FORMER Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s husband today hit out at what he called "disgusting lies" contained in a biography of her to be published next week.
Mrs Palin’s political future is in doubt after claims that she had a fling with a famous black basketball star, a long term affair with her husband’s business partner, took cocaine while out snowmobiling and smoked marijuana while in college.
The devastating allegations are contained in a highly critical book by acclaimed author Joe McGinniss which is due to be published next week.
In a statement, Todd Palin said the book was full of "lies" and "smears", and accused Mr McGinniss of being obsessed with his wife.
"This is a man who has been relentlessly stalking my family to the point of moving in right next door to us to harass us and spy on us to satisfy his creepy obsession with my wife," he said via a Sarah Palin campaign aide, the ABC News network reported.
"His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears. Even The New York Times called this book 'dated, petty,' and that it 'chases caustic, unsubstantiated gossip," Mr Palin said.
Mr McGinniss alleges that the Tea Party darling smoked marijuana with her professor in college and had a six month affair with husband Todd’s business partner – a claim that she has previously denied.
However, Mr McGinniss writes that it put considerable pressure on the Palin marriage and also that, according to friends of the couple, Todd Palin a cocaine user who was “on the end of a straw plenty”.
He also claims that the former Alaska Governor was seen snorting cocaine off the top of a 55-gallon drum while snowmobiling with friends.
Mrs Palin has not ruled out a bid for the Presidency next year, but the new allegations, based on 200 interviews with present and former staff, could be devastating for her political future.
The allegations originally published in the National Enquirer quoting publishing sources close to the book, throw into chaos her carefully constructed image of a down-to-earth hockey mom.
Mr McGinnis, (67) a well established non fiction author, wrote the best selling account of Richard Nixon’s 1968 Presidential run.
He spent four months last year living in a cabin beside the Palin residence on the shores of Lake Lucille in Alaska.
His book "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin" is due to be published next week.
Mrs Palin's life has been under the microscope for three years, but the claims are the first such lurid allegations by a serious author, and will be seized on by her enemies. She has not responded publicly so far.
When he moved in beside her in Wasilla, Mrs Palin angrily accused him of planning to spy on her family.
In the book he claims Mrs Palin had a one-night stand with basketball player Glen Rice, who went on to play for the Miami Heat, less than a year before marrying her husband Todd.
Ms Palin’s alleged fling with the 6ft 8 inch black basketball star is at odds with the deeply conservative persona she had cultivated appealing greatly to the strongly traditional Tea Party.
The book is published by Crown Publishing of the Random House stable and the publisher is standing by the claims.
“It is based on extensive reporting by Joe McGinniss in Alaska and on interviews with 200 people who have known Sarah Palin very well at different stages in her life and career,” David Drake of Crown told The Times newspaper.
McGinniss has also reached a deal with Garry Trudeau, author of the Doonesbury cartoon, to include extracts in the strip read by an imaginary Fox News reporter who moved in next door to McGinniss.
Some US newspapers have declined to run the strip which includes lines claiming that "Palin isn't comfortable in the presence of dark skinned people".