Inside Bristol Palin's reality TV showdown with a heckler [Video]
Bristol Palin's new reality show, "Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp," premieres June 19 on Lifetime, and there's already off-screen drama: One scene that is being heavily promoted from the show has now resulted in a lawsuit.
You may recall seeing headlines last year about Bristol, now 21, being involved in a bar fight. In case you are fuzzy on the details, here's what went down:
She was shooting footage last September at Saddle Ranch, a Los Angeles hot spot on the famous Sunset Strip. As she was riding a mechanical bull -- it is a reality show, after all -- a man confronted Bristol, shouting mean remarks about her mother, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
"Your mother is a f***ing devil," he yelled, among other things, which we won't reprint."Is it because you're a homosexual?" she asked the man. "That's why you don't like my mom." The two exchanged some more tense words before someone intervened.
Watch the tense exchange right here in this clip from "Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp":
Afterwards, the mother of 3-year-old Tripp fled L.A. for her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, and explained to In Touch magazine, "I just realized that I was over it. I was ready to come home."
The incident is far from over.
Just this week, Bristol's heckler, Stephen Hanks, filed suit, claiming that the "Dancing With the Stars" alum defamed him. His lawsuit says he never authorized the argument at the bar to be taped and never signed a consent form.
He goes on to say that that the incident hurt his career and his reputation.
The lawsuit reads, "She blamed Plaintiff for causing her to leave Los Angeles and move back to Alaska," despite her having purchased a new home in Alaska "more than two months before the encounter with the Plaintiff." Hanks also argues that A&E, the network behind Lifetime, "unlawfully" used his image to promote the show. He reportedly wants more than $75,000 in damages.
As for the bar brawl, the single mother told "Good Morning America" that she wants people to see her as a "grounded, normal mom." She said, "I'm excited for viewers to see the real me in that, because I'm sitting there all tough and shaking and I'm acting tough and instantly when it's over, it's like, 'OK, there's the real Bristol,' because I am calling my boyfriend, I'm calling my mom. 'Ah, get me out of here.' People are going to see the real Bristol in this show."
Palin should probably thank Hanks; we're pretty sure the blow-up around her show will only be good for ratings.
"Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp" premieres Tuesday, 6/19 at 10 PM on Lifetime.