“I had no idea about the fragile mental state that she was in, and I was also only 20 years old so I could really only wrap my head around mental illness only so much,” Cyrus, 30, said during her ABC special Endless Summer Vacation: Continued (Backyard Sessions) on Thursday, August 24. “And all that I saw was that another woman told me that this idea was not my idea. And even if I was convinced that it was, it was still just, you know, men in power’s idea of me. And they had manipulated me to believe that it was my own idea when it never really was. And it was. And it is. And I still love it.”
She continued: “I think I had just been judged for so long on my own choices that I was just exhausted. And I was in this place where I finally was making my own choices and my own decisions. And to have that taken away from me deeply upset me. God bless Sinéad O’Connor for real, in all seriousness.”
Cyrus then cut to a performance of her singing “Wonder Woman,” which she dedicated to O’Connor, who passed away in July at the age of 56.
Cyrus, 30, and O’Connor’s feud began in 2013 when Cyrus shared in a Rolling Stones interview that her “Wrecking Ball” music video was inspired by O’Connor’s 1990’s video for “Nothing Compares 2 U.” O’Connor later released an open letter to Cyrus, slamming her for sending out a “dangerous” message that “it’s somehow cool to be prostituted.”
“Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. We aren’t merely objects of desire,” O’Connor wrote via The Guardian in October 2013. “I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers … that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career.”
Cyrus responded to the remarks shortly after, comparing O’Connor to Amanda Bynes. “Before Amanda Bynes… there was…,” she wrote via Twitter at the time. In her post, she shared a series of old tweets from O’Connor trying to find a psychiatrist in Ireland who could “urgently” see her as soon as possible.
O’Connor then penned a second open letter to Cyrus, claiming the former Disney star’s response to her critics was “even more f—kin’ stupid than behaving like a prostitute and calling it feminism.”
She continued: “I am staggered that any 20 yr old woman of the 21st century could behave in such a dangerous and irresponsible manner as to not only send the signal to young women that it’s OK to act like prostitutes but also to signal that those who have suffered or do suffer mental health problems are to be mocked and have their opinions invalidated. Have you no sense of danger at all?”
After their lengthy back and forth, Cyrus admitted in October 2013 that O’Connor was an “incredible artist,” but still wasn’t entirely sure why O’Connor sparked a feud in the first place.
“That was kind of crazy. I’m a big fan of hers, so it doesn’t really matter,” she said during a Today show appearance. “It’s all good. You can write as many open letters as you want.”