John Travolta Drops Charges on Bahamas Extortion Case
Because of his son’s death, John Travolta wants to put his past behind him.
That includes put an end to the long court battle involving his family and two alleged Bahamian extortionists, that was stemming from the death of his teenage son, 16-year-old Jett Travolta.
On Monday, a judge in the Bahamas dismissed charges against Ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourn and former Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater after the “Pulp Fiction” star decided he no longer wanted to move forward with the case. Prosecutor Neil Braithwaite had submitted a motion to drop the case just as a retrial was about to start for the two defendants.
The actor also released a statement: “The long pending status of this matter continued to take a heavy emotional toll on my family causing us to conclude that it was finally time to put this matter behind us. Therefore, after much reflection I concluded that it was in my family’s best interest for me not to voluntarily return to The Bahamas to testify a second time at trial.”
Lightbourn and Bridgewater were accused of trying to extort $25 million from Travolta and his wife, actress Kelly Preston, in the wake of their son Jett’s tragic January 2009 death. Lightbourn, who treated Jett that day, reportedly claimed to have embarrassing information surrounding the circumstances of Jett Travolta’s passing.
Travolta and his family were vacationing at their oceanfront home at Old Bahama Bay, on Grand Bahama Island in January 2009 when 16-year-old Jett, the actor’s only son, suffered a seizure and died. Travolta testified how he had tried frantically to save his son by performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
He had earlier testified that Bridgewater and Lightbourne attempted to extort money from him following Jett’s death. The two accused were alleged to have threatened to pass to the media a document, signed by Travolta, which released Lightbourne and his colleagues from any liability for Jett’s death after the actor decided to attempt to fly his son to Florida, rather than have him taken to hospital in Freeport.
When asked how they feel about the dismissal, the defendants had mixed reactions to it. Bridgewater was relieved. “I’m just happy to be free and put this all behind me,” she said outside court. “I must add that I am deeply saddened that the Travoltas had to endure the pain at the loss of their son,” Bridgewater said. But Lightbourne said he wanted a trial to prove his innocence. “I’m not totally satisfied,” he said. “I wanted to have my name cleared.”
May both parties accepted the decision with big hearts and let’s move on! :)