Sarah Palin and husband Todd have been married since August 1988, though their relationship dates back to high school.
But depending on whom you’re talking to, it hasn’t always been a bed of roses. While outwardly the Palins present a united front, rumors have persisted for years that the former VP candidate and governor of Alaska has had a wandering eye.
Most of the time, those rumors are confined to dubious publications like the National Enquirer. Take, for instance, the 2011 story — detailed here by Business Insider — that Sarah Palin, while working as a reporter for the Anchorage television station KTUU, had an affair with NBA star Glen Rice.
The time was 1987, and Rice would have been a junior at the University of Michigan playing in a college basketball tournament that found its way to Palin’s neck of the woods.
Sarah Palin was said to have had a “fetish” for black men, according to the Joe McGinniss book The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin. McGinniss also charges that while Sarah and Todd were not married at the time, his sources indicated that he was “very much a part of the picture” in Sarah’s life.
The book is what much of the National Enquirer piece was based upon. Therefore, there is very little concrete evidence to suggest the rumor is actually true since neither Rice nor Sarah Palin are talking about it.
However, the topic came back to the forefront this week with the Monday edition of The Adam Carolla Show on PodcastOne. That’s because Adam’s guest, the groundbreaking African-American Formula One racing car driver Willy T. Ribbs, stated openly that the tryst did, in fact, occur.
The topic of conversation came up over discussion of Palin’s remarks complimenting Britain for its decision to leave the European Union.
While making fun of Palin’s statement — and ensuring his live audience at Leicester Square Theatre in London that “no one takes Sarah Palin seriously where I’m from,” Carolla asked Willy T. Ribbs if he knew Palin.
(As an aside, Ribbs was good friends with Paul Newman and Muhammad Ali, thus prompting the lighthearted question.)
“Not really,” Ribbs responded. “But I know a brother that did. And when I say ‘brother,’ I mean brother (implying African-American). He played for the NBA.”
That’s when Ribbs identified the man as Glen Rice.
“She had some sausage and rice,” Ribbs said to laughter, adding that “there was some ham hock there, too,” and that “he thawed that ice up in Alaska.”
The statement from Ribbs prompted an uptick in internet searches on Tuesday morning (July 5) leading the old rumor back to the top of headlines.
As for the marriage between Todd and Sarah Palin, despite rumors of rockiness over the years, the pair are approaching 28 years of marriage.
Todd has stayed out of the spotlight despite his wife’s massive social media following and controversial image. The former governor added fuel to that fire when she bucked the Republican establishment as one of the earliest high-profile supporters of Donald Trump. Her latest social media activity has been in support of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” presidential campaign as well as this little gem supporting the Second Amendment.
As for the Sarah Palin-Glen Rice rumor, expect for it to go down as one of the great mysteries of 20th/21st Century pop culture. It’s unlikely that if it did occur, either would want to speak openly about it. But what do you think, readers? Is this latest statement from racing legend Willy T. Ribbs worthy of a response, or just a baseless attention grab?
And what are your thoughts on Sarah Palin? Is she still a force in American politics? Sound off in the comments section below.