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Levi Johnston Tells All on Trya's Show Monday


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Levi Johnston reveals on 'Tyra Banks' show that Sarah Palin knew he and Bristol were having sex

By Michael Saul

DAILY NEWS POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT

She knew?

You betcha, says the baby daddy of Sarah Palin's grandson.

The Alaska governor most likely was aware before her daughter, Bristol, became pregnant that the teenager and her hockey hunk boyfriend were having sex, Levi Johnston said in a bombshell new interview.

"I'm pretty sure she probably knew. Moms are pretty smart," said Johnston, 18, the father of the governor's first grandchild, in an interview that will air Monday on "The Tyra Banks Show."

Johnston said he and Bristol Palin practiced safe sex "most of the time."

News of Bristol's pregnancy at age 17 burst onto the national stage last summer just days after GOP presidential nominee John McCain announced Sarah Palin as his running mate.

At the time, Sarah Palin said she was stunned to learn of the pregnancy.

"When Bristol and Levi first told us the shocking news that she was pregnant, to be honest, we all at first looked at the situation with some fear and a bit of despair," the governor said. "Isn't it just like God to turn those circumstances into such an amazing, joyful blessing when you ask Him to help you through?"

A spokeswoman for Palin could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

The teenagers, who were engaged to be married until their recent break-up, appeared together at the Republican National Convention in September. Their child, Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, was born Dec. 27, more than a month after Sarah Palin lost her bid to be the nation's first female vice president.

Johnston's mother, Sherry, and sister, Mercede, who also appear on the show, said they were under a gag order from the McCain campaign during the presidential race.

Mercede said, "We were supposed to say that all questions need be brought up to the McCain campaign. Other than that we had to say no comment."

Johnston said he was sharing a room with Bristol Palin in the governor's home prior to their recent break-up. He moved into the Palin home about one to two weeks before Bristol gave birth and was living there until they broke up.

In the interview, the family dishes extensively about Palin's family, the presidential campaign, Johnston's relationship with Bristol Palin and the "real reasons" they are no longer together after having a child together.

Johnston showed off a "Bristol" tattoo on his ring finger.

Last month, Bristol Palin told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that it wasn't smart to get pregnant at her young age, but the abstinence her mom preaches is "not realistic at all."

"Everyone should wait 10 years," Bristol Palin said. "I hope people learn from my story.

"It's so much easier if you're married, have a house and career. It's not a situation you want to strive for."

Bristol Palin denied that her mother's anti-abortion views were the reason she went ahead with the pregnancy.

"It was my choice to have the baby," she said. "It doesn't matter what my mom's views are on it. It was my decision."

She conceded that it was very difficult to tell her mom that she was pregnant.

How difficult?

"Harder than labor," she said.

Response from Palin family:

After taking about sex on The Tyra Banks Show, Johnston – the 18-year-old father of Bristol Palin's baby – was hit with a blistering response from Bristol's family.

"Bristol did not even know Levi was going on the show. We're disappointed that Levi and his family, in a quest for fame, attention, and fortune, are engaging in flat-out lies, gross exaggeration, and even distortion of their relationship," says the statement from the Palin family rep, Meghan Stapleton.

"Bristol's focus will remain on raising Tripp, completing her education, and advocating abstinence," the statement continues. "It is unfortunate that Levi finds it more appealing to exploit his previous relationship with Bristol than to contribute to the well being of the child."

The statement ends, saying, "Bristol realizes now that she made a mistake in her relationship and is the one taking responsibility for their actions."

In the show airing April 6, Johnston tells Tyra Banks that he believes Sarah Palin knew he and Bristol, 18, were having sex when they lived under her roof. "I'm pretty sure she probably knew. Moms are pretty smart," Johnston says.

The couple, who were high school sweethearts, planned to wed after graduating – but ended up splitting earlier this year. At the time, Johnston told Good Morning America that he needed to mature before getting married.

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