Sinead O'Connor Won't Let This Feud Go

by Alanna Bennett

Sigh. Yeah, it's happening again: Sinead O'Connor has written another open letter to Miley Cyrus. Yes, another one. No, it's not just that last one you heard about reported late. It's a fourth letter. A fourth one. Although this one's less filled with the hatred of a thousand suns and is more like the tuttering of a (hopefully) dying-down feud.

The letter, for the most part, is O'Connor's plea to Cyrus to please apologize for her insensitive mockery of mental illness, including quite a few words on suicide in the youth population. She makes some good points, and gets some bonus points for not calling Cyrus a prostitute in this one.

My problem with you stems from your response to my first letter. Until you exposed me ( And Amanda Bynes) to abuse on the grounds of my having sought help (extremely coherently) to save my life, when experiencing suicidal compulsion as a side effect of a medication called Tegretol, I had no problem with you whatsoever.[...]I would very much like you please to apologise [sic] to myself and Amanda Bynes for having perpetuated abuse of both of us on the grounds that Amanda has had ‘mental health issues’ and that I experienced suicidal compulsion and was open about seeking help in order to save my life.

She goes on to talk about Cyrus' young fans and how Cyrus is not exactly helping when it comes to the battle to destigmatize mental illness.

So.. I’m not ‘feuding’ or fighting with you. But I am asking that you restore dignity to myself and Amanda and all sufferers. in doing so you will restore dignity on this matter to yourself. To leave people you have hurt so badly with no apology is unacceptable.You may disagree with what I advised you in my first letter.. That is your entitlement. However the letter was written in a spirit of motherly care. You’re entitled to have told me to go fuck myself if u liked.. But to respond to it in a way that has caused so much personal harm and damage to me and to people who may struggle currently with suicidal feelings.. And to abuse Amanda Bynes .. is beyond my understanding, as is your refusal so far to apologise, along with your further calling me “crazy” today.

Overall, this letter's less of a rage-fueled rant and more of a plea coming from something O'Connor seems very passionate about. The longer this goes on, though, the more heavily Cyrus is likely to just roll her eyes and move on to the next episode of her career/life. It'd be marvelous if she took a moment to actually think about what O'Connor lays out in this particular letter — if not the public apology then at least in reference to how to change her disposition towards mental illness in the future — but it kind of feels like the perfect storm of Cyrus' disinterest in this and O'Connor's past venom-laced open letters make that introspection relatively unlikely.

You can read the full letter here.