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.”
Rich 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."