Billy Ray Cyrus Aims to Set the Record Straight

Miley's father reconsiders his words on Miley, Hannah Montana and Disney

Photo: Kevin Mazur/KCA2010/WireImage

Billy Ray Cyrus is recanting the remarks that ricocheted around the world.

“I love Hannah Montana. I love Disney. I wouldn’t change anything,” the musician and father of Miley Cyrus said on Wednesday’s Good Morning America, all in response to a volatile interview he gave in December that effectively said the complete opposite and even posited that Hannah Montana destroyed his family.

He now blames a messy home life – he was in the midst of filing for a divorce he has since called off – and his being “surrounded in darkness” at the time of that interview, which occurred two weeks before Christmas. “It wasn’t good,” he said of Miley’s reaction to his printed comments.

“The way they wrote it, Hannah Montana, you know, destroyed my family – what I meant to say, and what I hope I said was, fame, the pressures of fame fame can be a dangerous animal,” Cyrus, 49, told GMA‘s Robin Roberts.

“And it’s a delicate thing,” he continued. “You know, when you get in this industry and you strike so hard for that moment. But, fame is dangerous.”

As for the infamous so-called bong incident (in which she smoked the herb Salvia) that threatened to damage Miley’s image, her father said in her defense, “Miley has a great heart. She’s very intelligent. She will make good choices and she knows right from wrong.”

In terms of his own choices, and the sort of father he tries to be, Cyrus admits he might have take a wrong turn. “I did kind of approach being a dad as a friend,” he said. “I was a great playmate. I mean, for teaching [my children] 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.”

But, he concedes. “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.’ ”

Moving ahead, “I still want to be Miley’s friend,” said Cyrus, who sees himself as “that person she comes to talk to.” When it comes to Miley, he declared, he loves her “more than life itself.”

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