Following Chely Wright’s announcement that she is gay, her friend and fellow country star John Rich, of country group Big and Rich, is speaking out about a comment he made to Chely many years ago that she said sent her into a tailspin.
Chely recently told Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson that a conversation she had with John 10 years ago about her sexuality was extremely hurtful and damanging.
“[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,” the 39-year-old singer recalled. “I had a meltdown shortly after that.”
On Wednesday, John told Access that his comment was not meant to be harmful.
“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,” he told Access in a statement.
“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,” the statement continued. “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.”
Despite claiming that he was misquoted in Chely’s new memoir, “Like Me,” John said he wants the best for his country colleague.
“But I am happy for her and only wish her the best in her personal and professional life,” his statement continued.
Tune in to Access on Wednesday for our entire interview with Chely!
Copyright 2015 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.