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Dolly Parton has denied she is gay. The country music legend has often been rumoured to be in a long-term relationship with her best friend Judy Ogle.
The 73-year-old singer has been married to Carl Thomas Dean since 1966, but lesbian rumours and speculation have followed her for decades.
Setting the record straight once and for all, Parton told The Sun that despite having a very close relationship with Ogle, she is in fact not gay.
“People love to talk, people love to gossip” she began as the paper’s Dan Wootton asked if she was living a ‘secret gay life’.
“So people say that, because you can’t really have a great relationship with a woman. I’m not gay but I have so many gay friends and I accept everybody for who they are,” she said.
She went on to compare her friendship to that of Oprah Winfrey and her best friend Gayle King, who have also been rumoured to be romantically involved for many years.
‘Well, people love to talk, people love to gossip. They’ve said that about Oprah but it’s not true.
“People love to talk, but sometimes that’s your best publicity. I don’t care what they say as long as they don’t hurt other people I love.”
Parton has known Ogle since they were children, and that while she calls her her ‘girlfriend’ they are are really more like sisters:
“We knew each other, our parents knew each other, we grew up together, we were like sisters, became best friends.”
The 9 to 5 singer has always remained a low profile with her husband Carl, and the couple have no children together. She admitted during an interview on Good Morning Britain on Monday that while he’s not the biggest fan of her music, he is still always supportive of her work.