The Most Shocking Revelations From Bristol Palin’s Book ‘Not Afraid Of Life: My Journey So Far’

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Bristol Palin has been in the public eye since her mother, Sarah Palin, was nominated to be John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 election. Since then, Bristol’s became a celebrity in her own right. In 2011, she released a memoir called Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far to give people a behind the scenes look at her life and her relationship with her former fiancé Levi Johnston. Now that’s she joined the cast of Teen Mom OG, we’ve collected some shocking revelations from her book so that fans can get to know the Alaska native better:

20. How She Lost Her Virginity

Bristol lost her virginity to Levi when the two of them went camping with some friends in Point McKenzie. Her parents had no idea she was going camping with Levi; she had told them she was sleeping over at a friend’s house. During their camping trip, Levi got Bristol drunk on wine coolers and then when she was blackout drunk seduced her. She didn’t realize what had happened until the following morning. “What I don’t remember is what transpired between the moment when I was sitting there by the fire talking and the moment I awakened the next morning with something obviously askew,” she wrote. It wasn’t until her friend told her that she “definitely had sex with Levi” that Bristol realized what happened. Even worse, when Bristol woke up, Levi wasn’t there. He was outside the tent talking and laughing with his friends. After this, Bristol felt that she had to marry Levi now.

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19. She Started Dating Levi in Grade 7

Bristol and Levi’s relationship began back in the seventh grade and even though her mother and her grandfather were both put off by his behavior, she found it “exciting.” “Though I loved my mom and my grandpa and respected their opinions, Levi’s bad behavior wasn’t a deal breaker for me. I found him exciting. Like many women throughout history, I went for the ‘bad boy’ who didn’t care about authority. After all, he was my opposite. I was a rule follower, a teacher’s pet, a straight A student,” she wrote.

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18. Levi Was a Bad Apple

While Bristol was a goody two shoes, Levi most definitely wasn’t. He had a lot of trouble fitting in school and was often getting into trouble, which both concerned and amused Palin. She recalled, “As the days passed, I watched in mild amusement – and some concern – as it became clear he wasn’t fitting in well at school. He came to hockey practice drunk, he put Ex-Lax in some kid’s brownie, he got sent to the office. Apparently, Levi only enrolled in school so that he could qualify to play hockey.”

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17. Levi Constantly Lied to Her

Early on in their relationship, Levi began lying to Palin regularly. She would catch him texting other girls, but he would lie and say that the girl was a friend – and then he would get his family to back him up. She wrote, “This became a pattern. At first, I’d call to check out his story, but his family always backed him up. It made me feel like I was being petty and small minded.” However, she later realized exactly what he was doing. “Of course, he was texting a girl – because he was with that girl when I wasn’t around.” This wasn’t the only thing that he would lie about. He would lie about smaller things just for the fun of it like getting a new truck and about how many fish he would catch on fishing trips.

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16. She Began a Sexual Relationship with Levi

After their initial sexual encounter, Bristol and Levi agreed that they would wait until they were married to have sex again; however, during the summer of 2007, Bristol “broke [her] promise to [herself] and God” again, but this time, she wasn’t drunk. Now, she was committed to marrying Levi, so used that to rationalize her decision to have sex with him. “I began thinking of a wedding in a totally twisted light. Instead of it being a romantic conclusion of a long dating experience or the poignant beginning of a long life together, it became my Band-Aid – the thing that would somehow make bad decisions okay,” she wrote.

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15. Her Family Did Not Support Her Relationship with Levi

While Bristol was committed to Levi, her family didn’t understand the relationship and wanted her to break it off. She wrote, “No one in my life supported my relationship with Levi. Track always looked like he was on the verge of kicking his a–, my cousin never understood what I saw in him, and my aunts didn’t think he was worth dating. Mom and dad, who had no idea we’d been dating so seriously for nearly two years, didn’t like that I was spending so much time with him. Dad even offered one day to buy me a new truck if I’d just break it off.” 

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14. She Went on the Pill

Palin had difficult periods, so her aunt took her to a gynecologist who recommended that she go on birth control. “I couldn’t believe my ears. Many of my friends had to go to an awful no-questions asked clinic for pills, but here I was with a legitimate way to get them,” she wrote. “This meant Levi and I could stop using condoms, and I could make sure I wouldn’t get pregnant.” Being on the pill made Palin feel like she and Levi had found a way “to cheat the system.” “Sure, I knew it wasn’t best to have sex before marriage, but I was doing the second best thing. I planned on only having sex with one man my entire life,” she wrote. “Since Levi and I were going to get married, I rationalized that our premarital sex wasn’t that big of a deal.”

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13. Finding Out that She Was Pregnant

Bristol began to suspect that she was pregnant when she began experiencing strange back pain and then could not pinpoint the date of her last period. To determine whether or not she was pregnant, she and her cousin picked up several pregnancy tests. Each one was positive, but it wasn’t until the eighth positive pregnancy test that reality began to set in.

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12. Telling Her Parents that She Was Pregnant

Bristol only told her parents that she was pregnant after her younger sister Willow found the positive pregnancy tests in her purse and then threatened to rat her out. When she sat her mom and dad down with Levi and broke the news, they were stunned. “They were completely and utterly shocked. I figured they’d never talk to me again. I figured I’d have to live in Grandma’s basement or find a place with Levi. But instead of shame or blame, they immediately started asking me questions about my future,” she wrote.


11. Levi’s Marriage Proposal

After telling her parents that she was pregnant, Palin suggested to her parents that she and Levi should get married; however, her dad wasn’t on board with that. Sure enough, after this, Levi proposed to her one night while they were watching TV. “After he gave me the ring, we simply went back to watching television. I didn’t call anyone to tell them about it; I didn’t text anyone. What would I say? There was no ‘story,’ or profession of love. There was nothing but a ring on my finger and a baby in my belly,” she wrote.

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10. Meeting Meghan McCain

When Bristol’s mother was running alongside John McCain in the 2008 election, she met McCain’s daughter Meghan for the first time and she immediately didn’t trust her. “She ignored us during the entire visit, until an aid came in and said, ‘Meghan, did you meet Sarah Palin’s kids?” she wrote. “Only then did she brighten up, extend her hand to us, and smile. ‘It’s such an honor to meet you. I’m a big fan of your mother’s, and we’re about to go on a fun journey together.’ She seemed really nice, so I shook her hand and tucked away the sneaking suspicion that I might need to watch my back.”

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9. John and Cindy McCain Wanted to Be Her Child’s God Parents

During the campaign, Cindy McCain pulled a pregnant Bristol aside to talk to her privately, which is when she asked Bristol if she and John could be her child’s godparents. “‘Bristol, I have three things I want to tell,’ she said. ‘I just want you to know that I want to be one of the first people to hold your baby. Also, I want to go to your wedding when it comes together, and lastly…’ She paused just for a second, and added, ‘John and I want to be godparents of your child.”

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8. Meghan McCain’s Alleged Tantrum

According to Palin, during the campaign, there was one incident where Meghan McCain threw a tantrum because she needed her hair and makeup done. When the two stylists that were there told her they were too busy with the three Palin girls – Bristol, Willow and Piper – who were going to be getting more airtime than her, she freaked out. Palin claims that Meghan’s response to this was, “If anyone had told me that I had to do my own hair and makeup…I would have done my own f—ing hair and makeup.” Reflecting on this incident, Palin wrote, “You could tell as she yelled there was something quite complex going on inside her. Or at least I liked to think so. After all, nerves were frayed and the stakes were high. Surely she wasn’t so self-obsessed that she believed everyone else should scoot over so she could take priority?”

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7. Levi’s Weird Relationship with His Sister

Bristol and Levi’s sister Sadie did not get along. According to Bristol, Sadie seemed jealous about her relationship with her brother. “Sadie had always been unusually close to her brother, which translated into jealousy toward me,” she wrote. “For example, she was jealous when Levi got my name tattooed on his ring finger, and once went to Mexico for vacation and came back with a tattoo of his name on the inside of her wrist. It had hearts and angels’ wings around the word Levi, and she was only fifteen or sixteen.”

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6. Difficult Childbirth

Delivering Tripp wasn’t easy. “I didn’t have the easiest labor,” she wrote. “The cord was wrapped around the baby’s three times, and it took a lot to get the little thing into this world.” While Levi came to the hospital upon hearing that Bristol was in labor, he wouldn’t cut the umbilical cord and Sarah Palin had to do it instead. When talking to his friends about the experience later on, Levi would tell them that being in the delivery room with Bristol was “gross.”

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5. Photo Deal for Tripp’s First Photos

After giving birth to Tripp, Palin was approached by representatives from a few magazines who wanted to purchase Tripp’s first photos. The amounts that were being offered were large so, for Tripp’s future, she decided to accept one of the offers – but it meant that they couldn’t email any photos of Tripp or show them to anyone until after the first photos were published in the magazine that March. Unfortunately for Palin, after her relationship with Levi ended, someone in his family ended up undercutting her photo deal by selling one of Tripp’s baby pictures to Star magazine for $5,000. “I never would’ve thought that giving my son’s father a photo of him would end up costing me so much money, but it did. The Star magazine article violated my arrangement with a more reputable magazine for exclusive rights to Tripp’s first photo. And Rumor has it that Star only paid $5,000,” she wrote.

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4. Levi Constantly Cheated on Her

Throughout their relationship, Levi constantly cheated on Bristol; however, once Tripp was born, she stopped putting up with it. Shortly after bringing their son home from the hospital, Levi received a text from his sister about one of his hookups, and Bristol saw it. When she confronted him with it, he pretended that it was about a hockey player friend and not a girl. During the confrontation, he stopped trying to defend himself and walked out the door, which is when Bristol promised herself that she would “never open it back up for him.”

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3. Levi Used Tripp for Photo Ops

Co-parenting with Levi wasn’t easy for Bristol. According to her, Levi seemed to only want to be on daddy duty when a magazine was in town. “In May, he had asked to see Tripp, only to have me find out a few weeks later that GQ had been in town for a photo shoot. Levi had posed, shirtless of course, while changing Tripp’s diaper,” she wrote. “The camera took the photo when Tripp was completely naked. Not just cute “baby bottom” naked, but complete frontal nudity of my innocent baby son. I was furious.”

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2. Getting Back Together with Levi…Again

More than a year after breaking up in 2009, Bristol and Levi decided to give their relationship another shot, and this time Bristol promised herself that she would be more in control. “But this time, I told myself, I’d be in control of our relationship. This time, instead of reeling from his infidelities, I’d stop them before they happened. This time, instead of watching him indulge in his teenage obsessions like fishing and hunting, I’d help him learn how to grow into a man and an attentive father,” she wrote. She even made Levi a list of obligations and expectations, which included things like him getting his GED and learning how to control his anger. Shortly after this, Levi proposed again, but her family wasn’t happy about any of it, especially her father, who told her that Levi would betray her again.

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1. Finding Out that He May Have Impregnated Someone Else

After signing a two-week exclusive with Us Weekly to announce their engagement, Levi informed her that he may have knocked up another woman – one of his sister’s friends. Bristol then broke up with him, but she wasn’t able to tell anyone about the breakup because of her contract with Us Weekly. “Even worse, the ‘exclusivity’ contract I’d signed with the magazine meant I couldn’t tell anyone for another two weeks about the engagement plans…and that meant I couldn’t tell people that it was off!” she wrote. “Not that I had any shoulders to cry on…I had betrayed my parents, my friends had turned on me. I’d just made  a complete fool of myself and given my family the middle finger.”

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Cate has a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature and has been the Managing Editor of Fame10 for more than 6 years. Despite having a love for the works of Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy and Lord Byron, she also has an intense fascination with pop culture. When she isn’t writing for Fame10, she’s planning her next big adventure in Southeast Asia.