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Who Is Judy Ogle? Everything To Know About The Woman Rumored To Be Dolly Parton's Girlfriend

Photo: Jack Fordyce / Shutterstock
Dolly Parton

There's been rumors circulating around that have Dolly Parton laughing: Is Dolly Parton gay?

Apparently, people think she's gay and that she's having a secret lesbian affair with her best friend of more than six decades, Judy Ogle.

Who is Judy Ogle?

Ogle — who has been considered one of Parton's best friends for 64 years — has been in Parton's inner circle for a long time, leading people to wonder if a "secret relationship" has been going on for a long time as well.

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Here's everything we know about Dolly Parton's best friend, including the rumors that they're in a relationship.

Is Dolly Parton gay? Dolly has denied the rumors.

Parton, 74, has wasted no time denying and laughing off the rumors that she and Ogle were in a secret relationship.

“People say that because you can’t really have a great relationship with a woman. I’m not gay but I have so many gay friends and I accept everybody for who they are. People love to talk. People love to gossip. They’ve said that about Oprah, but it’s not true,” she said

She's also said that she's "never in my life had a relationship with a woman or had a desire to be with a woman.

Parton also spoke of Ogle's love life, adding, "She dates and she has had several boyfriends. The fact that they never see my husband, they make it out that we are in a relationship. It doesn’t upset me but it upsets and embarrasses Judy and her family. I say to her which would you prefer — being called an old maid or a lesbian? She says lesbian every time!” 

They've known each other since they were kids.


A post shared by Dolly (@deardollyparton) on Jun 8, 2017 at 8:13am PDT

Parton and Ogle have been in each other's lives for a long time — since they were little kids, in fact:

“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.

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 soon as she got out, she came to Nashville and we’ve been together ever since.”

Ogle and Parton once got into a car wreck together.


Back in 2013, Parton and Ogle were involved in a car accident in Nashville.

Dolly was riding in a Nissan with Ogle driving when they were t-boned by a Mitsubishi. 

The witness who called 911 said that Ogle was trapped in the driver's seat and needed help getting out of the car.

Parton was hospitalized after the wreck and released with minor injuries. It's not known if Ogle was injured in the crash.

Judy Ogle has a few film credits to her name.

Ogle has served as Parton's assistant on a plethora of films and projects she's been involved in, including Christmas on the Square, Dolly Parton's Heartstrings, A Smoky Mountain Christmas, and Dolly in Concert.

She has also appeared in the documentary For the Love of Dolly, and has wardrobe and makeup department credits on Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years, Dolly Parton: Live & Well, and Blue Valley Songbird.

A song was written about the rumor of their relationship.

Trixie Mattel, a drag star, singer and comedian, wrote the song "Red Side of the Moon" about an "an average person named Judy watching their darling from behind the spotlight."

Mattel reportedly picked the name Judy because “people are obsessed with the idea that Dolly Parton is a lesbian and in a relationship with her best friend Judy Ogle.”

However, Mattel doesn't believe the rumors, but the lyrics certainly make you think otherwise:

"Judy never asked her for forever

Judy never asked her for the moon

Judy knew that loving her was better

And no one knew her heart like Judy

Judy's never mentioned in the papers

Judy's never noted in the news

Judy knew that loving her was safer

Loving from the red side of the moon" 

Parton has responded to the rumors about their relationship before. 


A post shared by Samantha (@joy__love__peace) on Aug 5, 2018 at 8:02am PDT

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In a 2012 interview, Parton denied that there was anything romantic going on with her and Ogle, especially since she's now been married to her husband, Carl Dean, for over 50 years. 

In fact, Parton and Oprah Winfrey — who has felt the sting of rumors about her relationship with her friend Gayle King — even talk about it:

"We do talk about that. Gayle [King], her friend, Judy, my friend. They just think that you just can't be that close to somebody.

Judy and I have been best friends since we were like in third and fourth grade. I mean, I love her as much as I love anybody in the whole world but we're not romantically involved."

Parton loves her husband. 

Parton and Dean have been married for 53 years. And even though her sexuality has been under speculation for years, she doesn't care. 

"Sometimes that’s your best publicity,” she said. “I don’t care what they say as long as they don’t hurt other people I love.”

When did Dolly Parton and Carl Dean get married?

Dean and Parton were married in 1966 in Georgia. He doesn't like the spotlight, so he's rarely seen out and about with his superstar wife. They renewed their vows on their 50th wedding anniversary in 2016.

“He’s a good man,” she once said on a podcast.

“It’s a true love story and he’s my best buddy. He’s crazy. He’s funny. I think laughter has been a big part of our relationship," she revealed. 

"We both have a lot of fun. We’re not in the same business — he doesn’t care about any of that. He’s pretty much a homebody, loves staying around home," Parton added.

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Emily Blackwood is a writer and editor living in California. She covers all things pop culture, news, and true crime.