Dolly Parton came close to committing suicide after cheating on her husband.
The country music legend, who has been married to Carl Dean since 1966, had an “affair of the heart” during the 1980s, and Dolly was so overcome with guilt she considered ending her own life.
“I was sitting upstairs in my bedroom one afternoon when I noticed in the nightstand drawer my gun that I keep for burglars,” a Daily Mail excerpt from the new book Dolly on Dolly: Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton reads.
“I looked at it (the gun) a long 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-tap of his paws jolted me back to reality… I kinda believe Popeye was a spiritual messenger from God.”
“I don’t think I’d have done it, killed myself, but I can’t say for sure,” she adds in the book, which features some of the singer’s most candid interviews. “Now that I’ve gone through that terrible moment, I can certainly understand the possibilities even for someone solid like me if the pain gets bad enough.”
Although the I Will Always Love You singer did not mention who she had had an affair with, it is rumoured her lover may have been Gregg Perry, the band leader who produced her 1982 soundtrack album The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
Despite the rocky patch in their marriage, Dolly and Dean are still together to this day, and the 71-year-old admitted in another excerpt she would “die” if he ever left her.
“I always call him Daddy and he calls me Mama or Little Kid or Angel Cakes,” she said of their loving relationship. “Sometimes he calls me Dotty to be silly.”
The new book about Dolly by bestselling author Randy L. Schmidt was released in the U.S. on 1 May (17).