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: