Sinead O'Connor has reacted forcefully to online taunting by Miley Cyrus in the wake of her impassioned letter to the singer, demanding an apology and threatening legal action for potentially damaging her career.
Following O'Connor's much-discussed open letter, in which she warned the young singer of allowing herself "to be pimped" by the music business, Cyrus responded by mocking O'Connor's mental health issues of two years ago via screengrabs on Twitter. "Before there was Amanda Bynes," Cyrus wrote of the actress who has also battled mental health issues.
Hours later, O'Connor penned a second letter slamming Cyrus for posting the 2-year-old tweets when "I was unwell and seeking help" in a way that made them appear recent. She called Cyrus out for specifically referencing the troubled Bynes.
"I mean really really… who advises you?" she asks incredulously. "Have you any idea how stupid and dangerous it is to mock people for suffering illness? You will yourself one day suffer such illness, that is without doubt. The course you have set yourself upon can only end in that, trust me."
O'Connor goes on to call Cyrus' flippant attitude "dangerous and irresponsible" and a bad example to young women. "Have you no sense of danger at all? Or responsibility? Remove your tweets immediately or you will hear from my lawyers," she warns. "Mockery causes deaths. Period. It is an unacceptable form of bullying, no matter who it is doing the bullying."
In her first and only response to the controversy on Twitter, Cyrus answers an offer to a meeting that O'Connor made in her initial letter. "Sinead. I don't have time to write you an open letter cause I'm hosting & performing on SNL this week. So if you'd like to meet up and talk lemme know in your next letter."
Cyrus' note inspired a forceful third letter from O'Connor, posted again to her website. In it, O'Connor doubles down in her defense of Bynes ("an entirely innocent party… who did nothing to deserve your abuse").
"You can take five minutes today between g-string fuckin' changes to publicly apologize and remove your abusive tweets," she writes. "If you do not then you don’t give a shit who you mock and what damage you do by being so ignorant."
O'Connor reiterates that if Cyrus does not apologize, she will bring about legal proceedings "since it is extremely hard to be given work when people think one is suffering from mental illness."
She promises that "When you end up in the psych ward or rehab I’ll be happy to visit you.. and would not lower myself to mock you."
In closing, O'Connor asks Cyrus to consider the feelings of others who have been the target of mockery in the past, including her friend Britney Spears.
"How do you feel when your friend Britney Spears is mocked and humiliated for having had mental health problems? I know I personally want to bash those who treat her that way. If she is your friend and more importantly if you are a true friend to her. You ought apologise for joining those who mock and humiliate women who have been too nice frankly, to manage the music business without sensibly losing their minds."
O'Connor's first letter, which laments Cyrus' image as a twerking, sledgehammer-licking provocateur, has since inspire another letter, this time from former Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer. In her defense of Cyrus, Palmer says "let's give our young women the right weapons to fight with as they charge naked into battle, instead of ordering them to get back in the house and put some goddamn clothes on."
Stay tuned for more drama through the weekend. Cyrus is hosting "SNL" this Saturday.
Click HERE to Read the Second and Third Letters