“No matter what I’m doing, there’s always going to be people talking,” Palin admits exclusively in the new issue of Us Weekly. “If I can sit here and be some sort of light at the end of the tunnel — whether it’s being married to someone with PTSD, or going through a divorce, or trying to juggle single parenthood, then that’s what I need to do.”
Us confirmed in July that Palin, who got pregnant with her eldest son Tripp at the age of 17, was joining the cast of MTV’s hit docuseries. The reality TV personality calls her coparenting relationship with Tripp’s father, Levi Johnston, a “work in progress.”
“I think everyone knows what he said about my family. I mean, he went on a media tour just crutching on whatever fame we have — literally posing naked. But I think he’s kind of come back to reality,” Palin explains. “He’s married and has two other children now. He’s a great dad. I completely forgive him. I’ve always said, whoever is going to show up for your kids’ soccer game, or graduation, or whatever it is, the more the merrier. And my family forgives him, too.”
Palin is also mother of daughters Sailor, 2, and Atlee, 16 months, whom she shares with her ex-husband, Dakota Meyer.
“He’s a great dad. I don’t talk to him on a personal level,” the Dancing With the Stars alum tells Us about the Marine and Medal of Honor recipient. “That’s a work in progress. We’re just trying to figure out the steps that we need to take for this next chapter. Our girls deserve two parents that respect each other.”
Meyer, 30, filed for divorce from Palin in February after less than two years of marriage. After speculation that the pair reunited because of their complimentary social media posts about each other, their divorce was finalized in August.
Palin’s debut on Teen Mom OG airs Monday, October 1, and the abstinence advocate tells Us that she isn’t ruling out signing on for another season. “Everyone that I’ve worked with has been incredible,” she says. “If I can be a source of encouragement, I’ll do whatever God puts in front of me.”
Teen Mom OG airs on MTV Mondays at 9 p.m. ET.
For more on Bristol Palin — including what her mother, Sarah Palin, is like as grandmother and how her ex-husband, Dakota Meyer, is coping with his battle with PTSD — and for an update on her Teen Mom OG costars, pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly on newsstands now!