July 14, 2010 / 3:55 PM / 7 years ago

Bristol Palin engaged to Levi Johnston

<p>Teen mother Bristol Palin, the daughter of former U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Levi Johnston, and their son Tripp are pictured on the cover of Us Weekly magazine released to Reuters on July 14, 2010. The 19-year-old Palin, whose previous engagement to Levi Johnston, 20, was called off after giving birth to their son in December, 2008, told Us Weekly they recently reconnected and got engaged two weeks ago. REUTERS/Us Weekly/Handout</p>

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Teen mother Bristol Palin, the daughter of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, told a U.S. celebrity magazine she is engaged to her on-again off-again boyfriend before telling her own mother.

The 19-year-old Palin, whose previous engagement to Levi Johnston, 20, was called off after giving birth to their son in December, 2008, told US Weekly they recently reconnected and got engaged two weeks ago.

“It felt right, even though we don’t have the approval of our parents,” Palin told the magazine in a statement released Tuesday. “It is intimidating and scary just to think about what her reaction is going to be. Hopefully she will jump on board.”

Sarah Palin, who is speculated to be readying for a White House bid and has publicly feuded with Johnston in the past, reacted to the engagement in a statement to NBC news on Tuesday by saying her daughter was making her own decision.

“We obviously want what’s best for our children. Bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness to a degree most of us struggle to put in practice in our daily lives,” Palin said in the statement.

After breaking up with the younger Palin last year Johnston appeared on a number of TV shows and in online nude men’s magazine “Playgirl”, criticizing Sarah Palin as a poor parent who did not get along with her husband Todd.

<p>John McCain (L) shakes hands with Bristol Palin (C), Levi Johnston after vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's speech to the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, September 3, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Segar</p>

He issued an apology to the Palins in People magazine last week, saying he had said things that were not completely true.

US Weekly’s executive editor Caroline Schaefer told the Today television show on Tuesday that the younger Palin told the magazine first of her engagement to publicly clear up any misunderstandings.

Slideshow (3 Images)

She said the reunited couple were living separately and practicing abstinence and would likely get married within the next month.

Since giving birth Palin has been increasingly outspoken, urging young Americans to abstain from having sex to avoid pregnancy. She has been featured in entertainment shows and magazines and just last week made her acting debut on a U.S. television show that centers around teenage pregnancy.

Her own pregnancy was another awkward moment during the 2008 campaign of her mother, a staunch conservative who supported teaching abstinence in public schools as a form of sex education.

Her mother has recently fueled speculation she could be readying for a 2012 White House bid, raising more than $865,000 in political contributions over the past three months.

Editing by Patricia Reaney

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