The mother of former Neighbours star Liam Hemsworth went from celebrity chaperone to stunt driver yesterday as she attempted to get her son’s girlfriend, miniature megastar Miley Cyrus, to the airport. Tailed by paparazzi and fans from the moment she left her Phillip Island home, Leonie Hemsworth attempted to keep the attention away from singing and acting sensation Cyrus, who has been quietly staying with the family for a week.
Sources said the mother of three did her best behind the wheel to keep their admirers at bay during the two-hour drive from the popular tourist destination to Melbourne Airport.
Despite remaining relatively anonymous during her stay Down Under for New Year and the all-important family meet-and-greet, Cyrus was deluged upon arrival at the airport at 9am by autograph and picture-hungry fans.
Although initially refusing to sign and smile – something she did throughout her stay on Phillip Island with locals – Cyrus eventually relented. Travelling without a security detail, which is unheard of for any Hollywood star, the 17-year-old was given a police escort through the terminal and onlookers said she was also greenlighted through customs.
Her boyfriend and Last Song co-star is said to have joined her on the plane to LA, where she has been nominated for best breakout actress at the People’s Choice Awards today. Phillip Island spies say they overheard Cyrus talking on the phone to her dad, Achy Breaky Heart hitmaker Billy-Ray, saying how much she had “fallen in love” with the place.
In a recent interview, Cyrus referred to Liam as her “best friend” and she said that she has “never gotten along with someone so well”.