Tuesday, June 14, 2016
So let's start from the beginning.
I had interviewed them, given them advice, and even managed Sadie's blog for a time.
I had at one point also hired Tank Jones to work for me at the same time that he was supposedly managing Levi's "career."
However I had only met Levi twice. Once at his mother's sentencing, and once at Sadie's graduation.
Both times he was polite but a little standoffish.
And why not? Literally everybody had told him I was to be avoided at all cost. (Except for his mom and his sister of course.)
In 2012 I had sent a friend request to Levi's wife Sunny, and she accepted.
I used that connection to send her links to articles that mentioned Levi or to keep her up to date on the things going on in the Palin's lives which might affect her and Levi, and of course Tripp.
Through that connection I heard about the manipulations and barrage of abuse that Levi often suffered while trying to get time with his son. (Contrary to what you might have read in the tabloids, Levi NEVER stopped trying to spend time with his son.)
As you can imagine it irritated me and I offered to help multiple times.
At first Levi simply could not bring himself to accept help. (We Alaska men are known for our stoicism. Though typically Alaskan women refer to that as stubbornness.)
Late in 2013 things came to a head, and Levi wanted to take Bristol back to court and fight for a real custody deal. (Up to this point they really did not have one, and she used access to his son to manipulate Levi and keep him in line.)
However they no longer had an attorney, and nowhere near enough money to go up against the Palins in court.
But I did.
So finally in January of 2014, Levi and Sunny arrived on my doorstep, we had a great conversation, Levi learned that I was not the boogeyman that he had heard about for all of these years, and I gave them what they needed, with no strings attached.
Except for one. I would be kept up to date on everything that happened, which I promised to keep to myself until the case was finally resolved. (At the time I really thought that would only be about six or seven months. Talk about naive.)
The question that Levi kept asking me that day was why I would help him. So let me tell you what I told him.
I have spent the last eight years listening to the stories from people whose lives were devastated by their contact with Sarah Palin and her family, and rarely was I ever able to offer more than a sympathetic ear, or occasionally the opportunity to shine a light on their story.
I had also gone through a very upsetting child custody battle of my own about twenty years ago, and I understood what it felt like to be afraid that you were going to lose your child.
So I was determined that Levi was not going to lose his.
Okay this post is getting a little long, so let me wrap this first one up with a couple of important points that I want you to know, as well as the others lurking in the shadows.
For one thing one of the first rules I made was that anything Levi and Sunny told me could NOT come from Tripp. In my opinion that is unethical, and as a life long child advocate I simply will not take advantage of a little boy's innocence.
Secondly a number of our conversations took place right here in my house, before Levi was back in court with Bristol, so all of those conversations happened before Bristol tried to use confidentiality agreements to shut him up.
Thirdly I know for a fact that right now Bristol, and most likely Sarah, are frothing at the mouth and preparing to do something terrible to punish my friends for daring to take charge of their lives so there is a little something they should keep in mind.
Over the last several years Sunny has formed friendships with many of Bristol's former friends and boyfriends, and ooh ooh ooh do they like to dish the dirt.
So, since we are pals and all, I have received a number of screenshots of these conversations, because to be honest there were some times that Sunny Johnston had just about had enough and really wanted to drop the bomb. (I can guarantee that Dakota would LOVE to see these.)
Levi, on the other hand, hates the drama and just wants to live his life in peace. So Sunny put her love for her man over any desire to get a little payback.
That means for right now those conversations, and the screenshots to back them up, are staying in the vault out of respect for Levi's wishes.
However if Bristol, or Sarah, want to throw down, well then I have to admit I am chomping at the bit.
I would LOVE that.
Another thing for them to keep in mind is that if Bristol wants to take Levi back to court to punish him for talking to me, because apparently she gets to choose who he is friends with, then she should know that Levi will not have to spend one dime of his own money to cover the legal fees.
Levi and Sunny are no longer on their own against what was once one of the most powerful families in Alaska.
They have me.
And if they have me, well then they have all of us here at IM.
Talk about being outnumbered, right?
P.S. This is just the first installment of what will be a series of posts about my interactions with Levi and Sunny. I will probably not post one every single day, as there is a lot going on that needs attention as well.
However I promise that your patience will be rewarded, and that ultimately you will be surprised and pleased with what I have to share.