Alaskan governor and former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin seems to be in the news all the time, for all the wrong reasons. Now over the arrest of Sherry Johnston, future mother-in-law of her pregnant daughter Bristol.
The swoop by Alaska state troopers on Sherry Johnston threatened to mar the birth of Mrs Palin's first grandchild, due this weekend. Sherry is the mother Levi Johnston, the father of Bristol's child and is due to marry her next summer.
AdvertisementMrs Johnston was taken into custody on Thursday at her home in Wasilla, Alaska, where Mrs Palin used to be mayor and still lives, and was charged with six counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance.
Officials in Alaska said that the arrest was connected with the strong prescription painkiller OxyContin. In addition to possession charges, Mrs Johnston faces a felony charge usually related to selling or manufacturing the drugs.
The arrest followed an undercover narcotics investigation, but law enforcement officials refused to say whether it was underway when Mrs Palin burst onto the national political scene in August after Republican presidential candidate John McCain selected her as his running mate.
From the beginning, her colourful family was in the spotlight.
Mrs Palin, a mother of five, was forced to reveal that her eldest daughter Bristol was pregnant during the Republican convention in September in order to silence rumours that her 17-year-old daughter was actually the mother of her own son, Trig, who was born with Down's Syndrome earlier this year.
A spokesman for Mrs Palin said the arrest was "not a state government matter" and declined to comment further.
Mrs Johnston was released on $5,000 ( £3,335) bail and is due to appear in court on Jan 6.
Tim Zimbrich, Sherry Johnston's stepfather told the New York Daily News: "This is something new and off the wall to me. I wish people would leave these kids alone. Some of the stuff written about them has been pretty raunchy."