Dolly Parton once again denies rumors she is involved in a long-term relationship with her best friend, Judy Ogle.
The country music superstar has long denied rumors of a lesbian relationship with Judy, whom she met in elementary school in Tennessee.
Dolly, 73, again insisted she is not a lesbian in an interview with The Sun newspaper.
"So people say that - because you can't really have a great relationship with a woman," she said. "I'm not gay but I have so many gay friends and I accept everybody for who they are."
The "I Will Always Love You" singer compared her situation to the lesbian rumors that have plagued Oprah Winfrey, 65, and her best friend Gayle King, 64. Oprah and Gayle have both denied the rumors over the decades.
"People love to talk, people love to gossip," said Dolly. "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."
She added: "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 a singer). As soon as she got out, she came to Nashville and we've been together ever since."
Dolly insists the lesbian rumors don't bother her, but she worries that they may upset her reclusive husband, Carl Dean, and her other loved ones.
"People love to talk but sometimes that's your best publicity," she says. "I don't care what they say as long as they don't hurt other people I love."
Parton has been married to Carl since 1966, but the couple is rarely seen together in public. Dolly and Carl renewed their wedding vows in 2016 after 50 years of marriage. They have no children.
Photos by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images, Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images