NEW YORK - Entertainer Billy Ray Cyrus says he wasn't around when Annie Leibovitz photographed his 15-year-old daughter, Miley, wrapped in a sheet with her back exposed, for the June issue of Vanity Fair magazine.

"I wasn't there at the time," the 46-year-old country star said Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show.

"[Miley's] publicist was there, and everyone seemed in control," he said. "I didn't know they [were] gonna strip her down and wrap her with a blanket."

"So I was surprised when I saw it, you know, but ... stuff happens. That's life. Things happen and sometimes things get a little out of control and you just gotta deal with life," he said. "Again, it's peaks and valleys and ups and downs."

Cyrus, who co-stars with Miley in Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana," said Leibovitz was a "good person and a great photographer" but looking back, he would have stayed to chaperone the photo shoot.

Another photo in the spread that caused a stir was the image of Cyrus and his daughter.

When asked if that photo was a mistake, Cyrus said: "It's not a mistake to me. If it is to someone else, I'm sorry if I offended somebody, but no, that's just a daddy that loves his daughter a whole lot."


ON THEIR HIGH HAT: Zara Phillips, left, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth, joined in the daily royal procession on the first day of the Royal Ascot horse races on Tuesday in England. The event is one of the highlights of the English social season, and the titled and wealthy appear in high formal -- and sometimes eccentric -- dress.