John Travolta Drops Extortion Case Charges

Celebrity News Sep. 6, 2010 AT 12:08PM
John Travolta Drops Extortion Case Charges Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

John Travolta is dropping the charges against the two men accused of attempting to extort $25 million from him after the death of his 16-year-old son, Jett, TMZ reports.

Though the case was originally declared a mistrial in October 2009, Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston, 47, continued to pursue defendants Tarino Lightbourne and Pleasant Bridgewater. Travolta, 56, has since asked a judge in the Bahamas to dismiss the case.

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"I am grateful and appreciative of the dedication, hard work and support provided by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Royal Bahamas Police Force while handling matters associated with the attempted extortion that targeted my family in January of 2009," Travolta told TMZ in a statement.

"Throughout the investigation and prosecution, my staff and I remained fully supportive of all requests for assistance from law enforcement representatives even though this cooperation was at a great emotional cost to my family," he said.

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"Unfortunately, in early October of last year the first trial of this matter resulted in a mistrial. Almost a year later, the long pending status of this matter continued to take a heavy emotional toll on my family causing us to conclude that it was finally time to put this matter behind us," Travolta explained. "Therefore, after much reflection I concluded that it was in my family’s best interest for me not to voluntarily return to The Bahamas to testify a second time at trial. We are thankful to the people of The Bahamas for the friendship, love and support they provided to us during this matter."

Now that their legal woes are behind them, the couple is focusing on preparing for the arrival of their third child, due in November.

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"They've been through so much. Not only losing Jett but those godawful horrible men trying to extort them! Unbelievable. It was awful on them, they were grieving so badly," Preston's mother Linda Carlson told UsMagazine.com in June.

Continued Carlson, "I know Kelly has been longing for another baby. She just loves babies! So do I. I just can't wait for this child to arrive. It's taken them out of such deep grief and made them able to focus on new life. It just couldn't come at a better time."

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