Levi Johnston is reportedly set to ask for "full or half custody" of his and ex-fiance Bristol Palin's 3-year-old son Tripp, weeks after an episode of her reality series showed the boy swearing.
Bristol's teenage pregnancy during her mother and Republican leader Sarah Palin's 2008 vice presidential campaign was a controversial issue and helped make her famous. The 21-year-old went on to compete on "Dancing With The Stars" and is one of several alums set to return to the dance floor this fall for an "All-Star" season.
Her reality show, or docu-series, "Bristol Palin: Life's A Tripp," premiered on the Lifetime cable network on June 19 and shows Bristol's life with her son, sister and new boyfriend, Gino Paoletti. The show earned lackluster ratings and was taken off the channel's primetime schedule after four episodes. On an episode that aired a month after the premiere, Tripp is seen throwing a temper tantrum in front of Bristol and her sister Willow and at one point utters an expletive.
"I'm doing a terrible job disciplining Tripp," Palin says on the episode, in a one-on-one interview. "I know he's going to continue to push the boundaries and push the limits."
On Tuesday, August 7, ABC News quoted Johnston as saying: "I want full or half custody of Tripp. His room is already set up in my house and just waiting for him."
Bristol filed for primary custody of their son in 2009. She and Johnston, 22, in 2010 reached a settlement under which she would have primary physical custody of the child and he would have visitation rights. Johnson has not yet filed a new petition at a court in Alaska, where both he and Bristol live. ABC News cited a TMZ report that said he had obtained the required papers.
The entertainment website also quoted Johnston as saying that "Life's A Tripp" is proof that Palin is a terrible parent, that their son is "on a downward spiral" and that he is "disgusted" by Tripp's language and behavior.
Johnston and Bristol have bickered continuously and publically since they ended their engagement and broke up in 2010. He wrote a tell-all book, "Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin's Crosshairs," in which he claimed that his ex got pregnant on purpose. Bristol disses Johnston as a "gnat" in her memoir "Not Afraid of Me: The Journey So Far."
He is also portrayed negatively on episode 4 of "Life's A Tripp," which contains a scene in which he appears to stand her up over a planned meeting about their son. Bristol says: "I don't think he's ready to be a parent. He's not an adult, clearly, and he's got a lot of growing up to do."
Johnston wrote in a Facebook message on July 12: "Did anyone else's mother ever teach them not to believe everything they see on TV? Do people not realize anymore how easy it is to set someone up, cut things out, retake a scene to make it look like something its not? Do people not realize that you only have to get my voice mail ONE time and replay it over and over to make it look like I dont answer my phone? (sic)"
"Just to reassure everyone that has been asking.. I LOVE MY SON AND WANT HIM HERE EVERYDAY!" he said. "Just be patient people, the truth about this will be out very soon and there will be no questioning for anyone if I try to be in Tripp's life or not."
Johnston is meanwhile preparing to welcome a second child. His new girlfriend, Sunny Oglesby, is pregnant. Johnston, an avid hunter, revealed in May that he plans to name the baby Breeze Beretta, after the Italian handgun manufacturer.
"Working on Tripps bedroom and baby girls bedroom and rearranging the man cave/garage today :) (sic)," Johnston said in a Facebook message on July 24.