Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin snorted cocaine off a 55-gallon oil drum, and cheated on her husband with his business partner and a basketball player, a bombshell book is to claim.

The former Republican vice-presidential contender also allegedly smoked marijuana while she was a student and is now a bad mother who neglects her children.

The embarrassing allegations about the 47-year-old American politician are reportedly contained in a biography by writer Joe McGinniss, who spent three years researching her life and even rented a house next to hers last year.

The claims, which contrast sharply with her professed conservative family values, could wipe out any plans she may have of running for the White House next year.

The book, The Rogue: Search For The Real Sarah Palin, comes out next week but some of its contents have been reported in the National Enquirer. The writer’s agent would not comment on the magazine’s claims but said the Enquirer often gets these reports right . There was no immediate response from the Palin camp.

A publishing source said the book paints a disturbing portrait of Mrs Palin the Alaskan governor chosen as John McCain’s 2008 electioning mate and her husband, run-Todd. In the first 20 pages, you learn of Sarah’s propensity for sleeping naked on high school athletic trips and McGinniss labels Todd a racist bully, said the source.

The report also claims that in 1987 Mrs Palin spent a night with Glen Rice, a 6ft 7in basketball star. At the time she was already in a relationship with Todd, but allegedly continued to chat on the phone with Rice up until she got married nine months later.

McGinniss is also understood to repeat claims that Mrs Palin had a six-month affair with Brad Hanson, her husband’s business partner, in 1996. Mrs Palin has strenuously denied cheating on her husband and Mr Hanson has said he was never romantically involved with her.

The book also claims the Palins have a history of drug-taking. It states that at college the future Mrs Palin allegedly smoked marijuana with a professor who was the father of a friend. And it says that shortly before she was elected Alaska governor in 2006 she snorted cocaine off an oil drum on a snowmobiling trip with friends. As governor, she opposed drug legalisation and spoke out about the dangers of hard drugs such as cocaine.

According to McGinniss, a longtime associate of the Palins said Todd also used cocaine and was on the end of the straw plenty. At least Mr Palin is portrayed as a good parent. McGinniss reportedly quotes friends who say that when Mr Palin wasn’t at home, his wife would let their five children fend for themselves. - Daily Mail