Travolta Extortion Charges Dropped

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September 6, 2010 | 8:55pm EST

A judge in the Bahamas has granted John Travolta’s request to drop charges against two people accused of attempting to extort money from him following the death of his son last year.
Former Bahamas senator Pleasant Bridgewater and paramedic Tarino Lightbourne were charged with conspiracy to extort $25 million from the Grease star and his wife Kelly Preston after their 16-year-old son Jett suffered a fatal seizure at the family’s holiday home there in January 2009.

The allegations centered around a Refusal of Treatment/Transportation form, signed by Travolta, which the suspects are said to have threatened to release to the media.

The pair went on trial last October but a mistrial was declared after a jury member reportedly leaked the verdict to politicians. Jurors were still deliberating when lawmaker Picewell Forbes allegedly announced to an audience at a Progressive Liberal Party convention that Bridgewater was “a free woman”.

A retrial was due to begin this week but prosecutor Neil Braithwaite filed a court motion to dismiss the case on Monday, insisting the actor and his family simply wanted to put the scandal behind them as it had caused them “unbelievable” stress.

In a statement, Travolta says, “The first trial in this matter resulted in a heavy emotional toll on my family.

“It was finally time to put this matter behind us… 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.”

A judge approved the motion and the charges against Bridgewater and Lightbourne were subsequently dropped.

The news comes as the Travoltas prepare to welcome a new addition to the family – Preston is due to give birth to a baby boy later this year.

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