Bristol Palin (Reuters/Fred Prouser)

Palin family values: Abstinence mascot Bristol’s baby daddy drama heats up over money

The dad of Bristol's second child has filed court papers, but Sarah Palin says he just wants to "save face"


Mary Elizabeth Williams
January 8, 2016 3:25AM (UTC)

There's no family that can run the "family values" trope right off the rails quite like a prominent Christian conservative one. This week, both Radar and TMZ are reporting that Bristol Palin's former fiancé Dakota Meyer is going after her for child support. And Meyer's almost mother-in-law, is responding in the only logical way a new grandma would — by issuing a statement to "Entertainment Tonight."

After a hectic year that included getting engaged, calling off the wedding mere days before it was scheduled, announcing yet another out-of-wedlock pregnancy and spreading misinformation about teen birth control programs, Bristol Palin capped 2015 by welcoming daughter Sailor Grace on December 22. Back in June, Palin insisted, "This pregnancy was actually planned. Everyone knows I wanted more kids, to have a bigger family. Believing I was heading that way, I got ahead of myself. Things didn’t go as planned, but life keeps going." She did not, however — and has not since — named the father of her child. (She has, however, been busy retweeting blog posts asking, "What if the Oregon Ranchers are right?") But soon after the announcement of Sailor Grace's birth, Dakota Meyer took to Twitter to post a photo of the newborn in her mother's arms with the message, "Best Christmas present ever!! I couldn't be more proud of this little blessing." 

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Now, though, it seems Meyer would like more. TMZ and Radar both reported this week that they have obtained court papers that show the 27 year-old Meyer filed paperwork in Alaska on Monday asserting he is the baby's father, and asking for joint legal and physical custody, as well as child support. Last month, Bristol Palin set a court date with Levi Johnston, the father of her son Tripp, "to arrange a final custody and visitation agreement for residing in the same community and have executed, personally and through their attorneys, a confidential stipulation regarding custody. Therefore, the only pending issue to be addressed by the Court is the matter of past and future child support."

Palin, the world's least successful abstinence spokesperson — despite getting a reported $262,500 from the Candies Foundation for her efforts — has in the past few years reportedly commanded lucrative fees for her speaking engagements and starred in her own reality show, "Life's a Tripp." In 2014, her attorney told E! that "Bristol makes a good living, albeit not as much as when she had a more public profile."

The details of the arrangement Meyer wants are not yet known. But in a statement to "ET" that I definitely believe Sarah Palin wrote herself, Palin says, "For many months we have been trying to reach out to Dakota Myers [sic] and he has wanted nothing to do with either Bristol's pregnancy or the baby. Paramount to the entire Palin family is the health and welfare of Sailor Grace." She claims Meyer is now coming forward as Sailor's father to "save face." And Bristol's representative, David Martin, also has harsh words for the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, saying, "My values are such that a real American hero doesn't ask for child support." Interesting, how that presumes that heroism and financial support are independent of each other. And it certainly seems to suggest that a single mother — say, like Bristol Palin, who has asked for child support for her son — would be disqualified from ever being called a hero.

Will the family eventually make an amicable arrangement that's actually in the best interests of Baby Sailor? That's yet to see, but whatever happens, we'll no doubt find out via a tweet or a statement to "ET."

Sarah Palin Fires Back At Dakota Meyers Over Bristol Palin's Daughter


Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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