Dolly Parton has been happily married to her husband, Carl Dean, for more than 50 years, but she has still dealt with plenty of rumors about her sexuality, including that she has been secretly dating her close girlfriend, Judy Ogle. While Parton vehemently denies the accusations, she isn't at all bothered by them either.
"Well, people love to talk, people love to gossip. They've said that about Oprah [Winfrey], but it's not true," Parton told The Sun, referring to Winfrey's good friend, and business partner, Gayle King.
"So people say that—because you can't really have a great relationship with a woman," she continued. "I'm not gay, but I have so many gay friends, and I accept everybody for who they are."
Not that their relationship needs defending, but Parton cites Ogle as her closest, platonic friend.
"Judy and I have been best friends for 64 years, since we were little kids. Our parents knew each other, we grew up together, we were like sisters, became best friends," Parton shared. "She was very quiet, I was very outgoing. So we made perfect friends. We went all through school together. She went to the army when we graduated because she needed the insurance and she needed to help her family and I was trying to make it. As soon as she got out, she came to Nashville and we've been together ever since."
Parton doesn't mind the rumors that have circled around her for most of her career and even says they might have actually helped her in the long run.
"People love to talk — but sometimes that's your best publicity," admitted the 73-year-old. "I don't care what they say as long as they don't hurt other people I love."
Not only is Parton purely heterosexual, she is still madly in love with her husband, even after all these years.
"He's a good man," Parton boasted. "It is a true love story and he's my best buddy — he's crazy, he's funny. So I think laughter has been a big part of our relationship. We both have a lot of fun.
"And we're not in the same business — he doesn't care about that," she continued. "He's pretty much a homebody, loves staying around home. We live out on a farm. He likes to mow the fields and work on his tractors."
Parton has plenty of nieces and nephews, but never had children of her own, thanks to a hysterectomy when she was 36 years old. But Parton reveals that she would rather love other people's children than have her own.
"I look at everything like it happened the way that it was supposed to," she conceded. "I'm pretty sure if I'd had kids I would not have done as much. I always think, 'Well, maybe God didn't mean for me to have children, so everybody's children could be mine.'"
"My husband feels the same way," she added. "Now that we are older, we're almost kind of glad that we don't have a bunch of grandkids driving us crazy that we have to babysit if we don't want to."
Photo Credit: Getty / Rich Fury