Jury Selected in Travolta Extortion Trial
By PopEater / Wire Services Posted Sep 21st 2009 03:49PM
John Travolta take the stand against two people accused of trying to extort $25 million from the movie star following his son's death in the Bahamas. Travolta is on a list of 14 witnesses against the defendants - a former Bahamas senator and an ambulance driver -- who allegedly threatened to release a document related to the treatment of his chronically ill son Jett.
His testimony would mark a break from the low profile that Travolta and his wife, actress Kelly Preston, have kept since their 16-year-old son died from a seizure at a family vacation home on Grand Bahama island on Jan. 2.
Travolta, 55, skipped the publicity tour this summer for his latest film, "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3." He posted a note on his personal Web site in June thanking his co-stars for their efforts to promote the picture, which gave the family additional time to grieve.
The nine-person jury is expected to begin hearing evidence Tuesday, but prosecutors declined to say when Travolta might take the stand or whether he is in the country.
Travolta's attorneys referred calls to his publicist, Paul Bloch, who said he would not comment on the actor's plans because "this is an ongoing criminal matter."
Former Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater and paramedic Tarino Lightbourne, who was among those who tried to revive Jett after he collapsed, have pleaded innocent to charges including conspiracy to commit extortion.
Before the start of jury selection, defense lawyers argued unsuccessfully for a delay, saying they needed more time to press prosecutors to hand over evidence.
A hearing is scheduled before another judge Wednesday on their request for materials that reportedly include recordings of the defendants' conversations with a lawyer for Travolta.
The pair allegedly threatened Travolta with a document that would have released emergency responders from liability if the family refused an ambulance. However, police said that did not happen in Jett's case. It is unclear why the pair allegedly believed Travolta would pay to keep the document from being released.
Both defendants have been free on bail.
Jett Travolta had a history of seizures and was found unconscious in a bathroom. A Bahamas undertaker said the death certificate listed seizure as the cause of death.
2009 AOL LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
- Jennifer Aniston
- Paris Hilton
Kate Middleton is officially a princess. She walked the aisle in an Alexander...
According to Denise, she's not sure that her estranged ex is completely sober....
Popeater Hot Topics
- Randy Bachman of The Guess Who & BTO keeps on takin' care of business
- Amanda Bynes released from psychiatric facility, slams parents in Twitter rant
- Country singer Jessie James Decker deletes Twitter account after ripping followers
- 'Star Trek's' Uhura Stopped at LAX After Companion Found With Meth
- Video Released of Moments Before Sarah Jones' Death on 'Midnight Rider' Set
- Ted Beniades, an Undercover Cop in 'Scarface,' Dies at 91
- 'Grimm' Star Bitsie Tulloch Thinks These 5 Supernatural TV Dramas Are Totally Worth Watching
- 'Nightcrawler' Review: One of the Best Movies of the Year
- The 31 Best Action Movies on Netflix Right Now