Billy Ray Cyrus: ‘Hannah Montana Destroyed My Family’

From the bowels of his Tennessee mansion where he sits around in the dark – No, really. – Billy Ray Cyrus has decided to throw the entire Hannah Montana franchise under the tractor in a new interview with GQ that’s as depressing as it is random. (Apparently this is all David Lynch’s fault.) Jumped for length.

On before Miley turned 18:
“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.”

On not going to her 18th birthday party:
“You know why I didn’t go? 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.”

On where he failed as a parent:
“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.

On how it all started:
“Were it not for David Lynch. Miley would never have been Hannah Montana.”

On teenagers being teenagers:
“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 his family being attacked by Satan:
“I think we are right now. No doubt. There’s no doubt about it.”

On if he regrets Hannah Montana:
“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.”

Jesus. I don’t even know what to say at this point, so I just added a bunch of Miley’s racy photos to the post. Although, admittedly, they’ve become my go-to reaction for heavy emotional situations these days. If one of my parents told me they’re terminally ill, I’d probably just spread these across the table and hope there’s a quiet understanding of my inner pain and turmoil. “See how she’s flashing her panties? *chokes up* That’s my heart…”

Photos: Bauer-Griffin, GQ