Dolly Parton offers a rare public statement about her little-seen husband of 55 years Carl Dean during an interview on tonight's episode of The Sunday Project.
Speaking to Lisa Wilkinson, the country legend, 75, speaks about her recent headline-making gift for her husband's 79th birthday in July: recreating her racy 1978 Playboy magazine cover shoot.
The heartwarming video showed Dolly in full Playboy bunny get-up, promising her husband a "hot girl summer" – and gave fans a rare glimpse of Carl (even if it was just the back of his head).
Now, Parton reveals the gift was not just for Carl's birthday, but also to keep him happy during a long period of ill health.
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"My husband has not been feeling well for quite a while, and I'll do anything that I can to make him feel better and lift his spirits and everything. He's always thought I was beautiful," she says.
"A lot of people got a kick out of that, so … and he did for sure!"
Parton and Dean have rarely appeared in public together throughout their marriage, leading to speculation about their "unconventional" relationship – but as Parton has explained in the past, the man she married back in 1966 is simply a homebody.
Elsewhere in tonight's interview, Parton shares stories about how her iconic hits like Jolene and I Will Always Love You and explains why she donated a million dollars to help fund the Moderna vaccine.
She also drops the news Australian theatregoers have been waiting for – her West End smash musical 9 to 5 is set to launch at Sydney's Capitol Theatre in February 2022, having previously been postponed due to the ongoing Covid lockdowns.
"Well I'm very excited that we're actually going to premiere in Sydney in 2022. We had to take off cause of Covid and we missed a little while but now we're back and we're very excited to come back to Australia," says Parton.
The musical – based on the 1980 film of the same name starring Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda as a trio of working women standing up for themselves against a sexist male boss – was a massive hit on the West End, extending its initial 16-week season to well over a year before Covid hit. You can join the waitlist for tickets now at the musical's website.