“It’s meant the world to us. We know that we have a community. We know that we have friends. And we know that we are loved. We appreciate it. Jett appreciates it. We love you, Ocala.”
– John Travolta, in a touching speech to the town of Ocala, Florida before the premiere of his new flick, Old Dogs. John and the rest of the Travolta clan have remained more or less private since the shocking death of their son, Jett, and have been finding refuge in the small Florida town that John considers to be an adopted hometown.
The Travolta family made their first official red carpet appearance since the death of their son and brother Jett. The occasion? The premiere of Old Dogs starring … the whole family! Specifically, it’s an acting debut for John and Kelly’s daughter, Ella Bleu — it was her night.
Also there: Robin Williams with his very grown up looking daughter Zelda, Billy “Yes, I’m Still Alive” Idol, a virtually unrecognizable Joey Lawrence, and Lori Loughlin who was sporting the pointiest chin I’ve ever seen. Were chin implants this summer’s designer dog carrier?
The John Travolta extortion trial — an ambulance driver and his lawyer tried to extort $25M from the Travolta family in connection with their son Jett’s death — in the Bahamas lasted a month and went to jury deliberations yesterday. Shortly afterwards, the judge called a mistrial alleging possible juror misconduct. Apparently, a local politician made a televised speech in which he said the defendants had been acquitted. This isn’t good.
So, new trial. Everyone will have to go through the pain and anguish of testifying again in hopes of attaining justice.
John Travolta appeared in a Bahamian courtroom today and testified in the extortion trial of an EMT and a former senator who tried to extort $25M from the Travolta family following the death of Jett Travolta.
With wife Kelly Preston in the courtroom, Travolta recounted the details of what happened on the day Jett died. A nanny alerted Kelly and John that Jett was ill. They went downstairs to discover a caretaker doing chest compressions on their son. Travolta immediately aided in the CPR, but to no avail.
Travolta also testified that Jett was autistic and suffered from seizures every five to 10 days. After suffering a seizure, he’d typically sleep for 12 hours.
Finally, the truth comes out! Though the reference to autism was indicated on Jett’s medical documents, this is the first time John Travolta has openly and verbally admitted this. I didn’t think Scientologists even recognized autism. I’ve tried to research this, but the most I can gather is that Scientologists believe mental illnesses and disorders are psychosomatic and can be dealt with through spiritual healing.
It’s too late now, but I can’t help but wonder if there was a medication that could have helped to control this kid’s seizure disorder. Many of you know that I feel strongly about the topic of Autism Spectrum Disorders. It feels really easy to blame the Travolta’s for not acknowledging their son’s condition, but what good does blame do now? Their son is gone. And that is so. Sad.
John Travolta is on his way to the Bahamas to testify in the extortion trial of paramedic Tarino Lightbourne and his lawyer, Pleasant Bridgewater, who is a former Bahamian senator. The two are accused of trying to blackmail Travolta out of 25 million dollars after his son Jett’s death.
Tarino administered emergency aid to Jett when an ambulance was called to the Travolta family’s Bahamian retreat on January 2nd after Jett reportedly had a seizure then fell and hit his head in the bathtub. Allegedly, Tarino and Bridgewater later threatened to release information about Jett’s death to the press unless Travolta payed up.
I’m not at all sympathetic with someone who would attempt to blackmail a grieving father right after his son’s death, but it does make me wonder about the circumstances surrounding Jett’s death if some lowlife thought it would be worth $25 million to Travolta to keep the details a secret. If you remember, the Travoltas had always maintained that Jett had an illness known as Kawasaki Syndrome that they claimed caused Jett’s seizures. Many in the press claimed the illness was actually autism– a disease that Scientology does not acknowledge and for which Jett would not have received the treatment he needed.
The trial is slated to begin on Monday. It’ll be interesting to see what comes out of it.
In other Scientology news, Will-I-am-not-a-scientologist-Smith had some interesting deductions show up on his 2008 tax return. He donated over $100,000 to Scientology groups last year. That’s a lot of scratch for someone who’s not a level 3 grand inquisitor of the luminous realm (or whatever the hell their crazy titles are). 411mania also offers up this little nugget:
Smith also recently replaced the headmaster of his Southern California private school, The New Village Leadership Academy, with a new headmaster who has completed Scientology courses in the past.
Wait. Will Smith owns a private school??? How did I miss that one?
Kelly Preston was set to speak about her son Jett’s sudden death at the California Governor’s Conference that’s being hosted by Maria Schriver titled “Grief & Resilience”, but she pulled out of the panel and issued the following statement, “It is with my sincere apologies that I must pull out from speaking at [the] conference. I am sorry, but I truly believed that I could do it, otherwise I never would have said that I could. But I am still deeply in the process of healing, and it’s just too soon.”
The death of a child is said to be one of the most horrible things a person can encounter in life and while it would have been amazing if Preston could speak to her loss, it’s understandable that she’s uncomfortable making public statements at this time. Additionally, a great deal of controversy has surrounded the death of her son, with speculation that the parent’s religion, Scientology, prevented them from treating their son’s rumored autism the way that it needed to be treated. John Travolta, Kelly’s husband and the boy’s father, has always stayed quiet about his son’s condition and it wasn’t until the official documents associated with his son’s death were circulated in which he referenced Jett’s autism that these claims were made valid.
The National Enquirer print edition has released the three-page medical report detailing the events that unfolded the day John Travolta’s son Jett passed away.
You know, I normally find released documentation of this nature, especially when a child is involved, as beyond exploitative. What I do appreciate, however, is John Travolta’s admission that Jett was, in fact, autistic. Without getting all anti-Jenny McCarthy on y’all, this is a cause that is near and dear to my heart.
Autism exists. It isn’t something to be ashamed of, or to lie about. There are so many therapies and programs available to autistic children that assist in making their world feel more manageable, so I really struggled with the Travolta’s years-long denial of their son’s condition. They are high-profile celebrities that could do so much to educate and support this cause. Quite frankly, denying the existence of autism — which is the Scientologist’s stance on the subject — just feels like my own kid isn’t being acknowledged.
Now that this has become public, I have no idea how this is going to sit with his pals, Kirstie Alley and Tom Cruise.