March 23, 2011 -- Country music singer and actor Billy Ray Cyrus made waves when he said the Disney Channel TV show "Hannah Montana" destroyed his family, led to his divorce and caused his daughter, singer/actress Miley Cyrus to spin out of control.
But this morning on "Good Morning America," the 49-year-old Cyrus sought to clarify those comments, telling "GMA" host Robin Roberts that a lot of what was written in the Feb. 22 issue of GQ Magazine "wasn't exactly what I said."
"The way they wrote it, 'Hannah Montana,' you know, destroyed my family -- what I mean to say, and what I hope I said was, fame, the pressures of fame … fame can be a dangerous animal," Cyrus said. "And it's a delicate thing. It's funny. You know, when you get in this industry and … you strike so hard for that moment. But, fame is dangerous …"
He said his family was upset with him for the comments to GQ.
'I Could Have Been a Better Dad'
He gave a candid interview in which he talked about the article, his marriage and his commitment to reuniting his family, and fatherhood.
Cyrus told Roberts that he could have done some things differently as a father.
"I did kind of approach being a dad as a friend … I was a great playmate. I mean, for teaching them how to camp and build fires and ride motorcycles and four-wheelers, and horses, and all those fun kind of things, I was really good at that," he said. "As far as sitting down and doing algebra and science, the homework, I wasn't very good at that. So I look back on it and think, 'you know what? Maybe, no doubt, I could have been a better dad."
When his daughter left for California, he had no idea she would become the next big superstar. The actress and singer rocketed to stardom playing "Hannah Montana" on the Disney Channel.
According the article in GQ, Cyrus said he wished the show had never happened.
Roberts asked him how he felt about the magazine's headline: "Hannah Montana Destroyed My Family."
He replied: "I hated it. I absolutely -- I hated it, 'cause that's not what I meant. And...I don't think that's what I said. But, regardless, that's what was written. And I hated it because I love 'Hannah Montana.' I love Disney, I love the show. I love… the entertainment we've been able to make."
GQ Interview Came at Bad Time, Cyrus Says
Cyrus said the interview came at a bad time, and he now realizes he shouldn't have done it.
"I did that interview with GQ two weeks before Christmas...in the midst of a divorce, separated from my family," he said. "It was a mess. Surrounded in darkness. GQ, the writer, photographer showed up. And I kind of learned this, that doing an interview when you're mad, is a whole lot like going to the grocery store when you're hungry. It's not a real good idea."
Cyrus and his wife, Tish, filed for divorce in October 2010. But since then, Cyrus has decided to try to make it work with his wife and his family.
"Things are good now. We've started communicating," he said. And I think that just that dialogue, that open communication of 'Wow, look what we've been through. Here's where we're at. But, most importantly, here's where we want to go.' We started realizing that, you know what? Our family's worth fighting for.
"Something that important you don't just give up on," he continued. "And so, I've made a commitment and a vow to pull my family back together and be a dad … I'm not the perfect dad. I know that. But I have done the best I can do and will continue to do that very thing, is just do the best I can do."
Miley Cyrus Has Also Made Waves
His daughter has not been without her own troubles. Her squeaky-clean image has been tarnished after reports of risqué dance moves, a racy photo shoot, an onstage fake make-out session with a female dancer, and allegedly smoking the legal drug Salvia from a bong. A video purportedly of the incident surfaced in late November following her 18th birthday.
When news of the video appeared in headlines, her father tweeted, "I'm sad. There is much beyond my control right now."
But now, Billy Ray Cyrus says, "I don't think I'm going to see that anymore."
He said his daughter was maturing, but added that many of her growing pains seemed magnified because she was growing up in the spotlight.
'Our Lives Played In Front of The World'
"I go through the same things that other dads go through. But in my world, it was laid out for everyone on the planet to see instantly," he said. 'And I did my best to deal with it. We all did, as a family. But our lives played out in front of the world."
But things have changed, Cyrus told Roberts, adding that he trusted his daughter "100 percent" to make good choices.
"The key is, she is growing up," he said. "And I've been talking to her these last few days. I've seen and felt a maturity. Her heart is huge right now … you may know she recently went to Haiti. It impacted her. Huge."
The father and daughter are also thinking about turning their efforts to help yet others in desperate need.
"She and I both now are looking at the situation in Japan. And we've been talking about how can we help? What can we do to make a difference? I'm hearing that coming from Miley. I think she's realizing that, you know, she does have a purpose … ."