Billy Ray Cyrus' Ex Tish Says "Disrespect in Every Form" Ended the Marriage

Miley's parents were married for nearly 30 years before splitting in 2022.

After 30 years of marriage, Billy Ray Cyrus and Tish Cyrus decided to divorce in 2022. And though they had filed for divorce in the past, this split stuck. In a new interview with the podcast Call Her Daddy, Tish just opened up about why her marriage to the country star came to an end. The 56-year-old cited "disrespect in every form" as the reason and also explained why she stayed with Billy Ray as long as she did even though their relationship "hadn't been in a good place for a long time."

RELATED: Miley Cyrus Says "There's So Much She Doesn't Remember" About Being a Child Star.

As reported by Us Weekly, Tish said on the the Feb. 7 episode of the podcast that she and Billy Ray had been living apart—him in Tennessee, her in Los Angeles—for two years before their divorce. She noted that this time was "hugely transformative" for her.

"When it actually fell apart is when I stopped [changing myself]," Tish explained. "When I stopped doing that, it was over. [I was] looking at myself being like, 'What in the heck are you doing?' So I literally just had made that firm decision, and I was like, 'I'm moving on with my life.' You know what, girl? It worked out for the best."

Tish said that there was "disrespect in every form" in her marriage to Billy Ray, admitting that it was on both sides. She is now married to actor Dominic Purcell after tying the knot in August 2023. As for Billy Ray, he married musician Firerose in October 2023. Comparing her last marriage to her new one, Tish said, "Disrespect just lays it out in so many ways. I [didn't] even know—until I had a new relationship [where] there was so much respect—how much disrespect there was in my marriage before. Honestly, on both our parts." Best Life has reached out to a representative for Billy Ray for comment.

Tish Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus at the premiere of "Bolt" in 2008
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

Tish and Billy Ray came close to divorcing in the past but ended up getting back together. In 2010, they filed for divorce, releasing a statement to People in which they said, "We are trying to work through some personal matters. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers." They reconciled, and then in 2013, Tish filed for divorce. She told People in a statement, "This is a personal matter and we are working to find a resolution that is in the best interest of our family." Again, the couple stayed together.

In the new interview, Tish said that she stayed in her marriage as long as she did out of fear. "It had not been in a good place for a long time. I think I did stay so long out of fear. Literal fear of being alone," she said. "I met him when I [was] 24. So I, like, grew up … [and] he was such a huge part of that."

Tish shared similar thoughts in a Feb. 7 interview with People. The Sorry We're Stoned podcast host said that she was "terrified" of leaving the "Achy Breaky Heart" singer. "I thought I was going to be alone forever," she explained. "And that was one of the times that I had the crippling breakdown of anxiety. I joke about it and say I had a complete psychological breakdown. There were 30 days where I was not eating, sleeping, just felt like I was just coming out of my skin. And it was really scary."

When Tish and Billy Ray announced their divorce in April 2022, they said in a statement to People, "It is after 30 years, five amazing children and a lifetime of memories, we have decided to go our separate ways—not with sadness, but with love in our hearts. We have grown up together, raised a family we can be so proud of, and it is now time to create our own paths."

Tish had two children, Brandi and Trace, before she married Billy Ray, who also had a child from a previous relationship: son Christopher Cody. They welcomed daughters Miley and Noah and son Braison together. Noah and Braison notably did not attend Tish's wedding to Purcell, amid rumors that they don't support their mother's new relationship.

Today, Tish wants to be someone who other women can look to as they make major changes in their own lives.  She said in the People interview, "I would love to just be this poster child for women our age and just be like, I promise you starting over sometimes is the best thing you can ever do. It's been great for me."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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