Levi Johnston on the Tyra Banks Show
The teenage father of Bristol Palin's baby has at least two messages for America: His family is not "white trash," and there's nothing weird about his sister tattooing his name on her wrist.
Levi Johnston, 19, and his sister Mercede took to the airwaves this week to defend themselves against allegations of trashery and show off two tattoos — Mercede's wrist ink of Levi's name, of which she couldn't be more proud, and Levi's ring finger tattoo of the name Bristol — which he kind of regrets since their post-campaign breakup.
Johnston and Bristol proudly declared their love and plans to wed while Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Bristol's mom, was John McCain's running mate. But Johnston says the Palins no longer allow him to take his son, Tripp, from their home, and are telling lies about his family.
"We're not cashing in on their name, you know," he told CBS's Early Show. "I'm just trying to get my side of the story out there and letting people know who I am."
Asked to name what the biggest misconception about him is, Johnston replied, "Probably that my family's white trash."
He also said he once lived with the Palins, though they now deny it.
"They said I didn't live there," Johnston said. "(They say) I 'stayed there.' I was like, 'OK, whatever you want to call it' -- I had all my stuff there. So, if you wanna call it 'staying there,' that's fine."
As the siblings displayed their tattoos earlier this week on The Tyra Banks Show, Mercede said Bristol was threatened by her closeness with her brother. Johnston disclosed his ink regret.
But one thing he doesn't regret is Tripp's birth. "I mean, I love him more than anything," he told the Early Show. "I wouldn't trade him for the world."