In an emotional new interview in GQ magazine, Billy Ray Cryus sadly expounds at length about his very serious regrets and concerns for his famous daughter Miley, 18. (Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus, Miley's mom, also filed for divorce last year after 17 years of marriage.)
"I'm scared for [Miley]," says Billy Ray, who expressed feelings of helplessness as his little girl -- who became a Disney star in her tweens -- became the center of one controversy after another. "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," he says. "At least get her out of danger. I want to get her sheltered from the storm. Stop the insanity just for a minute."
But the "Achy Breaky Heart" singer says he's probably been given too much of the blame for Miley's endless antics -- from her topless Vanity Fair cover to her pole dancing routine at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards to a recent bong-smoking incident- "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....'" he tells GQ.
But he drew the line at attending her 18th birthday party -- which was held at a bar, just a few weeks after Miley's salvia-bong scandal. "It was wrong. 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 of this stuff on you again.' I'm staying out of it."
Billy Ray then spoke about Hollywood tragedies Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith -- drawing vague parallels to his own daughter's wild life. "I'm concerned about Miley. I think that [Cobain's] 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...Michael Jackson—I was trying to reach out to Michael Jackson."
Among his mistakes? Being a "friend" to his daughter versus a parent."I should have been a better parent," he says. "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."
And the show that made his daughter a superstar has become a dirty word for Billy Ray, he said. Hannah Montana, he tells GQ, "destroyed my family...the damn show destroyed my family...It's all sad."
Does he wish Miley had never been cast in the show? "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 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."