Feuding Almost In-Laws: Levi Johnston: Sister

Sadie's Side
"What I mostly want people to know about my family is, one, we did not ask for this," says Levi's sister, Sadie, in a video interview. "We never wanted to be bombarded by all this media. It's just torture."

The video shows Sadie and Levi, knee-deep in water, laughing and fishing together. "Levi is a great person to have as your big brother," Sadie says. "He's just one of the funniest people you'll ever meet in your life. Levi's a great dad. He's a very hands-on dad, and [he's] just so excited to be able to teach Tripp the stuff that my father taught him."

[AD]Sadie claims Sarah Palin used her brother to portray a favorable image of her family during the election. "Levi was a puppet for the Republican National Convention," Sadie says. "Sarah Palin made it seem like we had a relationship only when it was convenient for her. I have a very hard time finding a job in this town because of our relationship with the Palins. I'm very relieved Levi did not marry into the Palin family, but I am very sad because Tripp will not have his father in his life as much because of that."

Sadie tells Dr. Phil why she's so protective of her big brother. "I kind of saw what [the Palins] were doing before [Levi] saw, because at that point he was so in love with Bristol and expecting his first child. I don't think he saw that they were using him to put on this perfect family persona," Sadie says.

"You've been pretty critical of Bristol and Sarah, right?" Dr. Phil asks Sadie.

"Yes, I guess that's fair to say," she agrees. "But that's also because I'm trying to defend my family from what they have also said. I want to kind of correct the allegations they're making because what they're saying is not true."

[AD] Dr. Phil says that he understands Sadie's need to defend her family, but wonders if she and Levi should settle their conflict with the Palins in private. "Is this a battle you really want to fight in the media, or is this something you need to sit down with [Bristol] and say, 'Hey, look, let's negotiate some type of peaceful co-existence. Let's get a co-parenting plan.' Have you had those conversations?" Dr. Phil asks Levi.

"I feel like we have done that," Levi explains. He says that he and Bristol have set up official visitation hours for Tripp, but she rarely follows them.

Dr. Phil addresses a stipulation he received from Bristol's attorney on Levi's custody and visitation rights. Signed by both Levi and Bristol, Dr. Phil highlights a clause in the stipulation that "prohibits disparaging remarks about the other parent or the other parents' family."  The clause also prohibits visits with Tripp should relatives from Bristol or Levi's family make "disparaging remarks" about the other parent. The stipulation also claims Levi owes as much as $20,000 in unpaid child support.


Turning to Sadie, Dr. Phil explains that this non-disparagement clause prohibits her from making any negative comments about the Palins as she has done in the past. "By this, your brother has agreed that you will be excluded from visits with Tripp as a function of [this] stipulation," Dr. Phil explains. 


Sadie acknowledges that she has openly criticized the Palins, but only in response to Bristol's attacks on her family. "Yes, I have [made] some inappropriate comments about Bristol. But also, I have reached out to Bristol and apologized and asked if we can meet up to discuss this like adults," Sadie adds. "And she won't do that."


When Dr. Phil questions Levi about his late child support, the young man admits he has fallen behind on payments, but plans to pay them the moment he can.


[AD]"The same sex parent is the most important role model Tripp will ever have," Dr. Phil explains. "It's critical you have a relationship with him."


"I feel the same way," Levi calmly responds. "If she came out and told me that if I stopped all this right now, I could have 50/50 custody of my son, I'd give it up in a heartbeat."