Travolta testifies Bahamas medic threatened him

AP – U.S. actor John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston

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

from Lightbourne.

The trial began Sept. 21 and

is expected to last several weeks.

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