Arrests over Travolta extortion plot
Two people have been arrested in the Bahamas over an alleged plot to extort money from the actor John Travolta, whose son Jett collapsed and died while on holiday in the islands.
Police said Tarino Lightbourne, an ambulance driver quoted in newspapers talking about efforts to revive the 16-year-old, was detained yesterday. Senator Pleasant Bridgewater was held on Thursday.
Jett died of a seizure on 2 January at the family’s holiday home on Grand Bahama island. Authorities did not give any details of the alleged plot but reports suggested it centred on a request for “millions of dollars” to stop the release of a photograph taken of Jett about the time he died.
Lawyers for the Travolta family said: “Regrettably, in a time of such terrible grief, there are often a few individuals who attempt to make false claims in hopes of making millions of dollars. We will never let that happen.”
Jett’s parents, both Scientologists, said Jett had Kawasaki Disease, which causes inflammation of the arteries. It is rarely fatal and usually does not affect children aged over eight. They also believed chemicals in commercial cleaning fluids had affected him.
However it was also claimed that Jett exhibited signs of autism, a condition which the Church of Scientology does not recognise.
Bahamas holds two in alleged plot to extort John Travolta
One of the suspects, ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne, was detained on Friday.
Earlier, several tabloids quoted him describing efforts to revive the celebrity’s chronically ill son, Jett, who died of a seizure this month at the family’s vacation home on Grand Bahama.
Authorities did not reveal what the alleged extortion involved. Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston returned home to Florida with the ashes of their 16-year-old son, and Travolta’s publicist Paul Bloch said Friday he has no comment.