Briston Palin, Tripp Palin, Levi Johnston

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images, Eugene Gologursky, AP Photo/ Al Grillo

On today's Oprah Winfrey Show, Sarah and Bristol Palin took some time away from cooking a batch of Wasilla's finest moose stew (mmm...moose-alicious) to beam in for a quick chat.

But Levi Johnston wasn't on the menu, despite Oprah's best efforts to drum up some baby-daddy drama.

Apparently, Bristol is saving that for the courts, where in a new filing she claims Levi is a deadbeat dad who owes some of his Playgirl-posing cash to son Tripp.

Sarah's 19-year-old spawn is seeking $1,750 a month in child support, claiming her former high-school-dropout beau should have banked plenty from his PR blitz to help care for the child.

According to court papers, Team Bristol claims Johnston earned "in excess of $105,000 in 2009 through various media interviews and modeling related activities."

"I have received limited and sporadic financial assistance from Levi," the younger Palin says in her declaration.

Bristol claims her ex-fiancé has failed to live up to his paternal obligations, having given the abstinence advocate a mere $4,400 in the months since Tripp was born on Dec. 27, 2008—a $3,000 payment made last Sept. 9 and $1,400 on Dec. 19.

Palin, who filed a petition in November seeking full legal custody of Tripp, is asking for temporary child support retroactive to their son's birth (about $18,350) until a judge can issue a more permanent amount after evaluating Johnston's income status.

A rep for Levi could not be immediately reached for comment. However, his lawyer, Rex Butler, issued a statement saying the aspiring reality-TV star invited Bristol over with Tripp in tow so she could pick up checks he had for her. At the same time, he hoped he could see more of his son, but each time she declined to come, even turning down an opportunity to collect $3,000.

Then again, why bother? According to the legal eagle, Palin has been doing just fine cruising around in a $60,000 Cadillac Escalade which it's thought her mom purchased for her. Furthermore, Butler added that it was his belief the latter has been the main driving force behind the legal action on behalf of her daughter.

Indeed, fast-forward to today's Oprah, where Bristol kept referring to her "big supportive family," and Levi was verboten.

Instead, Sarah fielded most of the questions, calling Bristol an "independent woman" who didn't need a man. (Except, presumably, to make child-support payments.)

"I'm telling her, don't think that you have to go find a man and get married young," said the former veep contender. "The world is her oyster."

We betcha that's almost as good as moose stew.


Get the skinny on Levi's nude photo gig here.

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