Why Miley Cyrus Retracted Her Vanity Fair Apology

"I think the conversation has changed a lot," the singer tells Jimmy Kimmel

By Zach Johnson May 02, 2018 12:15 PMTags

Miley Cyrus can't be tamed—nor does she want to be.

Over the weekend, she retracted her apology for posing topless at age 15 in Vanity Fair. Now 25, Cyrus tweeted a cover of the New York Post's sensationalized cover: "MILEY'S SHAME." Taking back her narrative, the pop provocateur wrote, "IM NOT SORRY F--k YOU #10yearsago."

When Cyrus appeared on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday, Jimmy Kimmel asked her what spurred the long overdue clapback. "It popped up on my little Instagram feed, and I thought, 'Hey, telling them to go f--k themselves seems fun right now,'" Cyrus confessed. "I was bored!"

"I never really keep track of the years that have gone by since something like this. I guess it was apparently 10 years ago," the singer explained. "I think a lot of things have changed, and I think the conversation has changed a lot. Something that I really thought about was, 'Sure, some people thought that I did something wrong in their eyes.' But I think it was really wrong to put on top of something that this is 'my shame' and that I should be ashamed of myself. That's not a nice thing to tell someone they should be ashamed of themselves—besides Donald Trump."

Miley Cyrus' Naked (and Almost Naked) Pics

At the time, she issued an apology—but it felt forced. "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!" the pop star said. "They want to know why I come on TV shows with no shirt on. Blame them!"

Cyrus was starring in Disney Channel's Hannah Montana in 2008, which was also being adapted from a television show into a feature film. "I think at that time I just wanted this to go away," she said, "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. At the end of the day, it's like anything else."

"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 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," Cyrus said. "So, actually I shouldn't be ashamed—they should be."

While Cyrus was happy to put the New York Post in its place, she's uninterested in revisiting history. "I try to not even think about yesterday," she said, "because it's such a waste of time."