Smiley Miley pouts, and around the world marketing executives are heard weeping

Britney fell from grace, then Lindsay... Now the star of 'Hannah Montana' is in trouble

Just as predicted, it looks as if America's latest virgin teen superstar has a side to her even more shameful than her self-confessed addiction to ketchup. As surely as night follows day, Miley Cyrus, the squillion-selling singer and star of Hannah Montana, has gone straight from squeaky clean godliness to slightly grubby apologies. Her sin: to be photographed by Annie Leibovitz wearing a crumpled bed sheet, looking as though she had just been pulled out of a lake and was weirdly pleased about it.

The shots, in Vanity Fair, initially met with the approval of Miley, 15, her minders and parents, who were present when they were taken. And perhaps if this were any other teenager, the most shocking thing about them would be her rampant goose pimples. But a lot is resting on little Miley: her employers at Disney need her to be the anti-Britney, to prove that the American Dream doesn't always end up drunk, pregnant and flashing her gusset at the paps. And her bosses clearly see a naked back as quite far down that road.

"I took part in a photoshoot that was supposed to be 'artistic,'" explained a chastened Miley when her error was pointed out. "And now... I feel so embarrassed. I apologise to my fans, who I care so deeply about." Disney expressed its disgust at Leibovitz's decision "to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines." Deliberately manipulating a 15-year-old in order to sell a TV show, album, doll, stationery, clothing range, DVD, Nintendo game... that's completely different. It's different because Disney thought of it first.

In distinguishing between the bare-legged, school-uniformed Miley of the TV franchise (wholesome, charming, American) and the bare-backed, lipsticked Miley of the magazine shoot (smutty, shameful, corrupt), Disney may have made a misjudgement. A brief and unedifying flick through Google shows far more unhealthy, paedophilic interest in the innocent teenager of Disney's creation than in Leibovitz's confident, grown-up image. "As soon as she turns 18," writes one fan, "everyone will lose interest and she'll become the next Lindsay Lohan."

No doubt Disney execs are already thinking of Lohan, and weeping. When the then 17-year-old starred in their 2005 film, Herbie, rumour had it that her breasts were digitally reduced to avoid offending. "Breasts are fine in PG films," said an insider, "providing they are no larger than a C-cup." No doubt their thoughts are also turning to Britney Spears, the star Mouseketeer who swore she would never have sex before marriage and that her faith would see her through. Her Miley moment came in April 1999, when readers of Rolling Stone magazine found her lolling across its cover on pink satin sheets, wearing polka dot knickers and holding a Teletubby.

Apparently, Miley has been told to lie low – the equivalent of sending her to her room to have a long hard think. No doubt she'll recover. She already knows that booze, drugs and sex "will only make you feel good for so long, but friends and family will make you feel awesome for ever". If only she'd been warned about naughty lady photographers – and others who might exploit a pretty 15-year-old girl.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy