Career ‘sabotage’, ‘secret’ wedding & a bitter mastectomy row… how Billy Ray Cyrus sparked pop’s most explosive divorce

IN his most famous hit Billy Ray Cyrus crooned about his “achy breaky heart” and the devastation of a relationship coming to an end.

But it seems there’s no love lost when it comes to his soon-to-be ex-wife Firerose, as the pair launch into a vicious war of words amid their explosive divorce battle. 

Billy Ray and Firerose Cyrus are divorcing after just seven months of marriage

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Billy Ray and Firerose Cyrus are divorcing after just seven months of marriageCredit: Lisa Rhea Photography
She claimed to have been in an 'emotional and psychological prison', which Billy refutes

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She claimed to have been in an ’emotional and psychological prison’, which Billy refutesCredit: Instagram/firerose
Billy and daughter Miley Cyrus' relationship has been "strained" since the couple got together

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Billy and daughter Miley Cyrus’ relationship has been “strained” since the couple got togetherCredit: Getty

Billy married the Australian singer, real name Johanna Rose Hodges, seven months ago but in May filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences” and “inappropriate marital conduct”.

Since then a series of wild allegations have emerged from both sides including the country singer, 62, claiming his wife, 35, committed “marital fraud” by lying about her last name.

Firerose, who is just four years older than Billy’s daughter Miley, 31, claimed in court documents filed in Tennessee to have been in “an emotional and psychological prison” due to her partner launching regular “verbal assaults”.

Those remarks were branded “confusing and suspicious” by Billy’s lawyers, who have shared a handwritten note and text message Firerose “begging Mr Cyrus to forgive her”

This week, Billy was said to be “more relieved every day that he’s done with his marriage” according to a source, who spoke to People magazine.

They added: “He believes she only married him for financial and other reasons. He’s convinced that she didn’t marry him for love.”

As the estranged couple airs more dirty linen in public, we look back at their relationship and report on the split that has become the most explosive divorce in pop music.

‘Divine purpose’ dog

Billy was still married to wife Tiff when he met Firerose in the late 2000s.

She had been at an audition in Hollywood near a film set where Billy had been recording the US show Hannah Montana and spotted he had “the most beautiful German Shepherd”.

Firerose believed the dog, named Tex, must have been “tapped into some divine purpose”  in bringing them together because more than a decade later they would be married.

Miley Cyrus admits she got her ‘narcissism’ from Billy Ray as she shades her father in Netflix’s David Letterman special
Billy spent nearly 30 years married to Tish Cyrus (left)

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Billy spent nearly 30 years married to Tish Cyrus (left)Credit: 2017 Kevin Mazur
The country singer met Firerose while filming the show Hannah Montana around 2010

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The country singer met Firerose while filming the show Hannah Montana around 2010Credit: Rex
Billy and Firerose had been friends for years before they got together

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Billy and Firerose had been friends for years before they got togetherCredit: Instagram

When Billy first saw his future wife, he thought “this girl’s a star” and offered to introduce her to casting directors and producers at the studio. 

He recalled: “I actually said to her, ‘Don’t ever take a strange man up on this offer, but, in this case, Tex will testify that you will be totally safe.’”

The pair remained friends for many years before romance blossomed, with them reportedly first hitting it off while recording their 2021 duet New Day. 

Billy was married to Miley’s mum Tish at the time but their near three-decade-long relationship – which came to an end in 2022 – was fraught with problems. 

Both parties had individually filed for divorce during the 2010s before reconciling in the hope of mending their romance, which began in 1991 after they met at a nightclub.

Billy partly blamed the Hannah Montana show for “destroying my family”, with the parents often rowing about Miley’s career.

The final nail in the coffin seemed to be struck in 2020 when Billy chose to spend the Covid-19 pandemic in Tennessee while Tish was in California with Miley. 

Tish, who filed for divorce two years later, told E!: “It had not been in a good place for a long time and I think I did stay so long out of fear of being alone.” 

Miley ‘feud’

Billy has since shared a poem and throwback snap of Miley online

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Billy has since shared a poem and throwback snap of Miley onlineCredit: Instagram

Insiders told us that Miley and Billy’s feud began shortly after the split in April 2022, due to how he had behaved towards Tish. 

They told us: “Miley is all about peace but she didn’t agree with some things that her father has done. It has really escalated and they are not on good terms.

“There were words exchanged over what ­happened towards the end of Billy and Tish’s marriage and since then, they clearly see things very differently.”

Three months later, Firerose began to post pictures with Billy online including snaps of the pair driving around and “searching for UFOs”

He has discovered that the Defendant, unknowingly to Plaintiff, blocked at least one of his daughters from being able to contact him on his phone(s) or electronic devices.

Billy Ray Cyrus’s lawyer

By September the couple were engaged and it seems Miley wasn’t impressed.

That same month, she unfollowed her dad on Instagram and sold her ranch in Nashville near to where her dad lived. 

Grammys snub

Miley neglected to thank her father during an acceptance speech at the 2023 Grammys

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Miley neglected to thank her father during an acceptance speech at the 2023 GrammysCredit: AFP
Miley was maid of honour at mum Tish's wedding in 2023

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Miley was maid of honour at mum Tish’s wedding in 2023Credit: Instagram/ dominicpurcell

The singer’s frustration with her dad was highlighted at the 2023 Grammy Awards when she scooped gongs for Best Pop Solo Performance and Record Of The Year for hit Flowers. 

In it, she thanked “my mommy, my sister, my love” but notably omitted her father, before signing off: “I don’t think I forgot anyone. But I might have forgotten underwear, bye.” 

It was claimed Billy had “tried reaching out to Miley many times” to congratulate her and that the father and daughter had become estranged. 

Later that year, in a move interpreted as Miley taking her mother’s side, she acted as maid of honour at Tish’s wedding to Dominic Purcell while deciding not to attend Billy’s nuptials.

If Cyrus was truly guilty of the allegations that [Firerose] alleges in her pleadings, then it is mindboggling to try and explain why she would want to return to live with him

Cyrus’s lawyer

Now as further details about Billy and Firerose’s divorce emerge, it’s been alleged that she may have had a hand in the singer’s fallout with Miley and her other siblings. 

In court documents obtained by The Independent, Billy’s lawyer claimed his wife had been “conducting a campaign to isolate the Plaintiff from his family” and tried to ‘alienate’ him. 

The document read: “He has discovered that the Defendant, unknowingly to Plaintiff, blocked at least one of his daughters from being able to contact him on his phone(s) or electronic devices.”

It’s one of many extreme statements that have emerged from both sides during the bitter split. 

‘False identity’

Billy and Firerose revealed they had got engaged months after his split from Tish

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Billy and Firerose revealed they had got engaged months after his split from TishCredit: Instagram
The couple married in October 2023

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The couple married in October 2023Credit: Instagram

Billy alleged that Firerose lied about her identity by claiming she had never been married before and that her maiden name was Hodges. 

His lawyers say she referred to Billy as “her one and only husband”, only for him to later discover she had divorced in 2014 and that the last name she used was her ex’s.

It’s claimed he discovered the “truth” when he overheard her talking to a US tax official and referred to herself “with a last name that he did not know”.

This revelation and other concerns led Billy to request an immediate annulment of their seven-month marriage, which he claims “was obtained by fraud”. 

$97k charges 

Since their split, Billy has filed for a restraining order against Firerose after claiming she made a series of “unauthorised” purchases on his credit cards and bank accounts.

His lawyers claimed she racked up nearly $97,000 in purchases in a two week period between their split on May 22 and June 7. 

I love you. I don’t want us to be on different sides fighting the war that nobody wins.

Firerose Cyrus

They say there were 37 unauthorised charges including a $70,665 payment made to Firerose’s lawyers. 

Firerose’s has said the claim about her spending was “untrue” but added that her “husband has no right to cut her off”.

‘Emotional prison’

Billy introduced Firerose to music and TV producers after they first met more than a decade ago

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Billy introduced Firerose to music and TV producers after they first met more than a decade agoCredit: Instagram
The couple have been battling it out through their lawyers since their divorce was announced

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The couple have been battling it out through their lawyers since their divorce was announcedCredit: Instagram

Meanwhile, Firerose’s lawyers claimed she was “the victim of extreme verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse”, which Billy has denied.

She claimed to have been subjected to “continuously launched verbal assaults” in the lead-up to him serving her with divorce papers.

They allegedly included Billy branding her “a selfish f***ing b***h” when she raised concerns about their relationship and claimed to have been in an “emotional and psychological prison”.

Firerose says she received the documents the day before going under the knife for a preventative mastectomy and breast reconstruction.

She was discovered to be a carrier of the BRCA1 gene mutation, which increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer.

Firerose insisted in the documents filed at Court that Billy had vowed to cover her surgery costs through his medical insurance but reneged on the offer. 

On the day she received the divorce papers, she claimed to have been turfed out of the couple’s house and said his brother and sister-in-law “banged on her bedroom door for three and a half hours… demanding she leave”.

Firerose has since delayed her preventative mastectomy surgery “indefinitely”, fearing she will not be able to pay for the operation. 

‘Suspicious’ letters

Billy’s lawyers have refuted Firerose’s claims of “emotional abuse” and presented both a handwritten note and text messages of her “professing her love and need to be with” him.

They said: “If Cyrus was truly guilty of the allegations that [Firerose ] alleges in her pleadings, then it is mindboggling to try and explain why she would want to return to live with him.

“Furthermore, she was pleading with him to give her a chance to explain everything to him.”

Firerose’s handwritten note

BILLY Ray Cyrus’s lawyers have released a handwritten note and a text message where Firerose asked for reconcilation amid their bitter divorce

The letter read: “I miss you more than I can possibly explain in words baby.

“Please let’s work this out and not become anything but closer out of this hellish experience.

“I need you. I love you. I am sorry. (Heart symbol) PS. Muffinator miss you & Tommy like crazy.”

The text message read: “I am listening to you Baby. I love you. I don’t want us to be on different sides fighting a war that nobody wins.

“I am going to do what you’re telling me because you promise me we can talk as soon as I’ve left and I trust you.

“I’m praying with my entire soul that we can find each other again today. I feel completely lost & miss you more than I can explain.

“And you will know I’m listening to and showing you with my actions. we need to be kind and loving to each other no matter what happens.

“You have been my best friend in the world every day for over four years. 24/7. I miss you terribly.

“My heart is shattered & I need my best friend right now more than ever. I lost 5lb since Wednesday. I just can’t eat no matter how much I try.

“I don’t want to live without you. Please give me a chance to make this right. I can explain everything but I need you on my side. I need my Hero back. (Signed off with a praying hands, crying face and red love heart emoji).

In a letter obtained by People magazine, Firerose allegedly wrote: “I miss you more than I can possibly explain in words Baby… 

“Please let’s work this out and not become anything but closer out of this hellish experience.”

In a subsequent text message, Firerose is alleged to have written: “I love you. I don’t want us to be on different sides fighting the war that nobody wins.” 

Billy’s lawyers say Firerose’s remarks about being in a “prison” during her marriage “are especially confusing and suspicious in its veracity” given the content of the messages. 

Career ‘sabotage’

Since Firerose left the couple’s Tennessee home, it’s been reported that Billy will pay $5,000 per month to help her find suitable housing until the divorce is finalised. 

She is requesting alimony from the country singer, who was worth $20million in 2023 according to Celebrity Net Worth. 

It follows her claim that he has tried to sabotage her career “in retaliation” for speaking out about their marriage struggles and he prevented her from working.

Her lawyers wrote: “Husband has had a direct hand in restricting Wife’s access to income and future opportunities, Wife has developed severe emotional distress from Husband’s actions.”

They say Firerose has had to seek psychological treatment from a therapist and has booked “emergency sessions on more than one occasion”.

Billy has refuted the claims, and in return alleged that Firerose married him “for financial and other reasons”. 

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