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Palin Sues Johnston for Custody

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Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol has sued Levi Johnston for sole custody of their child, Tripp Johnston-Palin, and now two superior court judges have unsealed the court record and denied Palin's request that pseudonyms be used, the Alaska Dispatch reports.

It's not yet apparent whether Johnston's public appearances since his son's birth--most notably his decision to pose nude for Playgirl magazine--will be a part of the proceedings. Earlier this month Johnston told Headline News's Joy Behar that he likes being a gay icon.

Palin filed for custody on November 4, at which time Judge Kari C. Kristiansen issued a temporary order limiting access to the case files and allowed the parties to file under pseudonyms. Johnston, however, appealed those decisions. On December 23, Kristiansen denied Palin's request for a closed proceeding. On the same day, Presiding Judge Sharon Gleason denied Palin's request to use pseudonyms.

In opposition to the request for a gag order, Johnston's lawyer, Rex Butler, said: "Simply put, this matter is public in nature, the courts are not refugees for the scions of the elite to obtain private dispensation of their legal matters because the public at large has an interest in the proceedings."

For his part, Johnston said he feared that Sarah Palin might have too much pull if the proceedings were made private. "I do not feel protected against Sarah Palin in a closed proceeding," he wrote in an affidavit. "I hope that if it is open she will stay out of it.... I think a public case might go a long way in reducing Sarah Palin's instinct to attack and allow the real parties in this litigation, Bristol and I, to work things out a lot more peacefully than we could if there is any more meddling from Sarah Palin."

See footage from Behar's interview with Johnston below.

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