One hit wonder, Billy Ray Cyrus who sang the 1992 country hit, “Achy Breaky Heart” might have been lost in the “where are they now?” level of C-celebrities had it not been for his rise to superstardom by riding the coat tails of his child-star daughter, Miley Cyrus, adored by children everwhere as Hannah Montana, a popular Disney show where Billy Ray played her father on the sitcom. This week Billy Ray gave an interview to the media accusing the show of destroying his family and paying him next to nothing for his role on the show. In a confusing interview, Billy Ray argued that he felt his daughter, Miley was in danger of spiraling down the path of addiction like so many child-stars because of her excessive, underage, and unsupervised partying, that he felt he needed to make a public statement for fear he will be critisized and blamed publicly for being an enabler in Miley’s life. Billy Ray said he would return his stardom in exchange for his once happy family.
Billy Ray openly stated that he regrets behaving as a “friend” to Miley rather than a “father.” What does this mean? Does it mean he regrets one such incident when a teenage Miley gave a lapdance to a 44 year old man and when Billy was questioned about his judgement by TMZ, he replied, “thats just Miley having fun” dismissing the incident as no big deal http://gossip.whyfame.com/billy-ray-cyrus-thinks-mileys-lap-dance-was-just-fun-4787
While it is so important for girls to have healthy relationships with their parents most especially their dads, dads who often leave the burden of parental responsibilities to the mother in our culture. For all appearances and images it would have seemed Miley got lucky having Billy Ray for a dad. While this relationship is certainly not one of Hollywood’s worst compared to some, Lindsey Lohan’s father for example, is always desperately seeking the limelight at his child’s expense, it does raise the question, how far is a Hollywood parent willing to go? The phrase, “selling your soul to the devil” seems fitting in most child-star cases and Miley Cyrus is no exception, although her dad, Billy Ray, does seem genuinely remorseful. Is remosreful enough when it’s too late? Where is Miley’s mom in all of this? Billy Ray and Miley’s mom split last year over her affair with rockstar, Brett Michaels http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2010/11/03/2010-11-03_bret_michaels_affair_with_mileys_mom_tish_cyrus_led_to_billy_ray_divorce_report.html
In the case of children, there are windows of oppurtunity in psychological development that create very troubled adults if not met with parental love and protection. And though fame and fortune may seem like the winning ticket in life, it is exclusively up to the parent to remain highly protective. Protecting a famous child means saying, “no” to over-indugence, saying, “no” to partying, it means teaching them that fame does not exclude you from addiction, nor does it exclude you of decent behavior and responsibilty for one’s actions, it means telling a teenage girl that a lapdance is insanely inappropriate and demeaning behavior for a young girl. It means always maintaining the boundary between parent and child. Why do so many parents of child stars go wrong? Does fame blindside a parent? Or do selfish parents produce child stars by the nature of their inappropriate parenting style?
Perhaps the most sincere bit of advice and love came from another well-known star, Kirstie Alley, who will often boldly and unapolagetically speak her mind on Twitter @KirstieAlley slamming the likes of Charlie Sheen and Brad Pitt, she openly tweeted to this journalist @LaurasGreenEyes regarding the situation, “I love Miley and love Billy Ray…we can never judge when we don’t know them… except for BRAD [Pitt], the snatch who is an idiot.”