Legal Woes for Bristol Palin?

Entertainment

(Photo credit: CNN)

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By Tomika Anderson, Special to CNN

(CNN) — It wouldn’t be a reality show without a little drama to lead in to the premiere.

Ahead of the Tuesday debut of her Lifetime program “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp,” Palin has reportedly been sued by the man who was caught on camera having a heated exchange of words with her last fall.

At the time, Bristol had Lifetime cameras in tow when she went to the Saddle Ranch Chop House in L.A. She was filmed riding a mechanical bull when a heckler yelled out, “Did you ride Levi (Bristol’s ex and the father of her son, Tripp) like that?”

The heckler, Stephen Hanks, also called Bristol’s mom, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, “evil” and a “whore.”

Hanks later apologized, but his exchange with Bristol can be seen in a promo clip for “Life’s a Tripp” – and Hanks is reportedly not pleased.

E! reports that Hanks has filed a lawsuit alleging that Bristol defamed him by saying he was the reason she moved back to Alaska and that Lifetime doesn’t have the right to air his image because he never signed a waiver. Lifetime said it isn’t commenting on any legal matters.

Of course, that’s not all the series will focus on. As evidenced by the promo, “Life’s a Tripp” will document Bristol’s journey as a single mom to her 3-year-old as she moves from Wasilla, Alaska, to Los Angeles along with her sister, Willow, and then back to Alaska.

On “Good Morning America” this week, Bristol described herself as a “grounded, normal mom” and added that she’s “excited for viewers to see the real me,” including in the scene with Hanks.

She’s aware that some will use her show as ammunition against her, but Bristol told “GMA’s” Robin Roberts that the talk just adds fuel to her fire.

“When people are talking poorly about me, I think it just gives me motivation to want to do more and want to speak up even louder,” she said. “I think the people who don’t like me, I’m not trying to change their opinion on it, but it’s going to be a good show.”

– CNN’s Carolyn Sung contributed to this report.

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