updated 7/10/2009 10:09:33 AM ET 2009-07-10T14:09:33

The former fiance of Gov. Sarah Palin's 18-year-old daughter says he thinks he knows why the Alaska governor is resigning — concerns over money.

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Levi Johnston, 19, whose wedding to Bristol Palin was called off earlier this year, says he believes the governor is resigning over personal finances.

Johnston says he lived with the Palin family from early December to the second week in January. He claims he heard the governor several times say how nice it would be to take advantage of the lucrative deals that were being offered, including a reality show and a book.

'Lucrative' deals
"I think the big deal was the book. That was millions of dollars," said Johnston, who has had a strained relationship with the family but now says things have improved.

Palin has a book deal, but compensation details haven't been disclosed. The governor has said she is facing more than $500,000 in legal fees.

"It is interesting to learn Levi is working on a piece of fiction while honing his acting skills," Palin family spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Johnston made his comments at a news conference Thursday at the office of his attorney, Rex Butler.

Johnston came forward, Butler said, because Alaskans want to know why Palin has decided to resign. She made the announcement last Friday.

Johnston also is pursuing his own book deal. He is working as a carpenter while also pursuing a movie deal.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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