Bristol and Levi: A tale of two magazine stories (People vs. Us)
Two popular magazines interviewed Bristol Palin last weekend. One says it didn't pay for the interview. The other isn't saying -- but isn't saying it didn't.
At any rate, the outcome was very different. Let's compare.
People, issue of July 26
Cover: Small picture of Bristol and son Tripp, titled "She's Taking Levi Back," in corner of Carrie Underwood cover.
Interviewed on: Sunday, July 11.
Paid? The magazine says no.
Gist of the story: "The big news: She's no longer at war with Tripp's dad."
Money quote: "We're not totally back together, but I'm not ruling it out."
Ring: Not wearing one.
Juicy details: Bristol is working as an office manager for an Anchorage dermatologist, saving for Tripp's college fund. Reveals that Levi, in addition to publicly apologizing, recently reached out to her mother in private, but that Sarah wants to see more progress in his life (education, a job). If her mother hadn't run for VP, "I think Levi and I would be married," living in a little apartment, and happy.
Their future together: "Who knows?"
Levi Johnston's input: Declined to participate in the story.
Us, issue of July 26
Cover: Devoted to Bristol, Levi and Tripp. "We're Getting Married!"
Interviewed on: Saturday, July 10.
Paid? The magazine declines to discuss its business transactions.
Gist of the story: Bristol and Levi "would like to tell the world -- and her mom, Sarah Palin -- that they're getting married."
Money quote: "We got engaged two weeks ago," Bristol says.
Ring: Shows off her new one-carat square-cut diamond.
Juicy details: He proposed with rose petals in the shape of a heart on her bed. He wants more kids. She'll take his name. They're not living together or having sex again yet. She wants marriage counseling. She calls him out on his past "lies" about her family, and he apologizes for alleging that Sarah called Trig retarded. They dish about their high school romance, earlier engagement, challenges as new parents ("Levi lost his awesome job at the North Slope oil field. And Tripp was supercolicky"). They broke up after Bristol found his sister text-messaging him about other girls. Levi regrets missing Tripp's first steps and first words. Levi describes his recent one-hour apology meeting with Sarah Palin.
Their future together: "I want to get married soon," she says.
Levi Johnston's input: Obviously, he made it to this one.
How did People get such a different story just a day later? Melanie Bromley, who interview the couple for Us, said Bristol "trusted Us" and "wanted to tell the full love story of how she's taken him back in a controlled environment" -- Us's Q&A format. Reps for the couple did not return calls.
The Reliable Source
July 19, 2010; 1:03 AM ET
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