LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The father of teen star Miley Cyrus said the Disney TV show “Hannah Montana” that made her a worldwide star, in truth destroyed his family, and he blamed it for sending his daughter out of control.
Country singer Billy Ray Cyrus said he was scared for 18 year-old Miley after a series of scandals including an infamous video last year which showed her getting high on the psychedelic herb salvia.
And he said he wished that “Hannah Montana” had never happened.
“The damn show destroyed my family,” Cyrus told GQ magazine in an interview for its March edition. “I’d take it back in a second. For my family to be here and just everybody be 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.”
Cyrus, 49, played father to his daughter on “Hannah Montana” — a wholesome Disney Channel show about a normal teenager by day but a singing star at night — that launched Miley Cyrus as a teen idol and top-selling recording artist.
“Hannah Montana” launched in 2006 and ended after four seasons in January 2011.
Last October, the “Achy Breaky Heart” singer filed for divorce from his wife Tish after a 17-year marriage.
Cyrus compared his daughter’s current situation to celebrities like Kurt Cobain, Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson, who all died in tragic circumstances.
“I’m scared for her,” Cyrus said of Miley. “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. 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 for a minute. When you go through what she’s been through, it takes a beating on you,” he said.
Cyrus carried out the GQ interview in December, shortly after home video of Miley Cyrus hit the Internet smoking the hallucinogenic herb salvia at a private party with friends just days after her 18th birthday.
The herb is not illegal in California, but the images of Miley Cyrus giggling about tripping capped a year in which she has thrown aside her once squeaky-clean image with raunchy pop videos and scantily-clad live performances.
Miley Cyrus last week expressed regret over the salvia incident, saying she had made a mistake and had disappointed her mostly young fans. She is due to host TV sketch show “Saturday Night Live” for the first time next month.
Billy Ray Cyrus, best known for his 1990s country music albums, said he wished he had been a better parent to Miley and disciplined her more, rather than wanting to be her friend.
“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,” he said.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte