Chely Wright | Music

Country Music Singer Claims He Was Misquoted By Chely Wright

In her new memoir, newly out Chely Wright reveals a moment in her life a decade ago when fellow country music singer John Rich took her aside and flat out asked her if the rumors that she was a lesbian were true. She writes: “[John] said, ‘You’re not gay are you?!’ I said, ‘No, John, I’m not.’ He said, ‘Good, thank God.’ And that began a spiral for me. I had a meltdown shortly after that.” 

Alg_celeb_chely-wrightRich has responded and issued this statement to Access Hollywood:

“I would never pass judgment on any friend of mine. I feel awful that, at this time in Chely’s life, my decade old comment — ‘Good, thank God’ — was taken the wrong way. I was clumsily trying to express my relief that even a country boy like me had a one-in-a-million chance of having a beer with a woman as talented and attractive as Chely. For years after that conversation, Chely invited me to perform at charity events. In all that time, I wish she would have said something directly to me before the book’s publicity tour, especially since some of the comments attributed to me in the book are not mine. But I am happy for her and only wish her the best in her personal and professional life.”

Back in 2007, Rich was involved in a bit of controversy when he had the following to say about marriage equality: “I think if you legalize that, you’ve got to legalize some other things that are pretty unsavory. You can call me a radical, but how can you tell an aunt that she can’t marry her nephew if they are really in love and sharing the bills? How can you tell them they can’t get married, but something else that’s unnatural can happen?”


Wright has been making the media rounds and had an interesting thing to tell the LA Times about the intolerance she faces within her industry: "Historically, country music would rather an artist be a drunk — they even encourage and endorse that one...They would rather you were a drug addict than be gay. They will forgive you if you beat your wife, lose your kids to state, get six divorces, make a sex tape, get labeled as a tramp — any and all of it is better than being gay."

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  1. Chely is getting crap from queer people too...and I'm not sure I disagree with this guy.

    "Chely Wright is gay and she takes Visa AMEX and MC"

    Posted by: Chris | May 8, 2010 11:39:21 AM

  2. The sfweekly article is extraordinarily hateful. Some of us who are country music fans *do* know and *do* care about Chely Wright and her music. "Shut up and Drive," which predates "Single White Female," is still one of my favorite songs. The woman is telling her story, coming out and being counted, which is what people here keep screaming for closeted "celebrities" to do. Just because she doesn't have a dick doesn't mean her story isn't powerful and important.

    Posted by: RJ | May 8, 2010 12:40:52 PM

  3. Rich is an absolute tool. I met him, and he's a bone fide jerk. Perhaps he should start taking some responsibility for his words, actions and views.

    Posted by: Geoff M | May 8, 2010 1:21:30 PM

  4. John Rich is a well-known asshole here in Nashville, so I have no trouble believing this. A couple of years ago he got right up into the face of a buddy of mine, simply because he was John Rich and my buddy was just some lowly employee at the Belmont Mansion.

    Posted by: Clay | May 8, 2010 1:22:07 PM

  5. WOw! Not one but two people that don't matter! I can't get interested in this story...I really just can't...and it's not a matter of trying.

    Posted by: TANK | May 8, 2010 1:33:04 PM

  6. Starting to like this Chely lady more and more. She's slow to the party, but she seems to be making up for it.

    Posted by: David T | May 8, 2010 1:58:57 PM

  7. Wow, thanks Rich for setting us fags straight. So you just wanted to get laid, not hating on the dykes. I believe you because I know what a fantasy two women are for knuckle draggers like you.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | May 8, 2010 3:09:24 PM

  8. So he was grateful she wasn't gay because if she were then she couldn't drink a beer?... what? Is that because he thinks gay women don't drink beer or because he wouldn't be willing to drink a beer with a gay woman?
    And he judges his gay "friends" as "unsavory" and unworthy of being treated as equals... but he "would never judge a friend?"
    This John Rich guy sounds like an idiot.

    Posted by: GregV | May 8, 2010 8:26:07 PM

  9. John Rich is lying. He needs to "man up" and admit it. Otherwise he will go down in history as a bigotted fool.

    Posted by: hephaestion | May 8, 2010 8:44:33 PM

  10. John Rich is ugly, too. Thank God he's straight.

    Posted by: hephaestion | May 8, 2010 8:47:06 PM

  11. I always though John Rich was gay. Oh well.

    Posted by: michael | May 8, 2010 11:00:09 PM

  12. I guess he thinks just because he is "famous" that he can say whatever he wants to, then turn around and say he didn't say it... Makes perfect sense. Anyway... who gives a crap about what he says. He's a loser.

    Posted by: Cindy | May 8, 2010 11:17:55 PM

  13. wow aint she tellin da truth

    Posted by: sal | May 9, 2010 12:05:23 AM

  14. What he fails so understand, is that this was NOT all about HIM. She had the breakdown NOT because of what he said, but because it was the first time she had ever lied outloud about it. HEY REDNECK IT WASN'T ABOUT YOU OR WHAT YOU SAID... it was about her and her morals...GET OVER YOURSELF!!!

    Posted by: Lesbian country fan | May 9, 2010 10:24:02 PM

  15. This guy "John Rich" is a SLIM BALL. He's well known in Nashville. Trust and believe, not many people actually like him. Including Musicians.
    He's a well known homophobe who has no problem speaking his hateful opinions.
    This statement he made is nothing more than an attempt to clear his name.
    He's full of crap.
    John Rich is a SLEEZE!!!!

    Posted by: Jason | May 10, 2010 10:37:59 AM

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