About Bristol Sheeran Marie Palin
Bristol Sheeran Marie Palin (born October 18, 1990) is the second child and eldest daughter of the 11th Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd. After becoming a teenage single parent, Bristol began to publicly advocate abstinence for unmarried teens and is now a paid speaker.
Bristol Palin was born and raised in Wasilla, Alaska. Sarah has explained that she named her after the Bristol Inn where she had formerly been employed, Bristol, Connecticut, the headquarters city of ESPN where she had anticipated to work for as a sportscaster, and the Alaskan town of Bristol Bay, where her husband Todd grew up.
She began dating Levi Johnston in 2005, during her freshman year at Juneau-Douglas High School. She lived in Anchorage with her aunt and uncle in 2008 and attended West Anchorage High School before graduating from Wasilla High School on May 14, 2009.
When Sarah Palin was chosen as John McCain's vice presidential running mate in late August 2008, his advisers already knew of Bristol's pregnancy, which they believed would be a political liability. On September 1, the opening day of the 2008 Republican National Convention, it was publicly announced that Palin was pregnant and engaged to Johnston, the father of her unborn child. Palin's entire family, along with Johnston, appeared at the convention. Several days later, it was reported that Jamie Lynn Spears had sent her burp cloths as a gift. Comparisons between the two cases were made. McCain's advisers thought a wedding between Johnston and Palin would boost the waning popularity of the McCain-Palin ticket. Johnston denied claims that he was being pressured into a shotgun wedding, stating, "We were planning on getting married a long time ago with or without the kid. That was the plan from the start." The couple's son, Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, was born on December 27, 2008. They broke off their first engagement in March 2009. Bristol denied claims that her mother's pro life views influenced her decision to give birth to and raise Tripp, stating, "It doesn't matter what my mom's views are on it. It was my decision."
In November 2009, a custody and child support case involving Johnston and Palin was filed in a local, Alaska court. Palin asked the court to use pseudonyms for herself and Johnston to keep the normally public proceedings private, arguing that the media attention would not be good for the child. Johnston argued for open proceedings, saying he just wanted the case to be decided on the merits, and that he did "not feel protected against Sarah Palin in a closed proceeding." In December 2009, on Tripp's first birthday, the judge sided with Johnston, and it was publicly announced that the pair had been battling for legal custody. Palin, who wished to win full custody rights, and child support consistent with Johnston's income, stated that Johnston had "exercised sporadic visitation rights" and "wants the rights for his own self-promotion". Johnston sought shared custody and lower child support payments.
Palin originally had thought she would move away for college after high school, but her plans changed with the realities of single parenthood. In February 2010, she and her son began living in a condo she had purchased in Anchorage, where she was working at a dermatologist's office and taking business courses at a community college. Eventually, she moved out of the condo and returned to her parents' house in August 2010.
In July 2010, Palin and Johnston announced that they had reunited and were again engaged. Less than three weeks later, they ended their second engagement.
In May 2009, Palin worked with the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and the Candie's Foundation to inform young people about the negative consequences of teenage pregnancy. Bill Albert, the Campaign's spokesman, said working with Palin made sense because "she's had the highest-profile teen pregnancy of the year." Several interviews and pictorials for similar organizations followed. That same month, Palin was named a Teen Abstinence Ambassador for the Candie’s Foundation, a teen pregnancy prevention organization. Her duties as a paid spokeswoman involved attending town hall meetings and giving interviews on morning talk shows. At her appearance on Good Morning America, she stated, "Regardless of what I did personally, abstinence is the only 100% foolproof way you can prevent pregnancy." Before becoming an abstinence spokeswoman, Palin told Fox News that abstinence is "not realistic at all." Several weeks later, she would state that her words were "taken out of context".
Her role as a spokesperson has been controversial. Bonnie Fuller, former editor in chief of YM, has questioned whether the net effect of Palin's presentations has been to glamorize or discourage teen pregnancy based on the visual imagery. On an episode of The Colbert Report, Meghan McCain stated her support for sex education and criticized Palin's sexual abstinence campaign, saying it was "not realistic for this generation".
Palin now works with the speakers' circuit and will ask between $15,000 and $30,000 for each appearance. She has signed with Single Source Speakers. She is listed on the speaking group's website as available for conferences, fundraisers, special events and holidays, as well as women's, youth, abstinence and "pro-life" programs.
In September 2009, Bristol Palin formed BSMP, a lobbying, public relations, and political consulting services firm. While the initial focus will be working with Candie's Foundation, BSMP will expand to work with additional clients.
Palin made a guest appearance as herself on the July 5, 2010 episode of ABC Family's teenage drama, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, a series which focuses on a family dealing with a 15-year-old's unexpected pregnancy. Palin portrayed a friend of the main character who is a student in the summer music program for teen mothers that they both are attending. She filmed the scenes in March 2010 while visiting her mother in Los Angeles, California. "I am not acting. I like doing speaking engagements and stuff like that," she told E!. "I don't think I'll be doing any more acting in the future."
Palin will also be on the new season of Dancing with the Stars alongside professional Mark Ballas who is a two time champion on the show, winning with Kristi Yamaguchi in season 6 and with Shawn Johnson in season 8