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Sarah Palin's lawyer threatens suit over McGinniss book

September 27, 2011 | 12:45 pm

Sarahpalin_oct2010

An attorney for Sarah Palin is threatening to sue over a new book that he says defamed the Palins. That book is the unauthorized Sarah Palin biography by Joe McGinniss, "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin," which included stories of cocaine and infidelity.

The Associated Press reports

John Tiemessen, in a letter to the publisher of Crown Publishing Group Monday, cites an email that author Joe McGinniss allegedly sent a blogger in January seeking substantiation for several rumors that have surrounded Palin's family. That email was posted online last week by Andrew Breitbart.

Tiemessen says McGinniss' book, "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin," contains "most of" the stories that merely "amounted to the wishful fantasies of disturbed individuals."

McGinniss, the author "The Selling of the President 1968," moved to a house in Wasilla, Alaska, while researching his Palin book. The house happened to be next door to Sarah Palin -- in response, the Palin family put up a fence between the properties.

Book critic David L. Ulin outlined the book's most controversial allegations in The Times' review of "The Rogue."

McGinniss claims that Palin snorted cocaine off an overturned 55-gallon drum during a snowmobile excursion, slept with college (and later NBA) basketball star Glen Rice when she was an unmarried 23-year-old sports reporter (McGinniss talked to Rice for the book and he confirmed the relationship) and had an affair with Brad Hanson, Todd Palin's business partner, apparently as payback for her husband's infidelities. (Both Palin and Hanson, he notes, have denied the affair.)

Such indiscretions have already seized the public conversation, but what's striking is how tame they are. McGinniss could be describing anyone of Palin's generation -- or anyone as unhappily married as he indicates the Palins are.

Ulin concludes, "I have no doubt that McGinniss' view of Palin is accurate: that she is narcissistic, undisciplined and unqualified for public life. Still, I want more than innuendo to make the point." 

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-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Sarah Palin at a rally in Anaheim in October 2010. Credit: Associated Press

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