Custody Dispute over Bristol Palin's Child Made Public

Last week the custody dispute between Levi Johnston and Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol Palin over their 1-year-old son, Tripp, was opened to the public, despite Bristol Palin's efforts to keep the case confidential.

Palin filed a petition for full legal and physical custody Nov. 4. She argued that she and her family already provided almost all of the care and asserted that "Levi is not yet mature enough to take on significant parental responsibilities."

But Johnston says he wants to share custody of his son and do what he can for Tripp, and Bristol Palin.

Johnston fought to allow the custody matter to unfold in public, saying in a sworn statement that doing so would help put everyone on their best behavior.

In the meantime, Bristol said the former VP candidate was not involved in the case "other than as a grandmother" and that Levi, whom she believes will soon be filming a reality TV show in Alaska, wanted things public "for his own self-promotion."

Thomas Van Flein, a lawyer for of Bristol, pointed out that even routine celebrity custody battles typically protect the privacy of the child. He cited the Britney Spears-Kevin Federline and Alec Baldwin-Kim Basinger cases.

Levi's lawyer, meanwhile, wrote that his client "feels Sarah Palin, through her lawyer, under the guise of Bristol Palin's name, would run roughshod over his very bones."

Gotta protect those bones, kiddo. Depending on what comes to light, an open proceeding could prove embarrassing for everyone involved, Jerusalem Post reports.

News agencies also report, Levi seeks shared custody. In an affidavit, he says he wants the case to be open to "public scrutiny as a check against anyone's need to be overly vindictive, aggressive or malicious." He adds that he's referring not to Bristol but to her mom.

Sarah, he says, "is powerful, politically ambitious, and has a reputation for being extremely vindictive." Bristol told the court "my mother is not involved in this case." She also said Levi wants to use the case to publicize a potential reality show, Xinhua reports.

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