Dolly Parton once contemplated suicide and had an "affair of the heart" in the early '80s, she reveals in a newly released book.
The book, "Dolly on Dolly," isn't so much an autobiography as a collection of interviews with the country legend over the years. In the book, she explains that she gained weight and suffered health problems in the early '80s and contemplated suicide, only to have her dog Popeye stop her.
"I was sitting upstairs in my bedroom one afternoon when I noticed in the nightstand drawer my gun that I keep for burglars. I looked at it 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," she said in the book, via The Daily Mail. "The tap-tap-tap of his paws jolted me back to reality [and] I suddenly froze. I put the gun down. Then I prayed. 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 continued. "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."
Dolly is quite revealing about other things in the book, even writing about her sexual experiences and her poor upbringing, during which urine was used as a way of staying warm. Growing up, she shared a bed with three or four siblings and one would pee in the bed.
"That was the only warm thing we knew in the wintertime. That was our most pleasure to get peed on," she said. "If you kept the air out from under the cover, the pee didn't get so cold. Lord, it was as cold in the room where we slept as it was outside."
Dolly, who has been married to Carl Dean for nearly 51 years, also spoke briefly about having an "affair of the heart" with another man in '80s. While she doesn't name names, most believe the man in question is her former band leader, Gregg Perry, who quit the business after her film "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" debuted in 1982.
The affair, she said, "just about killed me."
"I cried an ocean. But I ain't gonna talk about it anymore," she said. "I've got to keep some mystery."