Whoa—Dolly Parton’s sister, Stella Parton, has some harsh words for the country music industry.
In the wake of the disturbing sexual abuse allegations against her sister’s former publicist, Kirt Webster, that came to light late last year, Stella has not once held back her opinions on the issues at hand. And now, she’s growing tired of the people in power not following her lead.
Stella told Fox News that the issue of sexual harassment and assault in the country music community has been most “swept under the rug.”
“[These types of allegations] need to be talked about and people need to stop being silent on this issue,” she told the news outlet.
“It’s a good ol’ boys town, and it’s always been a good ol’ boys town,” she said. “They hide behind their religion, all of them, a bunch of Southern Baptist hypocrites.”
You’ll remember that back in November of 2017, a former country singer by the name of Austin Rick came forward accusing his former publicist, Webster, of multiple accounts of sexual assault over the course of a year of their professional relationship. Since the news broke, scores of others — including former employees — have come forward with their own claims against Webster, which he has denied.
Many wondered how Webster’s high-profile clients, including Kenny Rogers, Kid Rock and Dolly would respond to such accusations against their spokesperson. Dolly’s sole response to the news came in the form of this Nov. 2, 2017 tweet:
Many felt this was a rather tepid response to such strong and numerous accounts of sexual misconduct against Webster. Stella has her own theories about Dolly’s response.
She told Fox News that, for sure, she knows her sister “does not condone” Webster’s behavior, but has “always been very selective about talking about stuff like that.
“I don’t know why she can’t speak out, but I will,” Stella told the news outlet.
And although Stella says she has spoken to Dolly about the allegations against Webster, she is also very clear that she does not speak on her sister’s behalf.
Stella charted 15 songs on “Billboard’s” Hot Country Songs chart between 1975 and 1989 the first of which, “I Want To Hold You In My Dreams Tonight,” was a Top 10 hit.
Fox News goes on to report than Dolly has not retained new outside PR representation. A representative for the singer-songwriter reportedly did not respond to requests for comment by Fox News regarding reports that Webster allegedly offered meet and greets with the country music legend in exchange for sexual favors to him from fans.
One thing is certain: Stella will not remain silent. We know that as long as the matter is still an issue of concern, she will be there to voice hers.
“[People are] afraid if they say anything it will open a Pandora’s box … In this town, there’s a code of silence that is deafening. You can hear a pin drop in this town,” she said.
“I have kept quiet on a lot of things over the years because of [Dolly’s] career, but I don’t do that anymore … Right is right and wrong is wrong, and that’s why I started speaking out.”