Dark secrets the Cyrus family tried to hide

The Cyrus family has become one of the successful broods in Hollywood, but its path to fame and glory has been plagued by enough scandals to fill a week's worth of tabloid magazines. From sketchy tweets to start-and-stop divorces, here are the many times the Cyrus family raised almost as many eyebrows as Miley's infamous MTV VMAs performance (Almost.)

Miley's half brother

Miley Cyrus was born the same year Billy Ray Cyrus' smash hit "Achy Breaky Heart" went platinum and landed him an eternal spot in the pop culture zeitgeist. But something else happened in 1992 as well. 

Christopher Cody Cyrus, Miley's half-brother, was born eight months earlier than his famous sibling. His mother is Kristin Luckey, who according to the Mirror, had a "brief relationship" with Billy Ray "when she was a waitress in South Carolina." Though Billy Ray never tried to hide Christopher, he allegedly didn't have much of a fatherly role in the boy's life. "Chris reaches out to have a relationship but it's been months since they engaged," Luckey said of the boy's interaction with Billy Ray. "Chris is a great kid and he handles it very, very well. He tried to keep a lot inside but I know when he's hurting and really getting to him." She added, "No one acknowledges his birthday or even Christmas for him."

Regardless of his distant relationship with Billy Ray, Christopher has nothing but nice things to say about half-sis, Miley. "She's the same now as she was before all this fame. She's still my goofy sister. Miley is not a self-obsessed person at all. She's just trying to have fun while working hard and I don't know anyone who dislikes her," he told the Mirror.

Behind the scenes marital troubles

To say that Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus' marriage has been filled with ups and downs would be an understatement.

The first cracks appeared in 2010 when Billy Ray filed for divorce after 17 years of marriage. "As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for our family," the couple said in a statement. "We are trying to work through some personal matters. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers." Billy would later reveal to GQ that a lot of those "personal matters" had to do with the strain of managing a show business family, but more on that in a minute, because Billy Ray called off the divorce just five months later, according to People. "I want to put my family back together," he announced on an episode of The View, adding, "Things are the best they've ever been." Happy ending, right? Not so fast…

Tish gave Billy Ray a taste of his own medicine

About three years after Billy Ray's j/k divorce, it was Tish's turn to consider exiting the marriage. At the time, both Tish and Billy Ray referred to the split as a "personal matter," but whatever triggered the paperwork apparently wasn't enough to end their relationship. Yep, just one month after Tish filed divorce papers, the couple announced on Instagram that it had reconciled. "We both woke up and realized we love each other and decided we want to stay together," they said in a statement to People. "We both went into couples therapy something we haven't done in 22 years of being together, and it's brought us closer together and really opened up our communication in amazing ways."

"Life is a series of adjustments, and you just try to do the best you can," Billy Ray later told People in June 2017. "Adjustments" is a funny way to describe dueling yo-yo divorce filings, but hey, we're just glad it all worked out.

Did Tish have an affair with Bret Michaels?

In 2010, Us Weekly published a bombshell report alleging that Billy Ray filed for divorce after learning that Tish had an affair with rocker Bret Michaels, as well as "at least one other fling." The Poison frontman reportedly became close with the family after recording a duet with Miley. Soon after, he allegedly began an "on-the-sly romance" with Tish. "Billy Ray was completely unaware of what was going on," the source added.

Michaels flat-out denied the report on Fox & Friends (via People). "I've been friends with her family forever," he said. "It started out with me and Miley simply working on a song together. Her mom, Tish, likes 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn,' the first concert Miley ever saw was Poison, and so they wanted to remake it for the new record." He added, "When I was in the studio, Miley came in and sang on my song and that was it."

Hannah Montana destroyed their family

About a month or so before he revealed that he was calling off his divorce, Billy Ray gave a candid, one might say jaw-dropping interview to GQ magazine. In the story, he slammed Hannah Montana, aka the Disney Channel series that made Miley a superstar. "I'll tell you right now—the damn show destroyed my family," he said. "And I sit there and go, 'Yeah, you know what? Some gave all.' It is my motto, and guess what? I have to eat that one. I some-gave-all'd it all right. I some-gave-all'd it while everybody else was going to the bank. It's all sad."

Billy Ray said things began to shift after the first two seasons, adding that the show's fourth and final season was an all-out disaster. "I was going to work every single day knowing that my family had fallen apart, but yet I had to sit in front of that camera," he said. "I look back and I go, How did I ever make it through that? I must be a better actor than I thought." Billy Ray said he wished the show had never happened in the first place. "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," he said. "Heck, yeah. I'd erase it all in a second if I could."

Billy Ray later clarified his remarks to GQ on Good Morning America, (via People ), admitting that his messy divorce had gotten the best of him. "I love Hannah Montana. I love Disney. I wouldn't change anything," he said.

Billy Ray wished he had been a better father

As Miley reached her teenage years and stirred up numerous scandals, some argued that Billy Ray and Tish were letting their daughter grow up too fast, especially when they dismissed certain incidents as simply Miley being Miley. There was the infamous Vanity Fair photo shoot when she posed nude at age 15; there was the time she gave a lap dance to a 44-year-old man at age 16; and there was the time when, that same year, she danced on a pole during a performance of "Party in the U.S.A." 

Billy Ray told GQ that his "I'm a cool dad" response was often orchestrated by her handlers, yet he did confess to Good Morning America that there were times he could have been a better father. "I did kind of approach being a dad as a friend," he said (via People). "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." 

"As far as sitting down and doing algebra and science, the homework, I wasn't very good at that," he said. "So I look back on it and think, 'You know what? Maybe, no doubt, I could have been a better dad.'"

Miley wasn't as squeaky-clean as some people thought

During her Hannah Montana days, Miley was often viewed as an adorable, kinda nerdy kid who perfectly fit the Disney brand, but behind the scenes, she was growing up just like a lot of American teenagers, which meant inviting trouble with everything from underage drinking to smoking out of a bong.

She expressed remorse over some incidents, such as that infamous hit of Salvia ("For me, it was a bad decision, because of my fans and because of what I stand for," she told Marie Claire), but there were other moments when Miley said her public image was a blatant misrepresentation of her true self. Take, for instance, the time she claimed on Total Request Live that she wasn't sure if she'd ever get a tattoo, partially because she hates needles. "I was lying," Miley told MTV during a special celebrating her 21st birthday. "I always knew I was gonna get tattoos," said the star, who just got her umpteenth piece of ink in June 2017.

Miley did confirm, however, that she is afraid of needles. So, there's that?

Miley may have dated a 20-year-old when she was 15

The antics of Miley's teenage years were the subject of a ton of press coverage, but there's one item that often gets overlooked: her relationship with underwear model and country musician Justin Gaston. 

Normally, no one would bat an eye at rumors about an an actress and singer allegedly dating a model, as is the natural order of the showbiz world, but at the time, Gaston was 20 and Miley was just 15. Yuck.

At one point, Billy Ray attempted to downplay the relationship rumors, telling Us Weekly (via The Hollywood Gossip), "I'll tell you what—they are great friends, and they make a good team. They write a lot of songs together, and they sing—it's incredible." 

But Miley had already spilled the beans about the whole thing in a radio interview with Ryan Seacrest (via MTV). When asked if they were dating she said, "Maybe, maybe not." She then went on to proclaim, "I'm totally gushing right now!" as she swooned over Gaston's musical talents, good looks, and the fact that he is a "really great Christian guy." Nope, that doesn't sound like puppy love at all.  

Billy Ray worried Miley might end up like Kurt Cobian

Billy Ray used an interview with Good Morning America to clarify comments he made to GQ, specifically those in which he seemingly expressed concern that Miley might follow the same tragic path as Kurt Cobain, Marilyn Monroe, and Michael Jackson. "Kurt was one of those guys. That's why I'm concerned about Miley. I think that his world was just spinning so fast and he had so many people around him that didn't help him," Billy Ray told GQ. "Like Anna Nicole Smith—you could see that train wreck coming. I was actually trying to reach out to Anna Nicole Smith, because I kept telling Tish and everybody around me, going, 'This is a disaster.'"

"What I meant to say, and what I hope I said was fame can be a dangerous animal," he later told Good Morning America, following reports that his comments had upset Miley. "And it's a delicate thing. You know, when you get in this industry and you strike so hard for that moment. But, fame is dangerous."

Hannah Montana gave Miley anxiety attacks

Although she looks back at her experience working on Hannah Montana fondly, Miley has admitted that the grueling process of filming a television show, as well as growing up in the spotlight, had negative effects on her mind and body. "From the time I was 11, it was, 'You're a pop star! That means you have to be blonde, and you have to have long hair, and you have to put on some glittery tight thing,'" she told Marie Claire in 2015. "Meanwhile, I'm this fragile little girl playing a 16-year-old in a wig and a ton of makeup. It was like Toddlers & Tiaras."

She continued, "I was told for so long what a girl is supposed to be from being on that show. I was made to look like someone that I wasn't, which probably caused some body dysmorphia because I had been made pretty every day for so long, and then when I wasn't on that show, it was like, Who the f**k am I?"

Miley also admitted that she experienced anxiety. "I would have anxiety attacks. I'd get hot flashes, feel like I was about to pass up or throw up. It would happen a lot before shows, and I'd have to cancel," she said. "Then the anxiety started coming from anxiety. I would be with my friends, thinking, I should be having so much fun. You get in this hole that seems like you're never going to be able to get out of."

Memo to parents: never put your kids in show business.

About those cryptic tweets...

In 2013, Miley used (or maybe didn't use) her Twitter account to air dirty laundry about her father. In the wake of her mother's divorce filing, the "We Can't Stop" singer allegedly shocked everyone when she tweeted at her father (via Yahoo!), "Since your texts and email obviously aren't working would you like to talk like this?" (That tweet has since been deleted.)

A few weeks later, things got even weirder as Miley's alleged tweets became more hostile. "Since you won't reply to my texts I'm giving you an hour to tell the truth or I'll tell it for you," Miley allegedly wrote (via the New York Daily News) to her father, alongside a picture of her with Billy Ray's Chicago co-star, the Broadway actress Dylis Croman.

It's unclear what Miley was implying when the tweet was posted. Or, honestly, if it was even posted by her to begin with. Within minutes, the tweet and the photo were deleted. Then, Miley tweeted, "Wtf? My twitter was just actin all types of cray!"

Uh, okay?

Is Noah following in Miley's footsteps?

As if one Cyrus daughter wasn't enough drama, it now appears that Miley's younger sister Noah, who turned 17 in 2017, is poised to create some controversy of her own. According to the Mirror, she's already releasing music about smoking cigarettes and getting drunk, wearing scandalous outfits on the red carpet, and naming her albums NC-17.

Those might be just a few reasons Miley has recently expressed some big-sister concerns as Noah prepares to enter Hollywood. "I hope people continue to be really sweet to her, and compassionate and respectful of her," Cyrus told ABC News. "And just don't judge her and don't be too harsh on her. Because I'm not worried about her, it's everyone else that can be really hateful and harsh towards her." Miley added, "I want her to grow up and be able to really feel confident and not feel insecure about how anyone's ever made her feel."