Bristol Palin, daughter of former Alaska Governor, has been sued by a bar heckler for defamation, invasion of privacy and emotional distress. The latest blow hit Bristol only a couple of days before the debut of her Lifetime program, "Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp".
In the court documents obtained by E! Online, the man, identified as Stephen Hanks at the Saddle Ranch bar located West of Hollywood, claims that Bristol approached him last September with a camera and without taking his permission started recording him. He says that after Palin heard the people at the bar talking about their general dislike for her mother’s political views, the reality star confronted Hanks, who was one of the patrons at the bar and called him a homosexual because he was saying things against her mother.
When Hanks asked Bristol what made her assume he was homosexual, she replied, "Because I can tell you are." And gesturing to a male companion, she said, "That's a nice wife you've got there."
Hanks said that all this time he had been unaware of the recording. When Bristol left, he realized all the unpleasant exchange between them had been filmed. He then saw Bristol’s interview with In Touch magazine early next year, in which “she blamed Plaintiff for causing her to leave Los Angeles and move back to Alaska” in spite of buying a new home in the state over a couple of months before her encounter with the plaintiff.
Hanks attorney now claims that Bristol Palin has "repeatedly unlawfully used Plaintiff's image for profit in promotional advertising," and the defendants have refused to "cease using his image for profit." Hanks objects to his image during the heated exchange with Bristol to be used in a promo clip for “Life’s a Tripp”. In the video, Hanks can be seen shouting nasty things about Sarah Palin.
Hanks issued a formal apology through his lawyer for saying all those things and even wished Bristol success with her show immediately following the incident. However, he says after seeing his image being negatively publicized, he decided to talk to A&E Network, but they remained unresponsive, so he had no other choice but to file a lawsuit. “He felt this was the only way he could protect his rights”, Hanks' attorney said.