Tish Cyrus Says She Stayed With Billy Ray Cyrus 'Out of Fear of Being Alone'

Cyrus also revealed she went through "a complete psychological breakdown" the year her mother died.

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On the latest installment of the Call Her Daddy podcast, Tish Cyrus opened up about her divorce from Billy Ray Cyrus, and said she went through a "complete psychological breakdown" before filing for it in 2022.

Joined by her daughter Brandi Cyrus, the matriarch was asked up-front by host Alexandra Cooper about her divorce around the 37-minute mark of the podcast. "The two years he went to Tennessee [during] COVID... I needed to be here—Miley and Noah are young, they need me," she explained. "So I stayed in California and he stayed in Tennessee. I really, during that period, just took a really good hard look at my life. Like, 'What was I gonna do?' Because it had not been in a good place for a long time."

Billy Ray filed for divorce in 2010 but dropped it the next year, while Tish filed for divorce in 2013 and dropped it the following month. She filed for divorce a second time in 2022, which was finalized last year, and revealed they had been separated for over two years. She told Cooper that she went through with the divorce for the second time because she believed she stayed with him "out of fear of being alone."

"I met him when I was 23, 24," she continued. "Being alone and all of a sudden just having the weight of the world off my shoulders in some ways... I was able to just breath, smoke pot and garden, and go skinny dipping in my pool. That's what I did during COVID."

During the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically in August 2020, Cyrus' mother, Loretta Jean Palmer, died at age 85. "I was alone at that time, I had go through it alone," she shared. "I literally can't believe I did that. It was so crazy. Because honestly, my two biggest fears in life were always being alone and my mom passing away. I was like, ‘I just don’t know if I’ll survive when my mom dies.’ Like, honestly. And I had, like, one month of a, honestly, complete psychological breakdown. It was the worst thing, like, honestly. It was not good."

Shortly after the death of her mother, then came the divorce. Cyrus had gone to therapy with celebrity psychiatrist Daniel Amen, and recalled telling him, "Please put me in a mental hospital." Amen advised her against that. "I could not eat, I could not sleep, I could not stop crying," Tish added. "I literally weighed like 130. ... I don't have my Mom, and I don't have my husband who has been my husband for 30 years. Like, holy crap. 'I'm scared.'"

Asked if she ever wished she walked away from her marriage with Billy Ray sooner, she said yes but suggested: "maybe that wouldn't've been right, either." Brandi called her mother "a martyr" for the family. "It looked perfect, but you know, it was just really freaking hard," Tish said.

Following her divorce from Billy Ray, Tish married Prison Break actor Dominic Purcell last year. Meanwhile, Billy Ray married Australian singer Joanna "Firerose" Hodges last year after getting engaged to her in 2022. The divorce appears to caused something of a rift in the family, with many speculating that Miley's decision to shout out her mother but not her father at the 2024 Grammys was very much a deliberate move.

Earlier in the podcast, around the 16-minute mark, Tish was asked about the time Billy Ray suggested Hannah Montana "destroyed" their family. When asked if they felt the same way, they both said, "Absolutely not." Tish said that her ex-husband was likely "having a moment," as she put it.

"Because it was... I'm trying to be politically correct... I mean, he had done 'Achy Breaky [Heart]' and nothing else was working," she recalled. "And I brought Miley out to audition for Hannah and she had gotten it. Then one of the casting directors said a joke, like, 'Too bad we can't afford her real dad.' And I said, 'Oh, Maybe you can.' We had just been in Toronto because he had done another show in Toronto. So we all had to go back and forth and it was really hard on the kids."

She was worried about balancing family life with Miley filming Hannah Montana in Nashville, Tennessee with wherever Billy Ray might have been working at the time. She told him to audition for the role of Montana's father, which she confirmed would be a pay cut for him but would also allow him to stay with his family more.

Listen to the full podcast here.

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