Billy Ray Cyrus in GQ: 'Hannah Montana' destroyed my family

billy-ray-cyrus-gq.jpgSo the headline that we and everyone else are pulling from Billy Ray Cyrus' GQ interview is that if he had it do over, "Hannah Montana" would never have existed.

"I'll tell you right now -- the damn show destroyed my family," is what Cyrus tells the magazine. "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. ...

"I'd take [doing the show] back in a second. 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."

So that's the headline -- but the interview as a whole is a pretty remarkable lament/confessional/screed about how powerless Cyrus feels now that his daughter Miley, who's been a scandal magnet of late. The interview took place right after her salvia-smoking adventure, and while we're sure that there's more than just his side of the story, his side is kind of fascinating.

When GQ broaches the subject of Miley's recent issues, it prompts some harsh words from her dad about Miley's "handlers."

"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. 'OK, 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."

Eventually, he says, he began to refuse. "You know why I didn't go [to Miley's birthday party]? Because they were having it in a bar. It was wrong. 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."

Cyrus, who's also going through a divorce from his wife, Tish, has retreated to his property outside Nashville ("I'm still just sitting here writing bar-band music") and sounds as though he's still trying to process what happened with Miley.

"I'm scared for her. She's got a lot of people around her that's putting her in a great deal of danger," Cyrus says of Miley. "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. When you go through what she's been through, it takes a beating on you."
Photo/Video credit: Getty Images
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