The Rogue, a controversial new book by journalist Joe McGinniss, paints Sarah Palin, the former Alaskan governor, as a coke-snorting, sexually loose harridan. It’s unflattering, especially for a mother of five.
We shared some of the most-headline-making accusations with Tanith Carey, a family expert, journalist and author of Where Has My Little Girl Gone? Moms out there might find themselves in similar situations. What should they do?
Palin may have done drugs in the past
The book alleges Palin snorted cocaine off an oil drum during a snowmobiling trip.
SAYS CAREY: “If you did take drugs, explain they always carry the danger that they can make you behave in a way that is out of control, could earn you a criminal record or ruin your career. They also carry the risk of addiction. Explain why and how you made the decision to stop taking them — and make it clear what your attitude is to them now.”
She may have had an affair while married
… allegedly with her husband’s business partner, although all parties have denied this.
SAYS CAREY: “Children have keen antennae and it’s very likely they have already guessed there is something wrong, so be honest. Don’t try and justify it — or get them to see your partner as the villain. Expect to face a lot of anger if you are the person who cheated in a marriage, as kids will see it as an abandonment of them, as well as your spouse. But keep them talking.”
She may have been sexually promiscuous
… allegedly with Miami Heat basketball star Glen Rice.
SAYS CAREY: “If you are asked about your sexual history, the best policy is to be truthful and tell them about your own experiences in an age appropriate way. But also underline how important sex is at its best as part of a meaningful long-term relationship. Explain that it’s never a good idea to use sex to validate yourself or fix an insecurity — as it rarely works.”
She would reportedly leave her kids to “fend for themselves”
One source reportedly tells McGinniss: “‘I’d walk into that kitchen and Bristol and Willow would be sitting there with a burnt pot of Kraft mac and cheese on the stove … and Sarah would be up in her bedroom with the door closed saying she didn’t want to be disturbed.’”
SAYS CAREY: “Of all the accusations, this is potentially the most damaging. It is at the serious end of spectrum of accusations that are levelled against mothers. As such, it’s also most likely to cause the most long-term damage to the parent-child relationship because it implies neglect, which goes against all we expect from parents. In Palin’s case, it would very much depend on how often this happened and how old her kids were at the time — and what the risks to them were. But we do live in a society where mothers are expected to wait on kids hand and foot from the tweens and beyond — and that is not good for their independence or self-esteem. Mothers also need to be able to acknowledge that they need down-time too.”