*Just as two defendants charged with attempting to extort money from John Travolta were getting ready for a retrial, Prosecutor Neil Braithwaite submitted a motion to drop the case.
“The Travolta family has said that this matter has caused them unbelievable stress and pain and they wish to put this whole thing behind them,” Braithwaite told the court after a jury had been picked to hear the case.
Tarino Lightbourne, ambulance driver and his attorney, politician Pleasant Bridgewater, were accused of threatening to release private information about the January 2009 death of Travolta’s 16-year-old son, Jett, at the family vacation home in Grand Bahama.
With the assistance of Bridgewater, the driver allegedly sought $25 million from the actor, as he was among the medics who treated Jett.
Despite Travolta’s testimony, he claimed the passage of time changed his mind to continue with the case.
“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,” the actor said in a written statement. “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.”
Although Travolta is putting his back to the situation, Lightbourne is not satisfied and would rather prove his innocence.
Jett Travolta suffered a seizure and collapsed at the family’s home. The actor testified that he performed CPR on the teen after a nanny alerted him and his wife, actress Kelly Preston. John Travolta told the court – apparently for the first time in public – that his 16-year-old son was autistic, confirming speculation that had swirled for years. The developmental disorder is frequently accompanied by seizures. Travolta testified that Lightbourne, one of the paramedics who responded to the home on Grand Bahama island, threatened to sell stories to the news media suggesting the movie star was at fault in the death of his 16-year-old son.
According to Travolta’s testimony, the ambulance driver threatened to use a consent document that the actor signed that refused his son be transported to a hospital.
Travolta said in a testimony that he wanted his son taken to Florida for treatment, but he was eventually transported to a local hospital.