Dolly Parton represents different things to fans and critics – a Christian woman, role model and sex symbol – but her audaciousness remains an outstanding trait we can’t ignore.
The larger-than-life singer identified her faith in God as the only reason her marriage to longtime friend Carl Thomas Dean stayed alive through rough times, stressing that she has endured lots of untold pains.
Nonetheless, Parton beamed with smiles, painlessly sheathing her depression and suicidal thoughts, while speaking to Closer Weekly about her love for muscular men.
“I grew up around macho men and have had my lovers that are that macho type,” she buttressed the fact in her 2017 book Dolly on Dolly. “I’m kinda drawn to that.”
The 72-year-old revealed she developed gynecological problems which lasted over 3 years in the early 80s until 1984, when she eventually opted for a partial hysterectomy. Medical experts, at that time, broke the bad news that she’d be unable to have children with Carl, who she wedded in 1966.
Parton admitted her health condition led to a two-year depression, which worsened with guilt over an emotional affair that left permanent scars in her heart.
The bad times, however, subsided after Parton found strength in music and other professional commitments but the modern country music icon reveals she even contemplated suicide before finding her direction.
Her words: “It was a really bad time…Sometimes God just has to smack you down. He was almost saying, ‘Sit your pretty little ass down because we have to deal with some stuff!’”
“I hurt like everybody else. I’m not always happy,” Parton added.
The Coat of many Colors singer has so far won 11 Grammy awards. She has an estimated net worth of $500 million.
Parton’s 52-year open marriage to husband Carl Dean wouldn’t have survived without help from God, she said, adding that she now understands why people take their own lives.
“Now that I’ve gone through that terrible moment,” the Tennessee-born music icon said, “I can certainly understand the possibilities, even for someone solid like me, if the pain gets bad enough.
“I think that good neighbors and faith and trust in God, including mutual love between Carl and I, helps everyone pull together as a team” she noted.
“I looked at it a long time,” Parton said about her contemplation to die by the gun at that time. “Then, just as I picked it up, just to hold it, and look at it for a moment, our little dog, Popeye, came running up the stairs. The tap-tap of his paws jolted me back to reality. I suddenly froze and I put the gun down.”
Parton said it was after the rescue from Popeye that her eyes opened and she prayed to God for forgiveness.
“I kinda believe Popeye was a spiritual messenger from God,” she added. “I don’t think I’d have done it, killed myself, but I can’t say for sure.”
Parton and Carl have no children. They met when he was 21 and she was 18.
Carl lives full-time in Nashville, which is where Dolly, a native of Sevierville, spends her time away from work. The couple have their own small chapel on the grounds of their farm in Tennessee.
Their agreement in the open marriage is that they will stay devoted and never discuss their lovers.
“I don’t get jealous,” she said. “It never crosses my mind. And if he does something, I never want to know. There’s no way in heaven’s name that I could ever leave Carl.”