Palin's Ex Has No Regrets, May Reconcile With Bristol

Levi Johnston says he has "no regrets" and hopes to get back with Bristol.

March 15, 2009, 2:34 PM

March 16, 2009 -- Though Bristol Palin and former fiance Levi Johnston broke up "a week, two weeks," he said the nation's most famous teen parents could reconcile.

"We've both had our tough times with each other and we'll see what happens. I mean, I'd like to get back together with her — I don't know what she's thinking — one day, but whatever happens, happens. I mean, I'll still be there for the kid, still help her out, that kind of thing," Johnston, 19, said in an exclusive interview Friday at his Wasilla, Alaska, home with Neal Karlinsky of "Good Morning America."

The interview was the first time Johnston described the circumstances of his split with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's eldest daughter and talked about becoming a father.

Johnston said that he and Bristol Palin remain close friends who speak frequently and that he still believes the pair could end up walking down the aisle someday in the future.

Check Neal Karlinsky's Twitter page. He'll be tweeting some behind-the-scenes details about the interview.

"We'll see, we'll see how it is," the 19-year-old said. "We'll just remain friends for now. We're both cool with that decision, and we'll see."

Johnston said that the decision to end the relationship was mutual, but that it has been somewhat difficult for him.

"When she's in town I go see the baby and we hang out for a little bit," Johnston said.

He added that he didn't feel any pressure from the Palin family or used by them.

"They're good people," he said. "They don't push me, you know. They kind of — they don't really tell us what to do, they don't tell us, you know, they're good people. So I like 'em."

According to Johnston, there was no major rift that served as a catalyst for the split, rather the two were evaluating their relationship, which turned into a breakup.

"We both kind of were like, 'That would probably just be better for now. We're young; we'll see what happens,'" Johnston said. "I don't know. Maybe we'll get back together. That's part of the plan. We'll see."

He said he didn't really want to break up with Bristol Palin.

"We were just, we were in a fight," he said. "And trying to see if we can make things work, but this is what it kind of ended up turning into. But we'll see what happens."

Johnston said he felt they needed time to grow up before following through on marriage plans.

"It's just us, not me not being mature enough, or something, and having a kid and thinking. ... It could be better — better for us to separate for a while," said Johnston, who said he's currently not dating anyone. "I think we both need some changes and growing up, but yeah, I think we can make it work."

The revelation differs from what Bristol Palin told Greta Van Susteren of Fox News last month about the pair's wedding plans.

"Eventually, we'd like to get married," the girl told Van Susteren. "We're focusing on getting through school though, getting a career going."

Bristol Palin gave birth to a son, Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, on Dec. 27, 2008.

Johnston Thrust Onto National Stage

The young couple's relationship came under intense focus in the heat of last year's presidential campaign, with the announcement that then-17-year-old Bristol Palin was five months pregnant. The revelation came just days after Sarah Palin was tapped as the Republican vice presidential candidate.

At the time, Sarah Palin announced that the parents-to-be planned to marry. She said that having a baby would make her daughter "grow up faster than we had ever planned."

Then Johnston showed up alongside Bristol Palin at the September 2008 Republican National Convention.

He quickly found the intensity of the political spotlight focused on every aspect of his life.

He came under early scrutiny when a MySpace page emerged on which Johnston was quoted as saying "I'm a f-----' redneck" and "I don't want kids." Johnston said that his friends created the page and that he had nothing to do with it.

But Johnston said all the extra attention he received from being in the center of a presidential race didn't ruin his life.

"I don't — that kind of came with dating Bristol. I mean, that came with the package, I suppose. You gotta know how to deal with it. But no, nothing has changed. I mean, nothing out of the ordinary I guess," said Johnston, who added he had no regrets.

"We've been dating for a long time, and I wouldn't take it back," he said.

Despite reports from tabloid publication Star Magazine last week that alleged Bristol Palin doesn't allow Johnston to see his infant son, Tripp, the teen father said he sees his son regularly and described how becoming a father had changed his life.

"I don't know where they got that from, but I can go over there whenever and she lets me take him. We're still really good friends. I mean, none of that was true," Johnston said.

"I'd give anything for [Tripp], to be with him," he added. "[There are] a lot of changes when you're a father, when you hold him for the first time, you know. I don't do a lot of things I used to anymore, I'll tell you that."

For now Johnston said he's concentrated on getting his life together and getting a job.

"Yeah, [I'm] growing up a lot," said Johnston, whose only images of his son are ultrasound pictures. "So, it's fun. It's good times."

Sarah Palin on Abstinence, Teen Pregnancy

Bristol Palin told Van Susteren that no one had pressured her to have the child.

"It was my choice to have the baby," the 18-year-old said. "It doesn't matter what my mom's views are on it. It was my decision."

While campaigning for governor of Alaska in 2006, Sarah Palin came out strongly against abortion and said that abstinence should be taught as part of sex education in public schools. Her decision to give birth to her youngest son, Trig, who was prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome, has been held up by conservatives as exemplary of anti-abortion values.

Sarah Palin also discussed abstinence and teen pregnancy in the interview with Van Susteren.

"You get behind that, that ideal of, yes, abstinence, you know?" the new grandmother, 44, said. "Hey, don't get pregnant. Well, get beyond that when it happens, and then you deal with it. Life happens. Life happens and you deal with it, and Bristol's dealing with it wonderfully."

"Not the most ideal situation," she added. "Certainly you make the most of it."

In October, Johnston told The Associated Press he had been dating Bristol Palin since freshman year of high school and the couple had long planned to get married.

"We were planning on getting married a long time ago, with or without the kid," Johnston told the AP. "That was the plan from the start."

He described rough wedding plans, even naming two friends he had asked to be groomsmen.

"We both love each other. We both want to marry each other. And that's what we are going to do," Johnston said at the time.

Bristol Palin's Changing Plans

Four months later, in the interview with Van Susteren, new mother Bristol Palin sounded more tentative about the couple's wedding plans. But she said Johnston saw the baby every day and described him as a "hands-on" dad.

News that the couple had ended their relationship first emerged last week.

Johnston told the AP Wednesday that he and Bristol Palin had decided "a while ago" to end their relationship.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events