John Travolta Drops Bahamas Extortion Charges
Over a year after the tragic death of his 16-year-old son, John Travolta has decided to drop extortion charges connected with the incident. After the initial case ended in a mistrial, Travolta, 56, halted the retrial on Monday shortly before it was expected to begin on September 6.
Paramedic Tarino Lightbourn and ex Bahamas senator Pleasant Bridgewater were charged with attempting to extort $25 million from Travolta and wife Kelly Preston, 47, after threatening to release a "Refusal to Transport" document Travolta signed at the time of the death.
In a statement released to the press, Travolta expressed his desire to move past the difficult experience. "Almost a year later, 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," he said. "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."
Travolta, last seen in February’s action film From Paris with Love, is expecting a baby boy with Preston. —AMY LEE
Read Travolta’s full statement below:
"I am grateful and appreciative of the dedication, hard work and support provided by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Royal Bahamas Police Force while handling matters associated with the attempted extortion that targeted my family in January of 2009. Throughout the investigation and prosecution, my staff and I remained fully supportive of all requests for assistance from law enforcement representatives even though this cooperation was at a great emotional cost to my family. Unfortunately, in early October of last year the first trial of this matter resulted in a mistrial. Almost a year later, 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. We are thankful to the people of The Bahamas for the friendship, love and support they provided to us during this matter."
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