Dolly Parton addresses conspiracy theory that her husband of 54 years is imaginary

Chelsea Ritschel
·2 min read
Dolly Parton debunks conspiracy that her husband doesn’t exist  (AFP via Getty Images)
Dolly Parton debunks conspiracy that her husband doesn’t exist (AFP via Getty Images)

Dolly Parton has addressed the conspiracy theory that her husband of 54 years Carl Dean is imaginary, explaining that he just prefers to stay out of the spotlight.

The country music star discussed the humorous fan speculation during an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

“A lot of people have thought that through the years because he does not want to be in the spotlight at all. It's just not who he is," Parton said. "He's like, a quiet, reserved person and he figured if he ever got out there in that, he'd never get a minute’s peace and he's right about that."

According to Parton, Dean’s preference of a private life has been something she’s “always respected and appreciated” about him, and she’s “always tried to keep him out of the limelight as much as I can”.

"He said: 'I didn't choose this world, I chose you, and you chose that world. But we can keep our lives separate and together.' And we do and we have,” the 74-year-old said.

The Jolene singer also credits the time she and Dean, 78, spend apart as the key to their successful marriage.

“I always joke about the fact when people ask me why it’s lasted this long, I say: ‘Because I stay gone,’” Parton said, adding: “And there’s a lot of truth in that.”

“But we do have a great respect and admiration for each other,” she continued. “We both have a great sense of humour. So, we have a lot of fun."

This is not the first time Parton has joked about the importance of space in a marriage. In a 2016 interview with Today, the singer said that when people ask her how she and Dean have managed 50 years of marriage, she says: “Forty-seven of those years I was gone.”

Parton and Dean got married on 30 May 1966, with the Grammy winner revealing that they renewed their vows with another wedding ceremony on their 50th anniversary.

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