Levi Johnston takes on Sarah Palin in magazine story

ACCUSATIONS: Levi's claims about ex-governor don't jibe with past quotes.

September 2, 2009 

The opening spread of the October issue of Vanity Fair features an interview with Levi Johnston, the father of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's grandchild. Johnston claims Palin did little parenting while he was with her daughter.

PHOTO COURTESY OF VANITY FAIR

Levi Johnston, the father of Sarah Palin's grandchild, is making a raft of accusations against the former Alaska governor in the new issue of Vanity Fair magazine, including a claim she wanted to adopt his child so people wouldn't know her 17-year-old daughter was pregnant.

Johnston and his family have been engaged in a feud through the national media with the Palins since his split with Bristol Palin after the birth of their son last Dec. 28.

The 19-year-old Johnston alleges in the magazine that Palin had a plan to deal with Bristol's pregnancy.

"Sarah kept mentioning this plan. She was nagging -- she wouldn't give it up. She would say, 'So, are you gonna let me adopt him?' We both kept telling her we were definitely not going to let her adopt the baby. I think Sarah wanted to make Bristol look good, and she didn't want people to know that her 17-year-old daughter was going to have a kid," Johnston told the magazine for its October edition, which goes on sale nationwide Tuesday.

Excerpts of the article, which is presented as an essay by Johnston, were posted Wednesday on the magazine's Web site.

Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton had no comment on Johnston's claims. But Stapleton has previously said Johnston, who is pursuing a book deal and also hopes to create a career as an actor, is lying about Palin.

Johnston told the magazine that the Palin home in Wasilla was not what most people would think.

"The Palin house was much different from what many people expect of a normal family, even before she was nominated for vice president. There wasn't much parenting in that house. Sarah doesn't cook, Todd doesn't cook -- the kids would do it all themselves: cook, clean, do the laundry, and get ready for school. Most of the time Bristol would help her youngest sister with her homework, and I'd barbecue chicken or steak on the grill."

Johnston also claimed that, even before Palin was catapulted from Alaska governor to vice presidential candidate last August, she would come home from the office "almost never later than five and sometimes as early as noon."

Some of Johnston's statements appear at odds with what he told the Daily News in a July interview. He said then that he saw a stressed Palin come home late at night. He also said in July that, while Palin was cooking dinner, he heard her saying it would be nice to accept the lucrative offers coming her way.

Palin supporters on Wednesday seized on Johnston's new claim she doesn't cook, noting Palin got rid of the state-paid chef at the governor's mansion in Juneau and that an Esquire article described Palin showing Johnston how to marinate a roast.

They also attacked his claim about Palin pushing an adoption scheme, citing his statements in April to CNN's Larry King that adoption and abortion were never considered.

The Web site Conservatives4Palin, in a post titled "Levi the Liar," declared it impossible to accept a story that Palin really thought she could hide the fact Bristol was pregnant and then suddenly appear with a brand new baby right after having her own son, Trig. The site also pointed to Johnston's comments to the media after the breakup that Palin doesn't push him on what to do and was "like my second mother." When Palin returned to Alaska after John McCain's unsuccessful run for president, she was different, Johnston said in the new Vanity Fair article.

"Sarah was sad for a while. She walked around the house pouting. I had assumed she was going to go back to her job as governor, but a week or two after she got back she started talking about how nice it would be to quit and write a book or do a show and make 'triple the money.'

"She would blatantly say, "I want to just take this money and quit being governor," Johnston said.

Johnston told the Daily News in a July interview that there was one clear cut example of this in December, when he said that Palin "had talked about how nice it would be to take some of this money people have been offering us and just run with it, and saying forget everything else."

The Vanity Fair article says Johnston lived in the Palin home from the end of November until January.

Palin has disputed that Johnston ever lived with the family at their Wasilla home.

"I know the truth about my family. I know details about whether Levi Johnston was allowed to live with my teenage daughter or not. By the way, it would be over my dead body that a kid would live with my teenage daughter," Palin said in April.

Johnston claimed in the article that Palin is not the hockey mom or outdoorswoman she claims to be. He said she rarely attended her oldest son's hockey games, she asked Levi how to shoot a gun, and "I've never seen her touch a fishing pole."

There have, however, been nationally published photos and video of Palin working her family's commercial setnet site on the Nushagak River in Bristol Bay.


This story was reported and written by the Associated Press and Daily News reporter Sean Cockerham.

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