Masseur drops sex assault claim against John Travolta
LOS ANGELES, May 16 — One of the two male masseurs who accused actor John Travolta of sexual assault yesterday dropped his US$2 million (RM6.2 million) lawsuit, but the lawyer for the second masseur said he was going ahead with that case and was confident of success.
The unidentified man, referred to as John Doe No. 1, who claimed that the Hollywood star groped him during a massage session in Beverly Hills in January, filed a notice with federal court in Los Angeles dismissing his lawsuit.
The man was reported last week to have said he got the date wrong of the alleged incident after photos and restaurant receipts surfaced putting the “Saturday Night Fever” actor in New York on the same day.
“The case has been dismissed, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be refiled,” the plaintiff’s lawyer, Okorie Okorocha, told Reuters.
Okorocha said he still would be going ahead with the lawsuit against Travolta, representing a second unidentified man, John Doe No. 2, who claimed that Travolta rubbed his leg, touched his genitals and tried to initiate sex at a private appointment at an Atlanta hotel on January 28.
Asked whether he was concerned about the credibility of John Doe No. 2’s suit in light of the first masseur’s dismissal, Okorocha said: “Not at all. I’m not worried about anything with John Doe 2.”
Celebrity news website Radar Online said yesterday that it had obtained emails it claimed were written by the Atlanta masseur to his employers that made no reference to the alleged incident involving Travolta.
Radar Online said the emails were written the day after the alleged encounter and that the masseur was asking to be demoted.
A third man, cruise ship worker Fabian Zanzi, claimed last week on a Chilean TV show that Travolta offered him US$12,000 (RM36,900) to have sex while on a cruise in 2009, but he has not filed a lawsuit.
Travolta’s lawyer Martin Singer has vehemently denied claims from all three men, calling them “absurd and ridiculous”. He did not immediately return calls for comment yesterday on the first plaintiff’s decision to drop his legal action.
Travolta, 58, has been married to actress Kelly Preston since 1991. He found international claim with the movies “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease” in the 1970s, before going on to grittier roles in “Pulp Fiction”.
The latest allegations against the actor are unlikely to affect his career, according to celebrity image experts, who say Travolta has overcome speculation about his sex life in the past without any negative impact on his popularity. — Reuters
Previous: How to be funny by Kuah Jenhan