Dolly Parton: Brother 'scapegoat' in namesake theater controversy

ROANOKE RAPIDS, N.C. (AP) -- Country music star Dolly Parton is rallying to the defense of her brother, calling him the scapegoat for problems at the North Carolina theater that bears his name.

Parton says her brother's act at The Randy Parton Theater was "top of the line" even though officials in Roanoke Rapids indefinitely banned him from performing. They also cut his salary and removed him from production duties amid slow ticket sales and questions about how he spent public money.

Roanoke Rapids borrowed more than $21 million to build the facility, which is supposed to be part of an entertainment hub in eastern North Carolina.

Dolly Parton says she knows in her heart that her brother gave it his best effort, and she cites several factors that may have hurt the project. She says now that things aren't working as well as people had hoped, everyone is pointing fingers and refusing to take the blame.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)