Don’t think those romance rumors surrounding Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers upset his ex-wife Marianne Gordon because in an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly, she said they didn’t make her bat an eye.
“I never felt uncomfortable at all. I just knew him so well,” she says on Tuesday, March 24. “But, it’s funny that you say that. We had a tennis pro who traveled with us, Doug Dean asked me too. I told him Kenny said I like her [Dolly] as a friend and we have a great thing on stage. We’d lose it. There is sexual tension and teasing each other and it would screw it up.”
However, Marianne, 74, does believe that Dolly, also 74, and Kenny’s friendship might have been tested at a certain point in time. “Dolly might have [made a move though],” she explains about the “Jolene” singer. “It’s entered my mind because she always said she thought like a man. I don’t mean it badly. Dolly is a fun girl.”
But at the end of the day, Marianne’s feelings for Kenny never wavered. She trusted him with all of her heart. “He sincerely felt they had a cute thing going, and if any happened between them, they’d ruin that,” she says.
Marianne and Kenny stayed together for 16 years until they got divorced in 1997. Even though “The Gambler” singer moved on and got married to his fifth wife, Wanda Miller, in 1997, some fans still believed something was going on between Dolly and Kenny. But, the three-time Grammy Award winner put those rumors to rest when he would openly speak out about their friendship in interviews.
“One of the things that affect a relationship when you’re working with someone is your upbringing and your background,” the country crooner said during a previous episode of Dolly. “She’s a very special person who has a very special place in my life.”
When Kenny died on Friday, March 20, from “natural causes,” his longtime friend took to Instagram to pay tribute. “You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone,” Dolly said. “I’ve had so many wonderful years and wonderful times with my friend Kenny, but above all the music and the success I loved him as a wonderful man and a true friend.”
She added, “So you be safe with God and just know that I will always love you, Dolly.”