Their rekindled romance may have seemed picture perfect to their fans and the press, but Miley Cyrus revealed the unhappy truth behind her "fairy tale" marriage to Liam Hemsworth. Reflecting on the Younger Now era of her career in a new interview with Rolling Stone, the singer explained that while it felt good to be "playing house" with Hemsworth, she now realizes that the situation wasn't making her happy. "A couple of years ago, it looked like I was living some fairy tale. It really wasn't," she said.
"At that time, my experimentation with drugs and booze and the circle of people around me was not fulfilling or sustainable or ever going to get me to my fullest potential and purpose," the pop star told the outlet. And although Cyrus wasn't in a good mental state, most people assumed she was doing well because of what it looked like on the outside. "There's an idea that during the Younger Now era, I was pure," she said. "I was way more off my path at that time than any of the times before where my sanity was being questioned."
It was a combination of her drug use and the loss of her and Hemsworth's home in a wildfire that inspired her to get married. "In a way, it did what I couldn't do for myself. It removed me from what no longer was serving its purpose," Cyrus explained. "And then as you drown, you reach for that lifesaver and you want to save yourself. I think that's really what, ultimately, getting married was for me. One last attempt to save myself."
Cyrus chronicled all of her feelings about her marriage and drug use in 2019's "Slide Away," the single she released around the time of her divorce. "I was still in my relationship, I was still living in my house in Malibu," the singer said, explaining the inspiration behind the song. "That's why [I sang], 'I want my house in the hills.' I wanted out of there." She also noted the lyric about her substance use, adding that she "didn't want to maintain that lifestyle."
Cyrus has been open about her divorce recently, telling Howard Stern on Dec. 2 that although she felt marrying Hemsworth was the right decision in the moment, the wildfire made her realize it was time to let go. "I had so much and it was all gone, every song I had ever written was in that house. Every photograph of me that my parents had given to me, all my scripts, I lost everything," she said. "So in trying to put that back together, instead of going, 'Oh, nature kind of did something I couldn't do for myself; it forced me to let go,' I ran toward the fire."
"I really do and did love him very, very, very much and still do, always will," the singer said of her former husband. However, there was simply "too much conflict" between them to make it work. "When I come home, I want to be anchored by someone," she said. "I don't get off on drama or fighting."