Stop the presses: There are apparently some people out there who think that allowing your offspring to become a child star isn't such a great idea. Shocking, right? But not as shocking as the fact that Billy Ray Cyrus is one of them.
That's right—Daddy Salvia, who not only allowed his daughter Miley Cyrus to become the star of Hannah Montana as an impressionable young teen but starred in the show right alongside her, can keep his silence no more and has spoken out to GQ about his daughter's recent bout of downward spiraldom (see what too much partying in the USA can get you?).
Turns out, he blames the show. For everything. And we mean everything.
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"Oh, it's huge—it destroyed my family," he said. "I'll tell you right now—the damn show destroyed my family."
And despite (or maybe because of) the fame and money it brought to him and his daughter, Billy Ray said he regrets the decision to let the show move forward and would not choose the same path were he allowed to do the whole thing over again.
"I hate to say it, but yes…I'd take it back in a second," he told GQ. "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."
And not just because of the hit it gave to his reputation.
While Papa Cyrus makes it clear that he willingly joined the show (for "peanuts") in order to be near his daughter, he also claims that it was that proximity that seemingly implied his tacit approval on just about every scandal Miley's been involved in. And there have been a lot.
"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…'
"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."
However, sometime around last year, Billy Ray got tired of the target practice. He even sat out Miley's recent 18th birthday party because it was being held in a bar, something he very much disapproved of.
"It was wrong," he explained. "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 my ass. I had the common sense…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."
A wise move, in retrospect.