Sarah Palin's husband has lashed out at the "disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears" in a book that alleges the former Alaska governor snorted cocaine, smoked marijuana, slept with a basketball star and had an affair.
The book, 'The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin', was written by Joe McGinniss, who created a furore last year by renting a house next door to the Palin family in Alaska.
Citing unnamed "publishing sources", the 'National Enquirer' said Mr McGinniss claimed in the book that Mrs Palin had "a steamy, inter-racial hookup" with Glen Rice, a basketball star, less than a year before she and Mr Palin eloped in 1988.
Mrs Palin, who was the Republican vice-presidential nominee in 2008 and has yet to announce whether she is running for the US presidency in 2012, was then a local television sports reporter.
Rice, a National Basketball Association all-star, was said to have been in Alaska with his Michigan college team for a tournament.
In the book, Mr McGinniss quotes "a friend" as saying: "Sarah and her sisters had a fetish for black guys for a while."
Mrs Palin's husband Todd shot down the claims, saying: "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.
"His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears," he added.
Mr McGinniss writes that both Mr and Mrs Palin have "dabbled" with cocaine and that before Mrs Palin became Alaska's governor in 2006, she was seen snorting cocaine "off an overturned 55-gallon oil drum while snowmobiling with pals".
Last year, Mrs Palin wrote on her Facebook page: "Joe McGinniss. Here he is, about 15 feet away on the neighbour's rented deck overlooking my children's play area and my kitchen window.
"We're sure to have a doozey to look forward to with this treasure he's penning.
"Wonder what kind of material he'll gather while overlooking Piper's [her daughter's] bedroom, my little garden, and the family's swimming hole?"
The book, due to be published on Tuesday, was thoroughly panned by the 'New York Times' book reviewer Janet Maslin, who wrote that most of its contents were "dated, petty and easily available to anyone with internet access".
Mr McGinniss (68), who wrote the bestseller 'The Making of the President' about Richard Nixon 42 years ago, had chased "caustic, unsubstantiated gossip" and produced a book that was "too busy being nasty to be lucid".
She added that "he cites conspiracy theories that Mrs Palin may not be the mother of her youngest son, Trig", who has Down Syndrome, and that the "most quotable, inflammatory lines call Mrs Palin a clown, a nitwit, a rabid wolf and a lap dancer -- and those aren't the parts that assail her as a wife and parent".
David Drake, the head of publicity at the publishers Crown, did not respond to requests for comment.
A spokesman for the National Basketball Retired Players Association said he had received "literally thousands of requests" to speak to Rice.
"Everybody is trying to get his story but it's been tough to reach him," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)