When Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin confirmed that her teenage daughter, Bristol, and boyfriend Levi Johnston were expecting a baby, the celebrity weeklies knew that the first photos of the Palin-Johnston baby would incite a bidding war. Baby Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston, born Dec. 28, proved those editors right.
According to one source, bidding for the baby photos began at $100,000. People won out in the end, but In Touch was the only other weekly to make serious bids, according to several sources involved in the process.
The price didn’t soar immediately, according to the sources, because Sarah Palin stories just didn’t sell all that well for the weeklies on newsstands.
“Sarah was on the cover of People, Us Weekly, and OK! the same week, and really only People saw a bump in sales,” says a source.
The drug-related arrest of Johnston’s mother, however, caused the price tag for the photos to go up.
“The bidding started well before the baby was born, but once Levi’s mom was arrested – well, then you had a story,” says one editor.