Country legend Dolly Parton is setting the record straight, denying the gay rumors that have followed her around for years in a new interview with “Nightline.”
The actress-singer tells ABC News that she is not “romantically involved” with her best friend Judy Ogle, whom she’s known since childhood.
“Judy and I have been best friends since we were like in the third and fourth grade,” Parton, 66, says. “We still just have a great friendship and relationship and I love her as much as I love anybody in the whole world, but we’re not romantically involved.”
Parton, who’s been married to Carl Dean for 46 years, says she’s even bonded with Oprah Winfrey over the false accusations, as the talk-show host has also battled persistent rumors that she’s in a romantic relationship with her bestie, “CBS This Morning” anchor Gayle King.
“Like Gayle, her friend, Judy, my friend … they just think that you just can’t be that close to somebody,” Parton says.
With her refreshing honesty and good-sport-itude, Parton even discusses how she once entered a drag-queen look-alike contest as Dolly Parton … and lost.
“They had a bunch of Chers and Dollys that year, so I just over-exaggerated — made my beauty mark bigger, the eyes bigger, the hair bigger, everything,” Parton laughs. “All these beautiful drag queens had worked for weeks and months getting their clothes. So I just got in the line and I just walked across, and they just thought I was some little short gay guy … but I got the least applause.”
Parton’s new memoir, Dream More, is out Tuesday.