Bristol Palin sued for defamation over promo video

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Bristol Palin and son Tripp.

A man who argued with Bristol Palin is suing the reality TV actress for defamation, alleging she used a video of the incident without his permission to promote “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp.”

The reality TV show is set to premiere on June 19. Lifetime's website says, "With never-before-granted access to Bristol’s real-life experiences, the show follows her everyday life as a single mother living under intense media scrutiny that comes from her lineage as the daughter of former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin."

The defamation lawsuit stems from a confrontation between Palin and a man at a West Hollywood, Calif., bar called the Saddle Ranch Chop.

Palin, of the incident, has said that she was accosted by a man who “hurled nasty insults” at her mother.

Palin told In Touch magazine earlier this year that the incident left her ready to leave Los Angeles for home in Alaska.

A video of the incident shows Palin riding a mechanical bull and contains the voice of someone calling her mother a “whore,” according to Courthouse News Service.

Palin confronts a man at the bar, who calls her a “fucking devil.”

She in turn says, “All right, is it because you’re homosexual?”

And the man replies, “Pretty much.”

The man, now identified as Stephen Hanks, has since filed a federal complaint against Palin, Lifetime and its parent company, A&E Television Networks for invasion of privacy and emotional distress.

He is asking for punitive damages and alleges that the September 2011 incident did not play out as the edited video suggests.

Hanks, in his complaint, claims that patrons of the western-themed bar were talking about the Palins and expressing disagreement with Sarah Palin’s politics. Someone shouted out an insult against Sarah Palin. Others followed. Then, the complaint says, Bristol Palin approached Hanks and “in a condescending and demeaning tone, that she believed plaintiff did not like her mother because ‘you are a homosexual.’ She further stated that she could ‘tell’ that plaintiff was 'a homosexual' by the way he looked.”

Hanks says he realized later that he was being filmed for an abandoned reality show on Bio, but that he never signed a release.

He says he was surprised to learn the footage was being used to promote the Lifetime program.

A promotional video is online at

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