John Travolta: Scientology Helping Us "Heal" After Jett's Death

Celebrity News Nov. 9, 2009 AT 9:00AM
John Travolta: Scientology Helping Us "Heal" After Jett's Death Credit: REUTERS/Courtesy of the Travolta family/Rogers & Cowan

In his first interview since son Jett's tragic death last January, Scientologist John Travolta says he and his family are relying on almost daily religious counseling sessions to help them cope.

Since the 16-year-old boy died following a seizure, "We've been working very hard every day as a family to heal," Travolta said during a round-table interview (per USA Today) with the cast of his latest film, Old Dogs (out Nov. 25), which also stars wife Kelly Preston and daughter, Ella, 9. "We have our own way of doing it, and it has been helping."

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Travolta, 45, said he has been overwhelmed by all the support.

"You need your friends a lot in times like that," he said.

Preston, 47, added that the "outpouring of love from, really, worldwide has been extraordinary. It's been our friends, our family, our church. We partake in spiritual counseling pretty much daily."

Still, she said, "It's a tricky thing. Sometimes, something that's right for the moment is not right the next day. Being with people who are important to you, being with people that you love, I think that's what has primarily helped us the most. Sometimes, being alone, too."

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Though the family has been in relative seclusion, Travolta said he is speaking out now to draw attention to his daughter's film debut in Old Dogs.

Said the actor, "We decided it was OK to come out and promote, to introduce her to the world and to give her a beautiful future in film."

Travolta and Preston declined to comment on an extortion case involving a former Bahamian senator and a paramedic who are accused of demanding $25 million from the family with information about Jett's death.

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In his extortion trial testimony, Travolta admitted for the first time that his son Jett had autism. He is believed to have kept his son's condition a secret because of the way Scientologists view illness.

A mistrial was declared this past October. A retrial has been ordered.

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