The gossip dealers claimed that she was gay; that she has had a slew of business and is secretly covered in tattoos.
But Dolly’s seldom seen husband, Carl Dean, is really the real deal, having quietly hid in the depths of Dolly’s lavish life since their first meeting at the Wishy-Washy laundromat in Nashville at the age of 18. .
Carl, then 21, caught his eye jokingly that she was going to get sunburned in her revealing outfit.
And he knew from the second they met that Dolly, 73, was The One.
“My first thought was that I will marry this girl,” said Carl once. “My second was,” Lord, she is a good lookin. And that’s the day my life started. “
She signed with Monument Records shortly thereafter and married Carl in a small ceremony in Ringgold, Georgia in 1966, with only her mother as a witness.
But stardom was not something Carl wanted or appreciated and instead chose to live a quiet life on their sprawling farm, running his paving business until his recent retirement.
“Look, he’s a man at home and doesn’t like going out in public,” Dolly previously told The Mirror.
“We have a farm and he is more than happy to keep the fields mowed, the barns painted and work on his farming equipment. “
In fact, the singer – whose 1973 song Jolene was inspired by a woman trying to steal Carl – describes her husband as a “loner”.
“He doesn’t particularly care about being with someone other than me. He always asked me to leave him out of it. He doesn’t like all hullabaloo, “she said.
Over the years, she has been accused of having relationships with everyone, from Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds and her lifelong friend and personal assistant Judy Ogle.
Speculation only intensified when Dolly innocently admitted that they shared the same bed.
“But I have never had a relationship with a woman in my life or wanted to be with a woman,” she said earlier.
Weighing why she thinks the rumors started, Dolly continued, “We both went to high school together. She entered the army and when she left the army, she never married. She goes out with and she has had several boyfriends. The fact that they never see my husband, they make it clear that we are in a relationship.
“It doesn’t bother me, but it bothers and embarrasses Judy and her family. I tell her which would you prefer – being called an old girl or a lesbian? She says lesbian every time! “
As for rumors about the case with some of Hollywood’s greatest men, Dolly admits that she “never met a man I didn’t like”, and explained that she had an “open” relationship with Carl – but not in a physical sense.
She explained, “He is not jealous and I am not jealous of him. He knows I’m flirting. He also flirts. Yes, it is an open relationship, but not sexual, and I would kill him if I thought he was doing this. He would. shoot me too. At the end of the day, we love each other madly. ”
To keep love alive, she makes sure her sleepwear is always “cute and sexy” and says that Carl is a desperate romantic who likes to cover her with gifts.
From picking their golden buttons to writing their poems, the couple recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows.
As for the key to their longevity, Dolly says they like to be laughed at.
“Humor has united us over the years,” she said.
“Carl has a distorted and distorted sense of humor. He’s extremely funny and I guess I’m also pretty funny.
“Even if we split up, we never said anything that we would regret if one of us died. We usually laugh our way. “
Another long-standing rumor about Dolly is that she is secretly covered in tattoos.
In fact, she always wears long sleeves that were only used to fuel gossip.
Jennifer Saunders once said that she saw Dolly’s mysterious inks during dinner in Los Angeles.
“It was 9:30 in the evening, which meant that the restaurant was empty, because that’s what is happening in Los Angeles, everyone comes home, no one goes out to drink late,” said Jennifer.
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“And so the restaurant was empty and she just opened her jacket and showed us, I can say, the most beautiful tattoos. “
And earlier this year, Dolly finally confirmed that she did indeed have a secret collection of pretty pastel-colored tattoos that she used to hide her scars.
She told CNN, “If I have to scar myself for some reason, I can never get rid of that purple look. So I thought, “Well, I’m going to decorate them with flowers or little butterflies or whatever.” “