Although Miley Cyrus always seems able to LOL at her supposed controversies, her father Billy Ray fears she could be on the same path of self-destruction as Kurt Cobain, Anna Nicole Smith, and Michael Jackson, telling GQ in a miserable, paranoia-laden interview (titled "Mr. Hannah Montana's Achy Breaky Heart") that he’s become “scared for her”—not least because he has “no doubt” that his family is being “attacked by Satan.” Because, you know, Cyrus has been called out for dressing slightly risqué and also for hitting a bong on YouTube. Curse you and your fine print, Lucifer! Is there no end to your trickery? etc.
Anyway, among those apparently to blame for bringing the devil into their lives: David Lynch, who cast Billy Ray in Mulholland Drive, thereby landing him a part in the medical drama Doc where Miley first honed her acting skills, and thus setting them on the path that would lead them forever astray. “Were it not for David Lynch,” Cyrus avers, “Miley never would have been Hannah Montana.” Never mind that being Hannah Montana seems to have worked out pretty great for the whole Cyrus family—although Billy Ray (who’s collected several million dollars for co-starring as her father on the series, as well as for producing the Hannah Montana movie, as well as for being able to tour bigger venues thanks to his reinvigorated profile, etc.) claims, “For the record, to set it straight, I want to tell you: I've never made a dime off of Miley. You got a lot of people have made percentages off of her. I'm proud to say to this day I've never made one commissioned dollar, or dime, off of my daughter." Semantics! Also, his music career probably would have experienced a revival all by itself, too. But thanks to David Lynch, we’ll never know.
Curses, too, go to Disney: Billy Ray now blames the studio for creating the Hannah Montana show that gave his family mo’ money and, ergo, mo’ problems, ranging from his recent divorce to Miley’s salvia scandal, which Billy Ray says has lately caused a communication breakdown between father and daughter, because he refuses to be "used" by her handlers any longer by putting a positive PR spin on things. And again, it can all be traced back to Miley's TV stardom: “I'll tell you right now—the damn show destroyed my family,” says Cyrus, who then addresses the question of whether he wished it had never happened with “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.”
Of course, Cyrus believes there may be a bigger monster at play here than Disney: He relates an anecdote about how the Cyrus clan—fresh from a group baptism in their wholesome hometown of Franklin, Tennessee—arrived in Hollywood and immediately came across a sign on the Los Angeles freeway that read, “ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY, ATHEISTS UNITED.” In Cyrus’ words, it was “a physical sign. It could have easily said 'You will now be attacked by Satan.' 'Entering this industry, you are now on the highway to darkness.’” As to whether he thinks that means his family is now under the crooked thumb of Old Scratch himself, Cyrus says, “I think we are right now. No doubt. There's no doubt about it,” adding, “There has always been a battle between good and evil.”
But ultimately, for all those forces waging their eternal war across cable children's shows and just outside the door of the “modest kitchen of his Tennessee mansion” where he humbly spends his humble time, Cyrus blames himself:
“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. I should have been a better parent. 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.”
Unfortunately, it may be too late, and that battle between dark and light may have already claimed Miley Cyrus, whose next “scandal” could well involve her regurgitating the giant serpent that will swallow us whole, or maybe getting caught drinking a light beer. You never know! Either way, Billy Ray Cyrus will be sad.