Entries in Memoir (6)


Dolly Parton on Gay Rumors, Losing a Drag Queen Look-Alike Contest and New Memoir

Jim Spellman/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Country music titan Dolly Parton is anything but shy. In an exclusive interview with Nightline, Parton dished about her love life (including those rumors that she is secretly gay), losing a drag queen lookalike contest and building a multimillion-dollar entertainment empire.

In her long reign as a country music legend, Parton, now 66, has done it all. In her new motivational memoir, Dream More, which will be released on Nov. 27, Parton talks about growing up dirt poor in Sevierville, Tenn., in a cabin with 11 siblings. She said she modeled her signature big, blonde hair and red-lipped, voluptuous Dolly look after the town tramp.

"There was this woman, we won't call her names, but she was beautiful," she said. "I had never seen anybody, you know, with the yellow hair all piled up and the red lipstick and the rouge and the high-heeled shoes, and I thought, 'This is what I want to look like.'"

Parton is refreshingly honest about things most entertainers guard ferociously, including rumors about her love life.

"I've...been accused of being involved with every man I'm ever seen with or worked with," she said. "Maybe I have, maybe I ain't. I never tell if I have. But you know people always saying that."

Parton has also been accused of being secretly gay and romantically involved with one of her oldest childhood friends, Judy Ogle. She denied the rumors and said she even bonded with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey over the false tabloid claims. Parton has been married to her husband, Carl Dean, for 46 years.

"Like Gayle [King], her friend, Judy, my friend, they just think that you just can't be that close to somebody," Parton said. "Judy and I have been best friends since we were like in the third and fourth grade....We still just have a great friendship and relationship and I love her as much as I love anybody in the whole world, but we're not romantically involved."

As a campy, vampy icon, Parton said she once entered a drag queen look-alike contest -- and lost. The other contestants didn't know they were going up against the real Dolly.

"They had a bunch of Chers and Dollys that year, so I just over-exaggerated -- made my beauty mark bigger, the eyes bigger, the hair bigger, everything," she said, laughing. "All these beautiful drag queens had worked for weeks and months getting their clothes. So I just got in the line and I just walked across, and they just thought I was some little short gay guy...but I got the least applause."

Parton is a proud supporter of LGBT rights and even hosts "Gay Day" at her theme park, Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Parton said the event caught the attention of the Ku Klux Klan.

"When it first started there were people giving us threats, I still get threats," Parton said. "But like I said, I'm in business. I just don't feel like I have to explain myself. I love everybody."

Parton is also not shy about her numerous plastic surgery procedures, and said aging with her breast implants has been just fine.

"I haven't had to have that done in years, and my girls are going pretty good," she said.

Behind that va-va-voom body is a shrewd businesswoman. She starred in several iconic movies such as 9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias. She has sold 100 million records and had numerous number-one singles. Her 1974 chart-topping hit, "I Will Always Love You," was later immortalized by Whitney Houston in the 1992 blockbuster film The Bodyguard.

"When they played it at her funeral and they lifted her coffin up, man, it was like somebody stabbed me in the heart with a knife," Parton said. "It just overwhelmed me."

Her songs are her legacy, but so too is the Imagination Library, Parton's literary program dedicated to her father who couldn't read or write.

"We've given out 40 million books since we've started, which is a lot of books for a lot of kids," she said.

Parton may help a lot of kids, but she and Dean never had children of their own.

"I often wonder, because he's tall and he's dark and I'm little and blonde and I just always wondered what our kids would have looked like had we had them," she said.

Parton said she doesn't have any regrets about not having children.

"God didn't let me have kids so everybody's kids could be mine," she said. "I can keep my nieces and nephews and then when I'm sick of them, I can say, 'Hey, come get these kids, they're driving me crazy.' I'm a Great Aunt Granny, is what they call me."

And Parton has no plans to slow down any time soon.

"I will never retire unless I have to," she said, laughing. "As long as I'm able to get up in the morning, get that makeup on and my high heels on, and even if I can't wear high heels, I'm going to do like Mae West, I'm going to sit in a wheelchair with my high heels on."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Arnold Schwarzenegger to Write His Memoir

Lee Celano/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Arnold Schwarzenegger is finally ready to tell his story -- at least most of it.

Schwarzenegger, 64, is writing a memoir for release in October 2012, according to a statement from Simon & Schuster, the book’s publisher.

Tentatively titled Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, the book will discuss his childhood in Austria and his careers in bodybuilding, film and politics.

Some things will not be in the book, however.

“This book will not be a tell-all,” a source told People magazine.

“He has been keeping notes and working on the book for over a year,” his spokesman, Adam Mendelsohn, told People. “He didn’t want to write his autobiography while he was governor.”

Instead, he’ll write it in between shooting scenes for his next film, The Expendables 2, with Sylvester Stallone. Peter Petre, former executive editor of Fortune, who also collaborated on books with Alan Greenspan and Norman Schwarzkopf, will be the co-writer.

In a statement, Simon & Schuster publisher Jonathan Karp said, “Truly, Arnold is one of the most fascinating figures of our time and one of the greatest success stories in the world. Nobody has a life story even close to his.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Carole King Writing Memoir

Gail Oskin/Getty Images for YORK) -- Add Carole King to the list of musicians currently working on autobiographies.  The New York Times reports the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer plans to publish her book, entitled A Natural Woman, in April of 2012.  The book will document King's New York City upbringing and her rise from behind-the-scenes songwriter to best-selling star.  In a statement, an executive at the company that's publishing the book told the Times, “It will be a thrill to bring her life’s journey to her devoted following who have waited so long to read her story in prose.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Kara DioGuardi Reveals Past Sex Abuse in New Memoir

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- In her upcoming memoir, A Helluva High Note, songwriter and former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi reveals that she was molested as a child, date-raped by a famous record producer and sexually harassed by a "hugely successful artist."

DioGuardi says she first endured sexual abuse at age 11 at the hands of a male family friend.

"On one particular day, he took me into the back shed of his house and put his hands all over my breasts and vagina," she writes, according to a book excerpt obtained by E! News. "I remember freezing and not knowing what to do."

In 2000, she says, she found herself in a similar situation with a "fairly known producer." After sharing what she thought was a friendly dinner, DioGuardi describes how he forced himself on her. According to E!, DioGuardi repeatedly told him to stop but didn't physically fight him because she feared he'd turn violent. She stayed silent about the incident until now, because she feared it would destroy her career.

A few years later, DioGuardi says, she was sexually harassed by a "hugely successful artist" during a three-day songwriting trip. Instead of working on music, she writes that "the trip's activities consisted of watching Russian porn, scavenging around the kitchen for food [and] leering at two they performed sex acts in the living room."

Still, DioGuardi continued to work with the artist. She writes, "I wasn't gonna let this bastard deter me from doing the job." Eventually, though, she cut off ties with him after he "chased her around the basement of his suburban home and forced her hand on his privates," according to E!

DioGuardi's memoir comes out April 26, a little more than a month before the May 30th premiere of her new reality competition show on Bravo, Platinum Hit.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jermaine Jackson Writing Memoir About Michael

MAX NASH/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- This fall, Jermaine Jackson will publish a memoir about his late brother, Michael.  The book, called You Are Not Alone: Michael Through a Brother's Eyes, is billed by the publisher as "the most authoritative account from inside the Jackson music dynasty, illuminating the private man, the son, the father and the brother."

You Are Not Alone reportedly will detail the late King of Pop's childhood in Gary, Indiana, his rise to stardom with the Jackson 5, his solo career, his relationships with his parents, and the "private anguish" he suffered during his 2005 child molestation trial.  It also includes a look at the final weeks of Michael's life, as well as the upcoming trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, who's accused of administering a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol to the superstar.

In a statement, Jermaine said of the book, "It's about what really happened and who [Michael] really was, representing the things he never got the chance to say, based on what we know, based no what he shared."  As for why he wrote the book, Jermaine stated, "We don't want Michael's life to be an eternal mystery."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Report: Jesse James to Pen Memoir

Photo Courtesy - Jordan Strauss | WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Jesse James apparently wants to turn the marriage-busting headlines he made last year into a tell-all book. reports James has signed a deal with Simon and Schuster’s Gallery Books to write a memoir about his failed marriage to Sandra Bullock and subsequent romance with fiancée Kat Von D. 

James and Bullock finalized their divorce in June 2010 after reports of his infidelities made headlines.

Jesse and Kat announced their engagement in January 2011. 

Reports indicate Jesse James’ book will be entitled American Outlaw.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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