Ever since Alaska governor Sarah Palin became the U.S. Republicans’ surprise vice-presidential nominee on August 29, the media have besieged her with controversy and rumor. Stories abounded that she’d attempted to cover up her 17-year-old daughter Bristol’s unmarried pregnancy, and her former brother-in-law, Alaska state trooper Mike Wooten, recently filed an ethics suit against Palin regarding his dismissal, as per a Boston Herald report.
But did Palin, 44, have a past extramarital affair? That’s what both the National Enquirer and The Atlantic have alleged in recent days — adding that Palin’s ex-partner in the supposed affair had filed an emergency order to seal his divorce records from the public.
The Enquirer reported that Palin had had an affair with a former “business partner” of her husband Todd, and that Todd then “quickly dissolved his friendship and his business associations with the guy”. The infidelity story gained credibility when The Atlantic‘s Andrew Sullivan claimed that Scott Richter, a 39-year-old contractor and associate of the Palins, had requested his court records sealed on September 3. Meanwhile, John McCain’s political camp threatened to sue the Enquirer for reporting about the alleged affair.
However, Richter’s ex-wife Debbie denied on September 5 that there had been any affair. “I can tell you this with 1,000% certainty,” Debbie Richter told Us, “Sarah Palin never had an affair.” She added that Richter had petitioned for the sealing out of privacy, not because he had anything to hide: “As soon as he realized that there was going to be a barrage of media inquiries, he went to the courthouse in his little town and requested that our divorce information be sealed… he just doesn’t want his financial information hanging around out there in the wind.
“He’s just a private person,” Debbie Richter explained to Us about her former husband.
A judge denied Richter’s request. In the meantime, TheSmokingGun.com published Richter’s court motion, which revealed that he merely wanted to hide his contact information so that the media wouldn’t be able to harasshim. He and the Palins are “friends and landowners in a remote cabin” on Safari Lake in Alaska, according to the document, and he was concerned with the way reporters were interfering with the “cabin life and private life” of him and his son.
The Richters filed for divorce jointly in July 2007, and their divorce was granted less than two months later.
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