She’s been married for 53 years to Carl Dean but Dolly Parton still can’t seem to shake rumours swirling around her sexuality. 

The persistent rumour that’s followed Parton is that she’s had a romantic relationship with her childhood (and current) best friend Judy Ogle.

But the 73-year-old is determined to put the rumours to bed (so to speak).

Speaking to The Sun’s Dan Wootton, she said:

“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.”

“Well, people love to talk, people love to gossip. They’ve said that about Oprah but it’s not true,” Parton explains.

“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.

“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.”

While she admitted it was frustrating, she’s more concerned about how the rumours impacted her friends and family. 

“I don’t care what they say as long as they don’t hurt other people I love.”

97.3fm Brisbane