Travolta: Bahamas Medic Threatened Me
By PopEater / Wire Services Posted Oct 1st 2009 10:00AM
John Travolta testified Wednesday that Bahamas paramedic Tarino Lightbourne threatened to sell stories to the media suggesting the actor was at fault in the death of his 16-year-old son. Travolta said the paramedic, who is now on trial for extortion, demanded $25 million. If Travolta refused, Lightbourne said he would release a consent document that the actor initially signed refusing to have his son Jett sent to a local hospital. (The document cleared Lightbourne of any liability.) "They were stories that would imply that the death of my son was intentional and I was culpable in some way," Travolta said.Travolta was testifying in the second week of the trial of Lightbourne and Pleasant Bridgewater, a former Bahamas senator who allegedly negotiated with the actor's lawyers for the medic. Both defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Travolta testified last week that he signed the document because he initially wanted his son flown to Florida for treatment. But Jett, who had suffered a seizure at a family vacation home on Grand Bahama island, was taken instead to a local hospital, where he died on Jan. 2.
Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, left the Nassau courthouse immediately after his testimony with their attorneys and bodyguards.
A Bahamian attorney for Travolta, Allyson Maynard-Gibson, has testified that Bridgewater told her in a January meeting that the paramedic was talking with a woman from an unidentified American news outlet "who said it might be beneficial to him if he could show that Travolta was negligent." She said Lightbourne was also in talks with several other media companies.
The actor testified that he authorized his lawyers to contact Bahamas police after hearing about the alleged threat from Lightbourne.
The trial began Sept. 21 and is expected to last several weeks.
Travolta in Bahamas
John Travolta and Kelly Preston leave the court building in Nassau, Bahamas, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009. Travolta testified against two people accused of trying to blackmail him with private information regarding his son's death.
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