leave the court building in Nassau, Bahamas …By JUAN McCARTNEY, Associated Press Writer
NASSAU, Bahamas – John Travolta testified
Wednesday that a Bahamas paramedic
threatened to sell stories to the news media
suggesting the movie star was
at fault in the death of his 16-year-old son.
Travolta said paramedic Tarino Lightbourne,
who is now on trial for extortion,
demanded $25 million.
If he did not pay, Travolta told the jury,
Lightbourne indicated he would use
against him a consent document that the actor
initially signed refusing to have his son Jett
sent to a local hospital.
The document cleared Lightbourne
of any liability.
"They were stories that would imply that
the death of my son was intentional
and I was culpable in some way," Travolta said.
Travolta was testifying in the second week
of the trial of Lightbourne and
Pleasant Bridgewater, a former Bahamas senator
who allegedly negotiated with
the actor's lawyers for the medic.
Both defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Travolta testified last week that he signed
the document because he initially wanted
his son flown to Florida for treatment.
But Jett, who had suffered a seizure
at a family vacation home on
Grand Bahama island, was taken instead
to a local hospital, where he died on Jan. 2.
Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston,
left the Nassau courthouse immediately
after his testimony in an entourage
of cars with their attorneys and bodyguards.
A Bahamian attorney for Travolta,
Allyson Maynard-Gibson, has testified
that Bridgewater told her in a January meeting
that the paramedic was talking with a woman
from an unidentified American news outlet
"who said it might be beneficial to him if
he could show that Travolta was negligent.
" She said Lightbourne was also in talks
with several other media companies.
The actor testified that he authorized
his lawyers to contact Bahamas police after
hearing about the alleged threat
The trial began Sept. 21 and
is expected to last several weeks.
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