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Bristol Palin talks pregnancy, McCain in memoir

By Christine Kearney
/ Source: Reuters

By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK, June 23 (Reuters Life!) - Single mother Bristol Palin takes swipes at everyone from Republican U.S. Senator John McCain's family to the media and her ex-fiancee in her memoir, published this week.

The memoir of the 20-year old eldest daughter of conservative political star Sarah Palin, "Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far," starts with a sketchy account of losing her virginity to Levi Johnston, the father of her son who later posed nude for Playgirl and was critical of Sarah Palin.

The account recalled going on a camping trip with Johnston, drinking wine coolers and waking up in a tent the next morning with no memory of losing her virginity.

She blamed Johnston -- who she generally refers to as a "gnat" and eventually broke up with -- for taking advantage of her. "You knew I didn't want to have sex until I was married!" she says she told him, adding, "How could you?"

Johnston defended himself saying, he too, was drunk.

"I thought I was headed into an evening of harmless high school fun. But really, I was headed into the deep quicksand of sexual sin, during a night that I barely remembered," she said in the memoir, published in the United States on Friday.

Later, she recalled Johnston's reaction to her being pregnant. "Better be a ... boy", he told her.

She also writes about the subsequent media attention during her mother's 2008 campaign as the Republican running mate of McCain where the younger Palin was also thrown into the media spotlight for being pregnant.

"For some reason, I didn't realize the ripples my pregnancy would cause throughout the nation," she said.

After that first blurry evening of sex, she and Johnston coupled again because, in her words, he was buying her purses and rings and clothes. "We had sex again. It was part 'thank you,' part 'security deposit'" she writes.

On the campaign trail with 2008 Republican presidential candidate McCain, she pokes fun at his wife, Cindy and his daughter Meghan, who was "comparing my family to hers, and complaining. Oh, the complaining."

She goes on to describe tearing up at her mother's supportive reaction to her time on the television dancing contest "Dancing with the Stars," which she lost to actress Jennifer Grey after controversially making the finale because the audience liked her rather than her dancing technique.

"There was something about seeing mom's face that made me feel unusually emotional," she said. "We'd been through a lot over the past few years, and we'd managed to end up stronger than when we started."

She finishes the book the way she started, quoting the bible and reaffirming her decision "not to have sex again until I'm married" while being an advocate for sexual abstinence for unmarried teens.

"I'm not a role model, a dancer, or a preacher. I'm just a normal girl who couldn't hide her problems and learned a few lessons along the way," she said.