, Cyrus has spoken positively of her father.

In a 2013 interview, she said, “My dad’s always home. He’s like, ‘There’s nothing for me to do out here.’ So he chills at the house all day, and I go see him.”

Billy Ray also spoke positively about Miley and their relationship in 2013, saying, "Somewhere along the stress and strain of different things, I didn’t see her smiling as often for a little while and, all of a sudden she’s like the sun and when she smiles it’s light... Everything happens for a reason and the main thing for me, as Miley’s daddy, is she’s happy.”

And Cyrus herself has been doing a lot better these days as well. Her mother, Tish, recently spoke out about her daughter's sobriety, saying, "First of all, Miley doesn't even smoke pot anymore. She smokes CBD only. She doesn't drink. She's the cleanest person I know. She's like, she's just so solid." 


She also discussed their relationship, adding, "There were those times where she was pushing the boundaries, and we were arguing and I was punishing her... just being a full mama bear. But I think she always knew that I did those things because I loved her.

And so, it just worked. She is just so unbelievable. She's just incredible. That's all I can say about her. She likes yoga and working out, eats clean and all this. So whatever I did, I feel like I did right."

Miley herself also recently opened up about her journey with sobriety:


"I’ve been sober sober for the past six months. At the beginning, it was just about this vocal surgery... But I had been thinking a lot about my mother. My mom was adopted, and I inherited some of the feelings she had, the abandonment feelings, and wanting to prove that you’re wanted and valuable.

My dad’s parents divorced when he was 3, so my dad raised himself. I did a lot of family history, which has a lot of addiction and mental health challenges. So just going through that and asking, 'Why am I the way that I am?'

By understanding the past, we understand the present and the future much more clearly. I think therapy is great."

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Jenna Birch is a freelance journalist for women’s magazines and national websites, focusing on topics like health, wellness, dating, relationships, beauty and lifestyle.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in February 2011 and was updated with the latest information.