Sex, Drugs & Politics

New Sarah Palin Book: Leaks from Joe McGinniss’s ‘The Rogue’

An affair with an NBA star, drugs, and more crazy tidbits from Joe McGinniss’s new Palin book, ‘The Rogue.’

Getty Images

Palin Suspicious of House Guests’ Baby Oil?

According to The Rogue, Palin asked house guests to leave when she discovered baby oil in their bedroom, suspecting they were using it for illicit purposes. But Mama Grizzly didn’t feel comfortable kicking the guests out of her den, so she recruited Todd to do the deed. McGinniss quotes the alleged guest, whose name is not mentioned: “Todd says, ‘Sarah wants you out. She’s really upset thinkin’ you’re in there having sex with baby oil.’ We left. We went to a motel.’”

Palin Used Government Money to Buy Clothes?

Is Sarah Palin really the diehard fiscal conservative she professes to be? McGinniss reiterates allegations in his book that Palin spent $150,000 of the Republican National Committee’s money on clothes for her family when she was running alongside Republican presidential hopeful John McCain. McGinniss also notes that Palin’s spending habits are atypical of conservative rhetoric: She allegedly left the Alaskan government office with nearly $20 million in bonded debt and later lobbied for millions in “pork barrel” money for the town and state.

Palin Had a One-Night Stand With a Basketball Star?

As a TV sports reporter, Sarah Palin allegedly got up close and personal with future NBA player Glen Rice back in 1987. Author Joe McGinniss writes that she and Rice had a one-night stand nine months before she married Todd Palin. Rice was then a junior at the University of Michigan and had come to town for the Thanksgiving “Great Alaska Shootout” basketball tournament when he met Sarah Heath, and things allegedly got hot and heavy in Sarah’s younger sister’s dorm room at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The New York Times obtained a copy of the book, which also cites a friend saying the young Sarah Heath “had a fetish for black guys for a while.” In 2011, McGinniss spoke with Rice about their tryst. While Rice avoids getting into specifics, he says their relationship was “respectful” and refers to Palin as “a sweetheart.” McGinniss apparently prods further: “So you never had the feeling she felt bad about having sex with a black guy?” One of Palin’s friends at the time is allegedly quoted in the book saying, “I remember Sarah feeling pretty good that she’d been with a black basketball star.” Rice later went on to play for the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, and was also married to the Real Housewives of Miami’s Christy Rice.

Palin Slept With Todd’s Business Partner?

A pre-marriage dalliance is one thing, but sleeping with your husband’s business partner could cause some serious marital strife. The Rogue repeats allegations originally published by the National Enquirer in 2008 that Palin had an affair with Todd’s snowmobile dealership partner Brad Hanson in the mid ’90s, prompting Todd to shut down their business. The Enquirer claimed the affair took a toll on Todd and Sarah’s marriage, saying Todd complained to friends about their troubled relationship at the time. Both Sarah and Hanson denied all reports when they came out.

Palin Snorted Cocaine and Smoked Pot?

If allegations about Sarah Palin’s wild streak are true, then boy, was it a wild streak. McGinniss alleges that Palin snorted cocaine off a 55 gallon oil drum—while snowmobiling. A family friend of the mama grizzly reportedly says in the book that Todd also used cocaine and was “on the end of the straw plenty.” While allegations of cocaine use are in stark contrast to Palin’s traditional family persona, McGinniss also writes that Palin smoked marijuana with a professor while in college.

Troopergate Exposed Palin’s ‘Vengeful, Obsessive Nature’?

One of Palin’s first public scandals, Troopergate, seems like such a long time ago, but that doesn’t stop McGinniss from rehashing it. In 2008, Palin was accused of having her sister’s former husband fired as a state trooper following their divorce, as well as allegedly firing former public safety director Walt Monegan for refusing to fire Wooten. In October 2008, a state panel found that Palin violated ethics law, but the allegations still dogged her months later, and eventually she announced in July 2009 that she would resign—partly, she said, because of all the money she had to spend investigating all the ethics complaints made against her. McGinniss confirmed on his website that he spoke to Monegan, who said Palin had left him in the dark about why he was being fired, saying, “If she would have said, ‘Walt, I don’t like your hair,’ that would have made more sense.” McGinniss writes: “Sarah said she’d fired Monegan because he’d displayed a ‘rogue mentality.’ Sarah apparently felt that ‘going rogue’ was acceptable only when she did it herself.” Further, McGinniss writes in The Rogue that “the Troopergate scandal is worth investigating in detail because of Sarah’s actions, and those of her husband on her behalf, expose so clearly the vengeful, obsessive nature of the person who lurks behind the mask of sexiness and chirpy insouciance.”

Get The Beast In Your Inbox!

Daily Digest

Start and finish your day with the top stories from The Daily Beast.

Cheat Sheet

A speedy, smart summary of all the news you need to know (and nothing you don't).

By clicking “Subscribe,” you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.

Palin Served Willow and Bristol Burnt Macaroni and Cheese?

If there’s one thing the mama grizzly has prided herself on, it’s her parenting skills. But McGinniss certainly doesn’t think much of Palin as a mother. The book quotes friends who say Palin left the kids to fend for themselves when Todd wasn’t around and allegedly fed Bristol and Willow “burnt” pots of Kraft macaroni and cheese made on the stove. McGinniss devotes an entire chapter to claims that Palin did not give birth to her youngest son, Trig, who was born after Palin took a round-trip flight from Texas to Alaska. McGinniss writes that he’s “trignostic,” meaning he’s not completely convinced that Palin gave birth to Trig. “I think in regard to Trig, anything is possible,” McGinniss writes. While McGinniss admits that if Palin did fabricate the story of Trig’s birth, it would be a hoax that’s “the worst ever perpetrated on the American electorate by a candidate for national office,” he is unable to draw any definite conclusion about it. He writes in The Rogue that “it is perhaps the most blistering assessment of her character possible that many Wasillans who’d known Sarah from high school onward told me that even if she had not faked the entire story of her pregnancy and Trig’s birth, it was something she was eminently capable of doing.”

Palin Isn’t Comfortable with ‘Dark-Skinned People’?

In a sign of future Rogue controversy, The Chicago Tribune pulled the comic strip Doonesbury the week of Sept. 12 because it deals with the book. McGinniss reportedly only offered advance copies to three people: Andrew Sullivan, Garry Trudeau, and Rosanne Cash. The Tribune defended its decision, saying “the remarks are serious enough that we cannot publish the strip without more information, context and a response from Palin.” Some excerpts from The Rogue that Trudeau includes are a Palin source saying the governor would announce, “I got on my biggest push-up bra and I’m gonna get what I want,” and that Palin “isn’t comfortable in the presence of dark-skinned people.”