Bristol Palin

Bristol Meyer

Palin at a book signing in Phoenix, Arizona in July 2011
Born Bristol Sheeran Marie Palin
(1990-10-18) October 18, 1990
Wasilla, Alaska, U.S.
Residence Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.
Alma mater Juneau-Douglas High School
West Anchorage High School
Wasilla High School – (High school diploma, 2009)
Occupation Public speaker, reality television personality
Years active 2009–present
Spouse(s) Dakota Meyer (m. 2016)
Partner(s) Levi Johnston (2005–2010)
Children 2
Parent(s) Todd Palin
Sarah Heath

Bristol Sheeran Marie Meyer[1] (née Palin, born October 18, 1990)[2] is an American public speaker and reality television personality. She is the oldest daughter and second of five children of Todd and Sarah Palin.

Palin competed in the fall 2010 season of Dancing with the Stars and reached the finals, finishing in third place.[3] In summer 2011, Palin released a memoir Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far. In summer 2012, she starred in the Lifetime show Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp.[4] Her most recent television series was as a member of the fall 2012 all-star cast of Dancing with the Stars's 15th season,[5] where she was eliminated in the fourth week of competition.[6]

Early life

Palin was born and raised in Wasilla, Alaska.[1][7] She was named "Bristol" after the Bristol Inn where her mother Sarah was employed; Bristol, Connecticut, the headquarters city of ESPN, where her mother Sarah hoped to work as a sportscaster; and the Bristol Bay area of Alaska, where her father Todd grew up.[8][9]

Palin attended Juneau-Douglas High School[10][11] In 2008, she briefly lived in Anchorage with her aunt and uncle and attended West Anchorage High School. She returned to Wasilla, where she graduated from Wasilla High School in May 2009.[12]


Teen pregnancy prevention/Abstinence spokesperson

Palin first became the subject of media attention when her pregnancy was announced during her mother's unsuccessful run for Vice President.[10] In February 2009, she told Fox News that abstinence is "not realistic at all," but that she would like it to become more accepted among people her age.[13]

In May 2009, at age 18, Palin appeared on both the Today show and Good Morning America in recognition of the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, calling for all teens to abstain from sex. This observance was started by The National Campaign To Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Palin was not employed by The Campaign, nor was she a spokesperson for the organization.[14] Palin said that her abstinence quote of February had been "taken out of context."[15]

Also in May 2009, Palin was named a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Ambassador for the Candie’s Foundation,[16][17] a teen pregnancy prevention organization that is a division of the Candie's clothing brand.[18] Her duties as a paid spokeswoman involved attending town hall meetings, talking about abstinence, public service announcements, and giving interviews on morning talk shows.

In May 2009, on Good Morning America, Palin said, "Regardless of what I did personally, abstinence is the only 100% foolproof way you can prevent pregnancy."[19] In an interview on Good Morning America in April 2010, she said that " 'Pause Before You Play' [a campaign of Candie's] hits a wider range of message, it can mean pause and go get a condom, it can be pause and think about your life, or it could be pause and wait until marriage."[20]

Her role as a spokesperson drew some public criticism. Bonnie Fuller, former editor-in-chief of YM, questioned whether the net effect of Palin's public speaking had glamorized rather than discouraged teen pregnancy, noting that the "picture perfect" imagery of a People magazine spread seemed to make her "the poster girl for teen momhood."[21] That same month, Meghan McCain stated her support for sex education, criticizing Palin's sexual abstinence campaign, saying it was "not realistic for this generation."[22]

In April 2011 it was reported that Palin was paid more than $262,000 by Candie's Foundation for her work in 2009.[23] This level of compensation, which constituted 12 percent of the foundation's annual budget, was criticized by some commentators as excessive.[24][25]

In a July 10, 2011 interview with Drew Pinsky, Palin said she doesn’t want to "be named as an abstinence preacher .... I’m not out there saying don’t have sex. I hate that kind of stuff. Birth control needs to be used effectively each and every single time if you’re gonna be having sex. ... I’m not advocating [abstinence] for everyone else."[26]

In July 13, 2011, Palin had an interview with Christianity Today in which she reaffirmed her stance on abstinence. Discussing whether she still thought that abstinence was unrealistic, as she had said in 2009, she said "that quote was taken out of context. What I am trying to say is it's not realistic for everyone...but for me, my sisters, and my family, I believe that the right way." Palin still feels that abstinence is the only choice for her and her family.

Business venture

In September 2009, Palin formed BSMP, a lobbying, public relations and political consulting services firm.[27] While the initial focus was to be work with Candie's Foundation, BSMP was planned to develop additional clients.[28]

Paid speeches

In May 2010 it was reported that Palin had signed with the company Single Source Speakers, asking between $15,000 and $30,000 for each appearance. She was listed on the company's website as available for conferences, fundraisers, special events and holidays, as well as women's, youth, abstinence, and pro-life programs.[29][30]

In January 2011, Palin was invited to speak by Washington University in St. Louis as the Keynote Speaker for 'Abstinence in College' at Sexual Responsibility Week. Students protested both the high fee she was to be paid out of student-generated funds and her lack of expertise on abstinence in college. Her appearance was cancelled.[31][32]


The Secret Life of the American Teenager

Palin appeared in an episode of the ABC Family network series, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, playing a friend of the fictional character Amy, a 15-year-old who is dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. She filmed the scenes in Los Angeles in March 2010; the episode aired on July 5, 2010.[33][34][35][36] "I like doing speaking engagements and stuff like that," she said, adding, "I don't think I'll be doing any more acting in the future."[37]

Dancing with the Stars, season 11

Palin was a competitor on the fall 2010 season of Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). She was partnered with professional Mark Ballas, a two-time champion on the show who won with Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi in season 6, and with Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson in season 8.[38] The show was televised from September through November 2010.

Despite getting the lowest scores from the judges for a number of weeks, Palin and Ballas avoided being eliminated during the season. That attracted media attention and speculation.[39][40] Questions were raised about the integrity of the public voting process[40] including allegations of fraudulent online voting using multiple e-mail addresses. Executives at ABC and the show's executive producer, Conrad Green, stated that "checks and balances" in the system, including IP address verification, prevent such voting practices, and that "[t]here's nothing in the voting that looks dissimilar to previous seasons."[41][42] Nonetheless, Green speculated that Palin may have received votes from her mother's fans and other supporters,[43] and from older viewers who had maternal feelings toward her due to her youth and lack of prior experience.[44] Palin credited her success to the support of her fans who were tuning in each week to see her improvement.[39]

Palin's success on the show attracted other negative attention, including death threats against her. In one instance, suspicious white powder was received by the show. The powder turned out to be harmless, but security on the show was tightened.[45]

On the final show of the season, Palin and Ballas finished in third place. Prior to that show, Palin said that winning "would be like a big middle finger out there to all the people out there who hate my mom and hate me."[46] Following the competition, she remarked that she was happy with her third-place finish, that prayer and faith had helped her, and that she had grown as a person.[3]

Sarah Palin's Alaska

In November 2010, Bristol Palin made an appearance on the TLC travelogue/documentary Sarah Palin's Alaska. She helped the crew on a commercial halibut fishing boat.[47]

Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp

Palin's docu-series Life's A Tripp, produced by Associated Television International, premiered on June 19, 2012, in the United States, on Lifetime TV. Lifetime ordered 14 episodes for original broadcast.[48] The series followed Palin as she moved to Los Angeles, then back to Alaska, with two episodes set in Arizona (where her sister Willow was attending beauty school) and one episode in Washington, D.C.[49]

Dancing with the Stars, season 15

Palin competed on the all-star season 15 of DWTS, which began in late September 2012. She was again partnered with Mark Ballas. The two were eliminated in week 4 of the season, in which they had the second-lowest score from the judges.[50]

Music video

In October 2010, while competing on Dancing With the Stars season 11, Palin appeared in a music video for an Alaskan symphony rock band, Static Cycle. The video was shot at the Ice Museum in Chena Hot Springs, Alaska.[51]


In June 2011, Palin's memoir, Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far, co-authored by Nancy French, was released. In the book, Palin candidly discusses aspects of her personal life, including tensions with the McCain family and losing her virginity. The book received mixed reviews from critics and readers.[52][53] It reached #21 on The New York Times Best Seller list list for hardcover nonfiction.[54]

Personal life

2008 Republican National Convention and pregnancy announcement

When Sarah Palin was chosen as John McCain's vice presidential running mate in late August 2008, his advisers had already been told of her daughter Bristol's pregnancy, which they believed would be a political liability as the girl was unmarried.[55] On September 1, the opening day of the 2008 Republican National Convention, it was publicly announced that Palin was pregnant and engaged to Levi Johnston, the father of her child.[10] Palin's entire family, along with Johnston, appeared at the convention.[10][56] McCain's advisers reportedly thought a wedding between Johnston and Palin would boost the waning popularity of the McCain-Palin ticket.[55] 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."[10]

Relationships and children

Palin and Johnston's son, Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, was born December 27, 2008.[57][58] She denied claims that her mother's pro-life views influenced her decision to give birth to and raise her son Tripp: "It doesn't matter what my mom's views are on it. It was my decision."[59][60]

Palin and Johnston ended their engagement in March 2009.[61] In November 2009, a custody and child support case 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.[62] Johnston argued for open proceedings, saying he wanted the case to be decided on the merits,[62] and that he did "not feel protected against Sarah Palin in a closed proceeding."[63] In December 2009, on Tripp's first birthday, the judge ruled in favor of 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".[62][63][64] Johnston sought shared custody and lower child support payments. In February 2010, a judge ruled that Johnston had to pay back child support, with a hearing set to determine the amount of ongoing support payments.[65][66]

That month, Palin 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.[67][68] In July 2010, Palin and Johnston announced that they had reunited and were again engaged,[69][70] but less than three weeks later, they ended their second engagement.[71][72][73][74][75] In August 2010, she moved out of the condo and returned to her parents' home.[76] The couple reached an agreement giving primary custody to Palin, and visitation rights and child support responsibility to Johnston.[77]

In December 2010, Palin purchased a five-bedroom house in Maricopa, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, for $172,000 in cash, according to Pinal County property records.[78] The house was sold in May 2012 for $175,000 and Palin moved back to Alaska.

On March 13, 2015, Palin announced she had become engaged to Dakota Meyer, a former Marine and Medal of Honor recipient.[79] According to Bristol's blog, she first met Meyer in 2014 while filming Amazing America with her mother Sarah Palin in Alaska.[80] On May 18, 2015, Palin's mother announced that the wedding planned for later in the week had been called off.[81]

On June 25, 2015, Palin announced she was pregnant with her second child.[82] In the announcement she stated the news would come as "a huge disappointment" to her friends and family but said she did not want any sympathy or lectures.[83] Three days later she said that the pregnancy was "not the ideal situation" but was "planned." She said she would not consider abortion and her pregnancy was not in conflict with her work for the Candie's Foundation.[84] She gave birth to daughter Sailor Grace Palin on December 23, 2015.[85][86] In June 2016, Palin and Meyer married.[87]

Anchorage brawl

A September 2014 Anchorage brawl was reported to have involved the Palin family, who were among an estimated 70 birthday party attendees. Bristol Palin, described in the police report as "heavily intoxicated," was said to have struck the party host "at least six times."[88][89]

See also


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External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bristol Palin.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Erin Andrews & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dancing with the Stars (US) third place contestant
Season 11 (Fall 2010 with Mark Ballas)
Succeeded by
Chelsea Kane & Mark Ballas
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