The National Enquirer published details from Joe McGinniss' hotly anticipated Sarah Palin biography today, including an NBA player's claim that he slept with Palin shortly before her marriage. McGinniss is the "peeping tom" reporter who moved in next door to the Palins' Wasilla home. Based on the Enquirer's read, a guide to the relative veracity of his juiciest claims.
1. Sarah's Fling with an NBA Player: As a sports reporter at an Anchorage TV station, Palin hooked up with Glen Rice, former NBA player and ex-husband of Real Housewives of Miami star Christy Rice, the Enquirer claims McGinniss' book reports. Since Rice apparently confirms the fling to McGinniss, I'm leaning towards "true" on this one.
Sarah hooked up with Rice, a 6-foot-8 junior at the University of Michigan, while he was in town for the 1987 Thanksgiving weekend "Great Alaska Shootout" basketball tournament, according to the book.
McGinniss quotes a friend as saying Sarah had "hauled his [Rice's] ass down." While the pal coyly states: "I can't say I know they had sex," the friend is also quoted as saying: "I remember Sarah feeling pretty good that she'd been with a black basketball star," according to the source.
Their encounter reportedly occurred in the dorm room of Sarah's younger sister Molly at the University of Alaska Anchorage, according to the book.
Rice confirms the hookup in McGinniss' book, according to the source, "but he's quoted as saying he didn't think Sarah harbored any bad feelings over being with him because he was black. And he remembers only nice things about Sarah, recalling her as 'gorgeous' and saying she was a big crush of his at the time."
According to the book, Rice and Sarah continued to chat on the phone right up until she married Todd just nine months later.
2. Sarah's 'Fetish' for Black Men: This seems a little too easy as a (sick) punchline to the Glen Rice story, so I'm skeptical. Would a woman afraid of Asians also sexually fetishize black men? Actually, maybe don't answer that. I feel icky all over even contemplating it.
The author also writes that after graduating from college, Sarah developed a "fetish" for black men.... McGinniss writes Sarah grew "horrified" about having sex with a black man [after sleeping with Rice].
3. Snorting Cocaine Off an Oil Drum: This tale about Palin doing lines off an oil drum outdoors while snowmobiling is amusing, but is it physically possible? Wouldn't your nostrils get stuck, like a kid licking a light post in winter? And what about wind?
[B]efore she was elected governor, the author states Sarah was seen snorting cocaine off an overturned 55-gallon oil drum while snowmobiling with pals.
The book names a longtime associate of the Palins as saying Todd, who was arrested for DUI in 1986, used cocaine and "was on the end of the straw plenty."
Maybe they were rubbing their noses in literal snow, and someone misunderstood?
4. Palin Smoked Pot in College: Believable.
McGinniss writes that while Sarah attended Mat-Su College, she smoked pot with a professor who was the father of a female friend.
5. Sarah Cheated on Todd Repeatedly: Not only was Palin "more in the picture at the time of Sarah's romp with Glen Rice," but she also banged Todd's business partner, the Enquirer says McGinniss says. I could go either way on this one.
McGinniss' book also confirms an ENQUIRER exclusive—published in our Oct. 6, 2008 issue—that Sarah carried on an extramarital affair with Todd's business partner Brad Hanson, and Todd dissolved their snowmobile dealership after he learned about the affair.
Now 47, Sarah has vehemently denied cheating on her husband, and Hanson insisted he was never involved with the former Alaska governor.
But according to the publishing source, McGinniss quotes a friend of Todd's as saying Sarah's husband was embarrassed by the affair, which occurred around 1996 and lasted as long as six months.
6. Palin Is a Bad Mom: This is true! But not for the reasons the Enquirer gives. Sarah Palin is bad for her kids beause she's bad for everyone in America, not because her kids ate macaroni sometimes.
Said the publishing source: "The book portrays Sarah as a bad mom and, in essence, abandoning her kids. McGinniss quotes friends as saying that when Todd wasn't there, busy Sarah would let the kids fend for themselves, and writes that daughters Bristol and Willow's meals often consisted of 'burnt' pots of Kraft mac and cheese made on the stove.
All kids should eat macaroni, and they should cook it for themselves, too. How else will they prepare for the real world, when they have nobody to rely on but themselves, and multiple reality TV production teams.
McGinniss did not respond to our request for comment. All quotes are from the print edition of the National Enquirer. [National Enquirer, Palins in Iowa, Rice in 1994 and 1998 via AP]