Music icon has hosed down long-standing rumours that she and childhood best friend Judy Ogle are a secret same-sex couple.
Promoting the musical version of her iconic 1980 film 9 to 5 in the UK, the country music singer candidly answered questions about her career and personal life in an interview with The Sun.
“People say that because you can’t really have a great relationship with a woman,” she said of the gay rumours.
“I’m not gay but I have so many gay friends and I accept everybody for who they are.”
Dolly added that like the speculation surrounding Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King’s relationship, her closeness with her childhood friend Judy remains strong and platonic.
“Well, people love to talk, people love to gossip,” she said.
“They’ve said that about Oprah but it’s not true.
“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.
“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 been married to her husband Carl Dean for 53 years, and the pair recently renewed their vows.
She said she “loved” to be considered a gay icon and said if she was born a boy, she would have “been a drag queen because I love all the flamboyant stuff.”
In mid-2018, it was announced a 9 to 5 sequel was being produced, reuniting all three of the original film’s stars Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin.
“It’d have to be called 95 instead of 9 To 5 with the three of us,” Dolly joked.