Charles Petzold

Tripp Palin, 16, Sues Mom, Others

December 27, 2024

ANCHORAGE — Some kids celebrate their 16th birthdays with cake, presents, and friends. Tripp Palin celebrated his 16th birthday today by filing a groundbreaking lawsuit against six people, including his mother — standup comic and longtime reality-star Bristol Palin, 34.

Tripp Palin's lawsuit alleges that his mother and others used him in "an abusively doctrinal manner" as "a living example" of "the devastating consequences of teenage pregnancy" in his mother's extensive promotion of abstinence-only sex education. The lawsuit cites Bristol Palin's 2010 photo shoot and interview with Harper's Bazaar as one of many examples of self-promotion in which she also compared her pregnancy and son with "lung cancer." (When contacted for her response to the lawsuit, Bristol Palin's only comment was "He knows that I love him.")

Despite his youth, Tripp Palin has emerged in recent years as the most visible spokesperson of what sociologists now term the "abstinence-only baby boom" of the first 8 years of the 21st century. Tripp Palin's blog, "Children of Hypocrisy, Children of Stupidity," has chronicled the plight of abstinence-only kids to his peers and an astonished nation.

One typical entry begins: "We are the children of abstinence-only single Moms. On the playground they laugh at us and call us 'abstards,' and we have no one but ourselves for comfort and understanding.... We weren't suppose to exist at all, and now we don't know who we are. Are we symbols of the failure to adhere to the abstinence-only program or a failure of the program itself? All we really know is that we were unpleasant surprises, and our Moms never let us forget how we ruined their lives."

Tripp Palin's blog also took aim at the campaigns against teenage pregnancy his mother supported. "When the candie's foundation sought 'to educate America's youth about the devastating consequences of teenage pregnancy' do you think they're referring to stretch marks and puke stains? We are those devastations."

The increased political activity of her oldest son has been one of the few blemishes on Bristol Palin's fascinating career. Soon after Tripp's birth, Bristol Palin became a spokesperson preaching abstinence as "the only 100 percent foolproof way you can prevent pregnancy." Her public speaking, however, soon morphed into a standup comedy routine that often seemed to straddle the edgy line between "laughing with" and "laughing at."

For the last decade, Bristol Palin's reality show, now entitled Bristol's Dozen, has portrayed the plight of a single abstinence-only Mom coping with the frequent surprises of a growing family. Her Christmas Special, in which she appeared dressed as Madonna singing "Still a Virgin," perhaps epitomized both the purity and sexy allure of the abstinence-only program.

Tripp Palin's lawsuit also targets several people responsible for originally bringing his family into the limelight, including his grandmother Sarah Palin and the 2008 Presidential candidate, John McCain. Reached at his home in Arizona, former Senator McCain, 88, continued to insist that Sarah Palin was the best choice for the country.

Sarah Palin, 60, was not available for comment. Following her increasingly bizarre behavior during the 2012 Presidential debates, culminating in Palin leveling a moose rifle at Katie Couric's head, she went into seclusion. Her current whereabouts are unknown.