Saturday, January 31, 2009

Extortion attempt on John Travolta's family was foiled

John Travolta and his family's extortion attempt may be more extensive than originally thought. Bahamian Senator Pleasant Bridgewater resigned Saturday, January 24, after being arrested Thursday (and charged on Friday) on charges of abatement to extort and conspiracy to extort. She is the second government official the police have questioned in regard to the Travolta extortion complaint filed by John Travolta and Kelly Preston.

One source claims that the complaint alleges that the family was approached with photographs of the death scene with the intent of extorting money. A third individual, an ambulance driver, has been detained in connection with the extortion attempt as well.

According to the AFP, Senator Pleasant Bridgewater, a lawyer, maintains that she is innocent of the "untrue and unfair charges" leveled against her. "How these innocent actions can be misconstrued," she said, "so perversely twisted to mean something other than it was, is a mystery." She did not elaborate.

Former Bahamian tourism minister Obie Wilchcombe was taken in for questioning earlier this week but released pending further investigation. Tarino Lightbourne, an ambulance driver that assisted with attempts to revive the 16-year-old son of John Travolta after he collapsed at the Travoltas Bahamian vacation home, has been detained but not charged. Officials say Lightbourne turned himself in when he learned he was a suspect and is aiding in the investigation.

The investigation revolves around the death of Jett Travolta, the son of actor John Travolta and actress Kelly Preston, who was found on a bathroom floor of the Travolta family compound. The family originally stated that the young man, who was victim to chronic seizures, seemed to have collapsed and struck his head on a bathtub. Later statements from Bahamian police indicated that the coroner's report showed no signs of head trauma, but the official cause of death was listed as a seizure.

Jett Travolta was known to suffer from Kawasaki syndrome, a childhood malady that inflames and causes degenerative damage to the nervous system.

John Travolta and his family returned to their home in Florida with the cremated remains of Jett Travolta after the autopsy. And controversy followed them home.

But controversy has swirled around the death of the young man from the beginning. The family has suffered accusations of the nonuse of medications to treat Jett Travolta's seizures, allegations that Scientology (the Travoltas religion) was the ultimate cause of death, and that the family - or the family caretakers - was negligent in supervising him.

Somewhere in all the speculation of scandal and various accusations sits a grieving family. John Travolta earlier this month bowed out of attending the Golden Globe Awards. By all reports from friends and relatives, the family is devastated by the sudden loss. Thus far, nothing indicates that they are anything other than the victims of unfortunate circumstance, media infringement upon their privacy, and an unconscionable extortion attempt. Then why does it seem that the Travoltas are somehow being held accountable for it all?


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