He's a nineteen-year-old up against one of the most powerful and easily the most famous celebrity in Alaska. No wonder he wants a little sunlight:

Johnston fought to allow the custody matter to unfold in public, saying in a sworn statement that doing so would help put everyone on best behavior. He noted that Van Flein also represents Sarah Palin.

"I know that public scrutiny will simplify this matter and act as a check against anyone's need to be overly vindictive, aggressive or malicious, not that Bristol would ever be that way, nor that I would. But her mother is powerful, politically ambitious and has a reputation for being extremely vindictive," Johnston said in his affidavit. "So, I think a public case might go a long way in reducing Sarah Palin's instinct to attack."

Johnston said he didn't want to hurt or embarrass his son -- or Bristol. He thinks Sarah Palin, not Bristol, is acting with "sheer malice," Butler wrote in a court filing.

"He feels Sarah Palin, through her lawyer, under the guise of Bristol Palin's name, would run roughshod over his very bones," Butler wrote.

Bristol Palin responded in a sworn statement that Johnston's assertions and fears about vindictiveness and meddling are off base.

"None of this is true; my mother is not involved in this case," except as a grandmother, she said in her statement.

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