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Miley Cyrus reveals why she retracted her Vanity Fair apology: 'So, actually, I shouldn't be ashamed — they should be'

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Miley Cyrus may have started out as a child star, but she’s grown into being her own boss — and this lady boss takes no crap.

The “Can’t Be Tamed” songstress, 25, was asked about her recent decision to retract her Vanity Fair apology — something we like to think we played a small part in — during her appearance on Wednesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. She talked about being forced to apologize for posing draped in a sheet — but fully covered — for celeb shutterbug Annie Leibovitz 10 years ago when she was 15 and being publicly shamed for it, a story Yahoo Entertainment first resurfaced last week.

Asked whether she had a copy of the New York Post‘s cover with the headline “Miley’s Shame” in her home, which is what she posted with her retraction on Sunday, she replied, “I found this. I never really keep track of the years that have gone by since something like this. I guess it was apparently 10 years ago. And I think a lot of things have changed. And I think the conversation has changed — a lot.”

She continued, “Something that I really thought about was, sure, some people thought I did something wrong in their eyes. But I think it was really wrong to put on top of someone that this is my shame and that I should be ashamed of myself. That’s not a nice thing to tell someone that they should be ashamed of themselves — besides Donald Trump.”

Miley Cyrus posted this tweet retracting her apology for the 2008 “scandal.” (Image: Miley Cyrus via Twitter)

Miley didn’t remember her apology, which we detail here, saying, “Um, I think I did, but I’m sure somebody told me to. But you know what? That’s why I don’t do what people tell me to anymore, because that idea sucked.

Pressed on who asked her to apologize — whether it was the Disney Channel, which was home to megahit Hannah Montana — Miley said, “I think at that time I just wanted this to go away, and I think I also was trying to balance and understand what being a role model is. To me, I think being a role model has been my free spirited-ness and sometimes my unapologetic attitude for decisions that I feel comfortable with.”

Miley also talked about the shoot, which was attended by her country singer dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, who also appeared on Hannah Montana, as well as her younger sister, Noah. “For me, when this photo was taken — and I know this will probably get turned around, too — but when this photo was taken, my little sister was here on set,” she said. “She actually was sitting with Annie Leibovitz taking photos, too, and there was nothing sexualized about this on set. And it was everyone else’s poisonous thoughts and minds that ended up turning this into something that it wasn’t meant to be. So, actually, I shouldn’t be ashamed — they should be.”

Miley Cyrus arrives to tape Jimmy Kimmel Live on May 1, 2018. (Photo: RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Miley said that she blames her critics from that incident — which also included parenting groups — for her envelope-pushing ways. “They want to know why I come on TV shows with no shirt on,” she said with a laugh. “Blame them!”

Don’t think Miley is going to make a big deal out of every anniversary of every headline she’s made over the years. She said this story was different — and when it was brought to her attention, she pounced.

“It popped up on my little Instagram feed, and I thought, ‘Hey, telling them to go f*** themselves seems fun right now. I was bored!” But she added, “I try to not even think about yesterday because it’s such a waste of time.”


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