It's a testament to true romance: If Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston are back together, maybe love can conquer all—even the fact that your parents hate your fiancée's guts. While it seems Sarah Palin has made peace at least publicly with her daughter's recently announced engagement, some within the family are less than pleased. In an exclusive interview with The Daily Beast, Ben Barber, Bristol's ex-boyfriend, described how surprised he was by the news—and how upset her brother Track was to hear it.
Speaking from Delta Junction, Alaska, where he is working as an electrician for the summer, 20-year-old Barber said he was blindsided by news that Bristol and Levi had reunited. Barber says he and Bristol got together just after Christmas last year, and only broke up two months ago. He maintains that Bristol did not leave him for her former flame—though he acknowledges that Bristol and Levi did begin dating anew about six weeks ago.
"She was totally anti-Levi. I heard from a friend and then Bristol told me the next day, 'You're going to be mad. I've been talking to Levi.' I didn't care, but this is really surprising, you go from hating Levi to marrying Levi in two to three months," Barber said.
Barber, a Wasilla native, has known the Palins for years and says he's close friends with the Palins' eldest son, Track. Johnston and Barber were also friends; the two played hockey together, and Barber was set to be one of Levi's groomsmen, as news that Bristol was pregnant by Levi was followed by wedding plans. Bristol's struggles with her baby's father led her directly into Barber's arms, the ex says.
"Bristol called me angry about Levi and then we just fell into place. It was good and then went downhill. I helped her out with Tripp more than Levi ever did," Barber said. "What does Levi have going for him? Nothing. He's probably the worst person to give fame to anyways."