CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this article did not take into account that Palin was most likely joking.
A newly released email that suggests that Sarah Palin may have been contemplating divorce in 2007 appears to be a joke.
In the Sept. 26, 2007 email, one of 17,000 records released Thursday by Alaska officials as part of a Freedom of Information Act request, Palin, then governor of Alaska, writes to an aide and husband Todd Palin: "So speaking of... If we, er, when we get a divorce, does that quell 'conflict of interest' accusations about BP?" (At the time, Todd Palin was working for BP on the North Slope pipeline.)
However, Slate points out that Palin was most likely joking with her husband and aide Frank Bailey, the author of "Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin," which was published last spring. Had Palin been serious, Bailey would likely have included that information in his tell-all. (Bailey was recently fined for using confidential e-mails in his book.)
Additionally, the e-mail was sent at the same time Palin had been criticized for leveling taxes on oil profits while Todd worked at BP -- a seeming "conflict of interest" -- as The Atlantic points out.
Rumors of extramarital affairs and divorce have long surrounded the couple, who have been married since 1988 and have five children together. Shortly after John McCain selected Palin as his running mate on the Republican presidential ticket in August 2008, The National Enquirer alleged that both Palins had been involved in extramarital affairs, a claim that the McCain camp quickly shut down.
Later, in November 2010, People magazine reported that Palin was "steaming" over a tabloid story that alleged she and Todd were headed toward a $20 million divorce.
"I call Todd on the cell phone [from the grocery checkout] and I say, 'Todd, you won't believe this cover!' And he says, 'Twenty million? Write me a check,'" Palin told People at the time. "He's good about laughing some of that stuff off."
The latest rumors stemmed from Joe McGinniss' 2011 book "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin," in which the writer -- who moved next door to the Palins in Wasilla, Alaska -- alleged that Sarah Palin had an affair with her husband's former business partner, Brad Hanson, in the '90s.
Click through the slideshow below to read about the rumors surrounding the Palins' marriage through the years.
Sarah was thrust into the spotlight in 2008 when she became a Republican Vice Presidential nominee. That year, she was allegedly caught with her pants down. The National Enquirer claimed that the First Lady of Alaska had been keeping a lover. Her Presidential running partner, Sen. John McCain, denied the rumor immediately on her behalf.
After rumors of Sarah's infidelity began swirling in 2008, Palin divorce gossip quickly emerged the following year. The news site "Alaska Report" claimed that the Palins were devastated after the National Enquirer revealed Sarah's alleged affair and were planning to split. Sarah's staff flatly denied the rumor.
In November 2010, Sarah and Todd spoke out about the divorce rumors that had been lighting up the internet. "Our whole life is under a microscope," Todd told People. The couple confirmed they were still happily married.
Despite the couple's interview in People just two months earlier, the National Enquirer rang in the new year with allegations of Todd Palin's infidelity. The tabloid reported that the "First Dude" of Alaska had been caught cheating with a sex-worker-turned-massage-therapist. Todd denied the rumors immediately.
And again, in June of this year, Globe magazine published a (shocking!) divorce rumor: Not only were Sarah and Todd Palin allegedly splitting up, Sarah was moving into her own $1.7 million home. The Palins never responded to the allegation and remain married.