Bristol Palin to marry – but what will Mom say?

The course of true love never did run smooth, but during their two years in the public eye, the romance between Sarah Palin's teenage daughter, Bristol, and her on-off boyfriend, Levi Johnston, has endured as many twists, turns, and unfortunate misunderstandings as the plot of a Shakespearean comedy.

A few months back, Mr Johnston, 20, was pouting from the cover of Playgirl, volunteering gory details about life inside Camp Palin. He claimed, among many other things, that the former Governor of Alaska's marriage was on the rocks, that she called her son Trig, who has Down's syndrome, "retarded" and that she's a poor shot and incompetent fisherwoman who exaggerates her interest in field sports to win votes.

Yesterday, Levi was preparing to eat a large portion of humble pie. Not only is he back together with Bristol – with whom he'd split a fortnight after the birth of their son Tripp – but he's also preparing to go cap in hand to her parents, and formally ask for their daughter's hand in marriage.

The news was announced – according to family tradition – via a cover story in the supermarket magazine US Weekly. Its headline proclaimed "WE'RE GETTING MARRIED!" promising readers that "the reunited couple reveal their sudden secret engagement... and why they hid it from Sarah".

Bristol, who is 19, said that she and Levi had "reconnected" earlier this summer while going for a walk during a break in the negotiations over custody of their 18-month-old son.

"When he left that night, we didn't hug or kiss, but I was thinking how different it was," she said. "He texted me: 'I miss you. I love you. I want to be with you again'... I was in shock."

The pair had initially decided to keep the rekindled relationship secret, but things changed a fortnight ago, when Levi returned from a lengthy work trip to an oilfield in the north of Alaska, and dropped onto bended knee – for the second time. "It felt right," Bristol said, "even though we don't have the approval of our parents."

Regarding Sarah's reaction to the news, the teenager added: "It is intimidating and scary just to think about what her reaction is going to be."

That may be putting things mildly. Amid the lawsuits, recriminations and public mud-slinging that has characterised the young relationship for much of the past 18 months, Sarah has variously said Levi would "say and do anything for even more attention," dubbed him "Ricky Hollywood" and called his "aspiring porn" career "heartbreaking". She and her husband Todd released a carefully worded statement about the impending nuptials.

"Bristol at 19 is now a young adult," it read. "We obviously want what's best for our children. Bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness to a degree most of us struggle to put in practice in our daily lives."

Attention will now inevitably shift to the bidding war between magazines hoping to secure the rights to the photos of the nuptials.

Bristol and Levi remain an object of public fascination, and rumours of their reconciliation were enough to prompt the National Enquirer to publish pictures last month showing Levi's truck parked overnight outside her Anchorage apartment. The wedding ceremony will also involve much careful positioning of family members.

Levi's folks are from earthier stock than his future in-laws, and his mother Sherry is serving a three-year prison sentence for dealing drugs from her home in Wasilla.

Levi Johnston vs The Palins

He said:

"I have things that can get her [Sarah Palin] in trouble and would hurt her but I'm not going to go that far. Things she has done while she was governor."

"She told me that once Bristol had the baby, she and Todd would adopt him. 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."

"It's a great message [Bristol's] trying to send out to the world and all the young kids. It's not easy raising a baby. But I do think there's more things to it than just not having sex."

They said:

"He is a stranger to me." (Bristol)

"We're disappointed that Levi and his family, in a quest for fame, attention, and fortune, are engaging in flat-out lies, gross exaggeration, and even distortion of their relationship...Bristol realises now that she made a mistake in her relationship and is the one taking responsibility for their actions." (The Palin family)

"I hear he goes by the name Ricky Hollywood now. This aspiring – aspiring porn, some of the things that he's doing, it's kind of heartbreaking." (Sarah)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Sport
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk