John Rich Responds to Chely Wright Memoir

FILE - In this May 26, 2004 file photo, Chely Wright performs at the 2004 All-Star Jam party following the 39th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file) AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, file

Country singer John Rich has responded to a passage in Chely Wright's new memoir, published this week, in which the lesbian country singer says a comment by Rich led to her meltdown.

Wright announced she was a lesbian, just days before her book, "Like Me," hit shelves on Tuesday, May 4, 2010.

Wright has been linked to many male celebrities in the past, including one long-term relationship with fellow country singer Brad Paisley. She discusses many personal stories in her book, including her feelings about being gay and a country singer and how she eventually came to terms with it.

Photos: Out in the Spotlight
Chely Wright Reveals She is Gay

She shares one exchange she had with fellow country singer and friend John Rich, of the band Big and Rich, which she says led to her having a meltdown. She told Access Hollywood that Rich asked her if she was gay, and when she replied "no," he said "Good. Thank God."

Rich explained his response to Wright to Access Hollywood the day her tell-all interview aired. "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 them. "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," said Rich.

Rich concluded that he was happy for her and wishes her the best in her personal life.

The 39-year-old Wright is best known for her hit "Single White Female" and was named Academy of Country Music's New Artist of the Year in 1994. Her new single, "Broken," released last month, was taken off of her eighth album, "Lifted Off the Ground," which was also released Tuesday, along with her memoir.
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