Sarah Palin's husband jumped to her defense Thursday after an upcoming book claimed the Republican politician snorted cocaine off an oil drum and had a premarital fling with an African-American basketball star.
"The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin" by Joe McGinniss -- who moved in next to Palin's home in Alaska last year as part of his research -- comes out Tuesday, as the Tea Party darling ponders whether to formally seek the Republican presidential nomination.
"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," husband Todd Palin said.
"His book is full of disgusting lies, innuendo, and smears," he added in a statement carried by several US news media and political blogs.
"Even the New York Times called this book 'dated, petty,' and that it 'chases caustic, unsubstantiated gossip.'"
Citing unnamed "publishing sources," the National Enquirer said McGinniss claims in the book that Palin had "a steamy interracial hookup" with Glen Rice less than a year before she and Todd Palin eloped in 1988.
Sarah Palin was then a local television sports reporter just out of college, and Rice -- a now-retired National Basketball Association all-star -- was in Alaska with his Michigan college team for a tournament, it said.
"Todd was very much in the picture at the time and the couple married just nine months later," the supermarket tabloid said, adding that McGinniss quotes Rice as confirming the one-night stand.
McGinniss also writes that both Palins "dabbled" with cocaine, and that before she became Alaska's governor in 2006, Sarah Palin was seen snorting cocaine "off an overturned 55-gallon oil drum while snowmobiling with pals," the weekly added.
McGinniss is author of several best-sellers, including "The Making of a President" in 1969. There was no comment Thursday from either him or his New York publisher Crown, a division of German media conglomerate Bertelsmann.
In the New York Times on Wednesday, reviewer Janet Maislan said "most of 'The Rogue' is dated, petty and easily available to anyone with Internet access."
She added that "Mr. McGinniss used his time in Alaska to chase caustic, unsubstantiated gossip about the Palins, often from unnamed sources like 'one resident' and 'a friend.'"