Miley Cyrus is only sorry for one thing: pretending to be sorry.
In 2008, photographer Annie Leibovitz shot a then 15-year-old Cyrus for Vanity Fair. One of the portraits showed the seemingly topless "Hannah Montana" star wrapped in a white satin sheet, while another portrait showed her nestled in Billy Ray Cyrus' lap—which many critics labeled as "inappropriate." Yesterday, Miley criticized The New York Post for running the headline "MILEY'S SHAME." Now, she said on Twitter, "IM NOT SORRY. F--k YOU. #10yearsago."
A decade ago, before the photos were published, a young Cyrus did not seem concerned by the possibility of controversy. "I mean, I had a big blanket on. And I thought, 'This looks pretty, and really natural,'" she told the magazine. "I think it's really artsy." Later, under pressure, Cyrus was forced to issue a public apology for her participation.
U.S. & World
"My goal in my music and my acting is always to make people happy. For Vanity Fair, I was so honored and thrilled to work with Annie. I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed," she said at the time. "I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about."
In a separate statement, Leibovitz said, "I'm sorry that my portrait of Miley has been misinterpreted. Miley and I looked at fashion photographs together and we discussed the picture in that context before we shot it." Leibovitz went on to call it a "simple, classic portrait," claiming, "I think it is very beautiful."
Because "Hannah Montana" was one of the most popular—and profitable—programs on Disney Channel, a network spokesperson said, "Unfortunately, as the article suggests, a situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines." A rep for the magazine responded, saying in part, "Miley's parents and/or minders were on the set all day..."
Cyrus's father, Billy Ray Cyrus, later shared his views on NBC's Today. "It felt like everything was in control," he said. "Her publicist was there…I didn't know they were going to strip her down and wrap her with a blanket." He was "surprised" by the shoot, "but stuff happens. That's life."
Billy Ray added that he never talked to his daughter about the controversial photo shoot after the backlash began, citing an adage from his dad: "The more you stomp in poop the more it stinks."
As for the eyebrow-raising photo he took with his daughter, he laughed and told Meredith Vieira, "I'm sorry if I offended anybody. That's just a daddy who loves his daughter a whole lot."
Cyrus last addressed the scandalous shoot in 2015. "Our world revolves around sex. Like, when I did this photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz when I was 14 or 15, everyone jumped to make it this sexual thing. But I never thought of it as sexual. Annie never thought of taking a sexual photo of a teenager," the provocateur told Time. "But everyone made it something it wasn't."