John Travolta Will Testify at Extortion Trial
Celebrity News Sep. 19, 2009 AT 12:55PM
John Travolta will testify at an extortion trial involving the death of his son, Jett, set to begin next week in The Bahamas, TMZ.com confirms.
Tarino Lightbourn, a paramedic who responded to Travolta's call for help as Jett suffered a massive seizure in January, and Pleasant Bridgewater, a former Bahamian senator, face charges of conspiring to extort $25 million from Travolta so they wouldn't go public with a document detailing Jett's emergency care that day. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Lightbourn performed CPR on Jett at the Travoltas' Bahamian vacation home on Jan. 2, and also escorted the boy via ambulance to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Bahamian police allege that Lightbourn held on to a "refuse to transport" document -- which waives responsibility from the ambulance crew if a patient does not want to be taken to a hospital -- that Travolta allegedly signed that morning.
Two weeks after Jett's death, Bridgewater, an attorney for Lightbourn, contacted Travolta's lawyer to attempt to sell the document to the actor, according to Bahamian police.
Travolta filed an extortion complaint shortly after. Bahamian law dictates that he testify in person.
The Travolta family has largely shied from the spotlight since Jett's death. Travolta, 55, and his wife Kelly Preston, 47, appeared publicly for the first time Sept. 12 to promote 9-year-old daughter Ella Bleu's Disney film Old Dogs.