Sarah Palin is back in the spotlight after advancing to the Novembergeneral election for Alaska's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, but she is no stranger to making headlines.
The former Alaska governor, 58, is running against fellow Republican Nick Begich III — the grandsonof a former Democratic representative who held the seat— andDemocrat Mary Peltola, a former lawmaker.
The three candidates are also vying to finish the two-year term of lateRepresentative Don Young, who held the seat for 49 years before his death in March at the age of 88.The winnerwill be announced on August 31 and serve until the end of the year.
Sarah Palin, 58, is one of three candidates who have advanced to the November general election for Alaska's only seat in the U.S. House of Representatives
The former Alaska governor, who has been endorsed by Donald Trump, is running against fellow Republican Nick Begich III - the grandson of a former Democratic representative who held the seat - and Democrat Mary Peltola, a former lawmaker
Sarah's political comeback comes 14 years after she ran for vice president in 2008. The Palins have weathered a number of controversies over the year, including teen pregnancy, domestic abuse charges, a drunken family brawl, and divorce
Sarah, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, shares five children — Track, 33, Bristol, 31, Willow, 28, Piper, 21, and Trig, 14— with her ex-husband, Todd Palin.
The right-wing Republican's political comeback comes 14 years after she wastapped to be late Senator John McCain's running mate on the 2008 GOP presidential ticket, putting her and her family in the public eye.
As Sarah continues her congressional bid, FEMAIL has taken a look back at all of her family's scandals over the years, from her daughter Bristol's teen pregnancy to her divorce from Todd after more than 30 years of marriage.
BRISTOL'S FIRST PREGNANCY OUT OF WEDLOCK AT AGE 17
Bristol Palin and her high school sweetheart were thrust into the public eye after her mother announced she was pregnant at 17 at the2008 Republican National Convention
The former couple had attended the high-profile event together in support of her mother, who had been chosen by Republican presidential candidate John McCain as his running mate
Bristol and Levi were high school sweethearts when theyfirst made headlines during the 2008 Republican National Convention.
They had attended the high-profile event together in support of her mother, who had been chosen by Republican presidential candidate John McCain as his running mate.
The vice presidential hopeful announced at the conventionthat her then-17-year-old daughter Bristol —the second oldest of her five children— was pregnant.
Sarah, whotouted abstinence,attempted to spin what could have been a family embarrassment into a positive, life-affirming narrative designed to underline her pro-life credentials.
Levi, who was then 18,gripped Bristol's hand as he stood alongside the Palin clan on stage in St. Paul, Minnesota.
At the time, Sarah insisted the expectant parents would get married, but the relationship soon soured, and they called off their engagement in March 2009, just three months after their son, Tripp, was born on December 27, 2008.
Sarah attempted to spin what could have been a family embarrassment into a positive, life-affirming narrative designed to underline her pro-life credentials
Sarah insisted at the time that the expectant parents would get married
The on-again, off-again couple got engaged a second time in 2010, but they broke things off just a month after they announced their plans to wed.
Bristol went on to write Not Afraid of My Life, a book about getting pregnant at 17, in which she called Levi a 'gnat' who had 'stolen her virginity' while she was drunk. She laterinsisted on Good Morning Americathat she was 'not accusing Levi of date rape or rape at all.'
'I'm looking back with adult eyes and thinking, that was a foolish decision,' she said. 'I should never have been underage drinking, and I should never have gotten myself into a situation like that.'
That launched a round of court battles between the two, which started off bitterly and only got worse. In an initial affidavit, Levi asked for the hearings to be public 'as a check against anyone's need to be overly vindictive, aggressive, or malicious.'
He added: 'Not that Bristol would be that way, nor would I. But her mother is powerful, politically ambitious, and has a reputation for being extremely vindictive…So, I think a public case might go a long way in reducing Sarah Palin's instinct to attack.'
Bristol and Levicalled off their engagement in March 2009, just three months after their son, Tripp, was born on December 27, 2008
In 2012, Levi was in the midst of an ongoing custody battle with Bristol when he married his wife,Sunny Oglesby. The dispute was finally settled in 2016
In November 2013, Levi filed court documents attempting to get 50/50 custody of Tripp. At the time, he argued it was in the little boy's best interests to have his father around just as much as his mom.
Bristol, who had been awarded full custody by a previous judge, claimed the custody demand was an attempt by the former oilfield worker to reduce his child support payments.
Her lawyer alleged in court that Levi, who had appeared nearly naked in Playgirl after the split, owed $66,000 in back payments.
Shortly afterward, Bristol headed to court again, claiming Levi was an unfit parent, saying he had no regular visits with his firstborn and that rather than pay child support, he spent all his money on fancy cars, hunting, and extravagant trips.
However, Bristol made plenty of money from her own lucrative deals.She became a spokesman for the Candie's Foundation — a non-profit dedicated to preventing teen pregnancy — after Tripp was born, receiving $262,000 in one year for her work, according to her tax returns.
Levi and his wife, Sunny, have three daughters together - Breeze Beretta, Indy Rae, and Delta Jo
Bristol and Levi have had an easier time co-parenting in recent years, and he is close with their son, Tripp, who spends the summers with him in Alaska
She also appeared on Dancing With the Stars, wrote a 2011 memoir, and had a reality show, Life's a Tripp, on Lifetime TV, which was canceled after one season.
Bristol used her newfound wealth to buy a five-bedroom home in Arizona, but soon got homesick and moved back to Alaska. By 2014, she was claiming she had not earned a penny in 18 months and pushed a judge to increase Levi's child support payments to $1,750 a month.
Within weeks of that filing, it was Levi's turn to increase the heat, asking a judge to find Bristol in contempt of court for taking Tripp out of Alaska without his permission. The former couple finally settled their child custody dispute over Tripp in 2016, seven years after their son was born.
Levi also has three daughters —Breeze Beretta, Indy Rae, and Delta Jo— with his wife, Sunny Johnston,née Oglesby, whom he married in 2012.
Bristol and Levi have had an easier time co-parenting in recent years, and he is close with their son.
Tripp, who lives with his mother in Texas, spends a great deal of time with his dad, stepmother, and half-siblings in Alaska, including summer vacations.
SARAH'S $150,000 WARDROBE - PAID FOR BY THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE
Sarahfaced backlash in 2008 after it was revealed that the Republican National Committee (RNC) shelled out a whopping $150,000 of campaign contributions on her clothing, hair styling, and makeup ahead of the presidential election
The then-vice-presidential nominee reportedly spent tens of thousands more than what was budgeted for her designer wardrobe in high-end stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus
'Those are the RNC's clothes. They're not my clothes. I never forced anybody to buy anything,' she told reporters at the time
Sarah was dressed to impress while on the campaign trail with John McCain during his bid for president in 2008, but she faced backlash after it was revealed that the Republican National Committee (RNC) shelled out a whopping $150,000 of contributions on her clothing, hair styling, and makeup ahead of the election.
The then-vice-presidential nominee reportedly spent tens of thousands more than what was budgeted for her designer wardrobe inhigh-end stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. There were also claims that staffers had to use their own credit cards to clothe her.
One anonymous McCain aide described Sarah's shopping spree as 'Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast.'
However, Sarah denied the claims of extravagance and laughed off suggestions that she lived a 'diva lifestyle' in Alaska.
'Those are the RNC's clothes. They're not my clothes. I never forced anybody to buy anything,' she told reporters at the time.
Sarah's clothing did little to sway voters that November, as Democratic nominee Barack Obama was elected president that year.
Following the firestorm over her pricey wardrobe, campaign spokespersons said the clothing would be donated to charity.
DRUNKEN FAMILY BRAWL INVOLVING 20 PEOPLE
In 2014, the Palin family was accused of starting a drunken brawl at a house party in Anchorage, Alaska
The Palin family was accused of starting a drunken brawl at a party in Anchorage, Alaska, in September 2014.
The fight involved 'roughly 20 people' and alcohol was believed to have been a factor in the incident, which took place around 11 p.m. on September 6, 2014, the Anchorage Police Department stated at the time.
However, the police report painted a confusing picture of the showdown, with each version of events from those involved differing wildly.
According to witnesses, the party atKorey Klingenmeyer’s house was a birthday celebration for several of the former participants in theIron Dog snowmobile race, including Todd.
The Palins, who were out celebrating Todd's birthday, arrivedin a stretch Hummer limousine. Trouble allegedly broke out when it was discovered that then-20-year-old Willow's former boyfriend was there.
Track, then 25, was said to have ripped his shirt off while making rude gestures to his sister Willow's ex-boyfriend. His bloody elbow was photographed by officers on the scene
Bristol, then 23, was said to have attacked to party's host. She was photographed with dirt on her jacket as if she fell to the ground, which she reportedly did during the fight
Anchorage police were called to the scene just before midnight, but no arrests were made and no charges were filed
Track, then 25, was said to have ripped his shirt off while making rude gestures to the young man, while his sister Bristol, then 23, attacked the host.
'The owner of the house gets involved, and he probably wished he hadn’t. At this point, he’s up against nearly the whole Palin tribe: Palin women screaming. Palin men thumping their chests,' wrote Alaska political bloggerAmanda Coyne, who had scooped the story.
'Word is that Bristol has a particularly strong right hook, which she employed repeatedly, and it’s something to hear when Sarah screams, "Don’t you know who I am!"'
The blogger added that 'Track was seen on the street, shirtless, flipping people off, with Sarah right behind him, and Todd somewhere in the foreground, tending to his bloody nose.'
Anchorage police were called to the scene just before midnight, but no arrests were made and no charges were filed.
SON TRACK'S MULTIPLE RUN-INS WITH THE LAW - INCLUDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INCIDENTS
Track was charged with assault and possessing a weapon while intoxicated after attacking his then-girlfriend Jordan Loewe (pictured) and threatening to shoot himself in January 2016
A few months later, Jordan found out she was pregnant and ended up getting back together with Track (pictured with his family)
Track — Sarah and Todd's oldest child— has had a number of run-ins with the law over the years, including incidents of domestic abuse.
He had enlisted in the Armyon September 11, 2007, and was deployed to Iraq the following year, while his mother was campaigning as McCain's running mate.
Track married his high school sweetheart,Britta Hanson, in 2011, three months before the birth of their daughter, Kyla. They divorced just 18 months later.
In January 2016, he was charged with assault and possessing a weapon while intoxicated after attacking his then-girlfriend Jordan Loewe and threatening to shoot himself with his mother's pink-camo AR-15 rifle at the politician's home.
The incident came the night before Sarah endorsed Donald Trump for president.At the time, she blamed the Obama administration’s policies toward veterans and her son's PTSD for his problems.
A few months later, Jordan found out she was pregnant and ended up getting back together with Track. She moved back in with him in August 2016, and their son, Charlie, was born the following month.
In an interview with Daily Mail TV, she alleged that he had attacked her when she was holding their one-month-old sonand claimed his parents did not want the police involved when he threatened to kill her.
In December 2017, Track was arrested after breaking into his parents' home and assaulting his father, Todd. His mother was the one who had called the police. He was arrested for the third time for assaulting Jordan in September 2018
Trackwas ordered to spend a year in custody after being disqualified from the therapeutic Veterans Court as a result of his third assault allegation
In December 2017, Track was arrested after breaking into his parents' home and assaulting his father, Todd. His mother was the one who had called the police.
Track was arrested for the third time for assaulting Jordan in September 2018, just hours before his sister Willow's wedding.
Jordan, whoseprotective order against her ex had just been lifted the month before, said she had dropped off her son and was on her way out when he demanded a hug and told her she could not leave.
When she threatened to call the police, he allegedly took her phone and began hitting her with it while she tried to remove their son from his home.
As they wrestled over the phone, Track finally let her leave after she screamed for help, according to an affidavit by Alaska State Troopers.
Track claimed they werearguing over how they said goodbye and that any injuries Jordan had she did to herself. Authorities said that he kicked over a table and threw his head back at a trooper while he was being arrested.
He was ordered to spend a year in custody after being disqualified from the therapeutic Veterans Court as a result of the assault allegation.
Track is a father of three and still lives in Alaska, according to his mom's recent interview with The New York Post.
BRISTOL'S SECOND PREGNANCY OUT OF WEDLOCK
Bristol had a rollercoaster romance with former Marine Dakota Meyer, which resulted in her second pregnancy out of wedlock
The pair got engaged during a Rascal Flatts concert in Las Vegas in early 2015 and planned a wedding in his home state of Kentucky. But less than a week before the ceremony, Bristol announced that the wedding would not take place
Bristol met former Marine and Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer duringfilming of her mom's Sportsman Channel show, Amazing America with Sarah Palin.
The pair got engaged during a Rascal Flatts concert in Las Vegas in early 2015 and planned a wedding in his home state of Kentucky.
But less than a week before the ceremony, Bristol announced that the wedding would not take place, and instead of tying the knot, she set off on an RV trip in Alaska.
A month later she announced she was pregnant, although she initially refused to say whether Dakota was the father. She admitted that her second out-of-wedlock pregnancy was 'a huge disappointment' to her family.
'I do not want any lectures and I do not want any sympathy,' she said. '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 on.'
Their daughter Sailor Grace was born on December 23, 2015, and the couple went through a custody battle after the birth, with Bristol's mom shaming Dakota when he asked for child support in court papers.
Bristol announced she was pregnant a month after her split from Dakota, although she refused to say whether he was the father at first. After a bitter custody battle, they fell back in love and wed in 2016
Bristol and Dakotawelcomed their second daughter, Atlee Bay, on May 8, 2017, and moved their family to a suburb outside of Austin, Texas
The breakdown of their marriage and Dakota's struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were documented on Teen Mom OG. He filed for divorce in January 18, and it was finalized seven months later
'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,' she told Entertainment Tonightin a statement.
Sarah also claimed that he was just trying to 'save face.'
However, Bristol and Dakota not only managed to come to an agreement, but they both fell back in love. After secretly rekindling their romance, they revealed in June 2016 that they had gotten married.
They welcomed their second daughter, Atlee Bay, on May 8, 2017, and moved their family to a suburb outside of Austin, Texas.
Bristol explained in aPatheosblog post that they chose to put roots down in Texas because it was in the middle of their respective home states of Alaska and Kentucky.
But their happiness didn't last long, and Dakota filed for divorce from Bristol in Texas in January 2018, citing'discord or conflict of personalities' as the reason for their split.
Despite everything they had been through, they did eventually find a way to amicably co-parent together
Bristol and Dakotacame together to celebrate Atlee's pre-school graduation in May
Dakota has since found love with his new girlfriend, Lauren Fordyce, who has appeared in a number of photos with him and his daughters in recent months
The estranged couple both took jabs at each other on social media during their divorce and custody proceedings.
Bristol and Dakotawere embroiled in a bitter, and very public, war of the words, with the breakdown of their marriage and his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) being documented on Teen Mom OG.
However, they both took issue with how they were portrayed on the show, and Bristol quit after one season.
Bristol confirmed her divorce from Dakota had been finalized in August 2018 and later shared that she was forced to stay in Texas per their custody agreement.
Despite everything they had been through, they did eventually find a way to amicably co-parent together.
Bristol went on to become a real estate agent, and Dakota hired her to sell their former marital home, which he was awarded in their divorce settlement. She has since opened her own real estate company.
She showed her support for her ex-husband last year when she attended a ceremony in which he wasofficially named a firefighter.More recently, the former couple came together to celebrate Atlee's pre-school graduation in May.
Dakota has since found love with his new girlfriend,Lauren Fordyce, who has appeared in a number of photos with him and his daughters in recent months.
SARAH AND TODD'S SHOCK DIVORCE AFTER MORE THAN 30 YEARS OF MARRIAGE
Sarah and Todd fell in love as high school students in Wasilla, Alaska, and were married for more than 30 years
Sarah and Todd fell in love as high school students in Wasilla, Alaska, and were married for more than 30 years after eloping in 1988.
Their relationship was dogged by unsubstantiated rumors of infidelity on both sides and divorce for years after theformer Alaska governor's vice-presidential run put them in the spotlight.
Todd,a commercial fisherman and oil field worker, filed for divorce on September 5, 2019 — his birthday — citing 'incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife.'
Sarah opened up about their separation during an interview with Christian author James Dobson that November, saying she learned her husband was planning on leaving her in an email from his attorney in June of that year.
The mother of five received the 'devastating' message three months before he officially filed for divorce.She said it 'felt like I had been shot’ when she learned of her husband’s desire to separate, which came a week after their 31st anniversary.
Todd stood by Sarah's side while she was running for vice president in 2008, but their relationship was dogged by unsubstantiated rumors of infidelity and divorce for years after the election
Todd, a commercial fisherman and oil field worker, filed for divorce on September 5, 2019. Sarah said she learned her husband was planning on leaving her in an email from his attorney earlier that year
At the time of the interview, she explained that they were going through counseling and their relationship was 'not over.' They puton a united front when they came together to celebrate the birth of their daughter Willow's twin girls in November 2019.
Sarah and Todd quietly divorced on March 23, 2020, according to court records.
Todd soughtjoint custody of their teenage son, Trig, who has Down's syndrome, and an equal division of their assets, his initial complaint stated.
All other documents in the case were made confidential after it was sealed; however, the docket revealed that no child support was issued.
'He spends his time with his girlfriend whom he’s had for some time now …,' she said, adding, 'She lives down in the lower 48, so he spends a lot of time down in the lower 48.'
Meanwhile, she has found love again withretired New York Rangers star Ron Duguay, 65, who is twice divorced.
Sarah and Todd put on a united front when they came together to celebrate the birth of their daughter Willow's twin girls in November 2019. They quietly divorced in March 2020
Sarah said in a recent interview that Todd has a girlfriend who 'lives down in the lower 48.' She is now datingretired New York Rangers star Ron Duguay, 65, who is twice divorced
The long-time friends reconnected this winter when she was in New York for the defamation case she filed against The New York Times for incorrectly linking her rhetoric to a mass shooting in a 2017 op-ed.
Sarah and Todd have both moved on, and she is now attempting a political comeback. While she has beenendorsed by former President Donald Trump, she doesn't appear to have the support of her ex-in-laws.
Her ex-husband's parents, Jim and Faye Palin, hostedan election-eve party for Republican Nick Begich III — her opponent for Alaska's open House of Representatives seat —at their home in Wasilla on Monday.
More than 100 people were in attendance, according toMust Read Alaska.
Palin is one of three people running to replace late Rep. Don Young.Young, who won Alaska's only House seat in 1973, died in March at the age of 88.
The event was a consequential one for Begich's campaign too, as the setting of his final campaign speech before Alaska voters head to the polls on Tuesday.
Palin's former mother-in-law toldNewsy congressional correspondent Nathaniel Reed that she was not supporting Begich out of any dislike for the ex-governor, but rather because she 'only has one vote.'