John Travolta refused medical aid
John Travolta was blackmailed for £18 million for allegedly refused medical aid for his dying son, a court heard yesterday (22.09.09)
John Travolta allegedly refused medical aid for his dying son, a court heard yesterday (22.09.09).
The Hollywood star was blackmailed for £18 million after saying he didn't want 16-year-old Jett - who had suffered a huge seizure - driven to a local hospital from the family's home in the Bahamas and wanted him to be flown back to the US for treatment.
Eventually a paramedic at the scene asked a senior police officer to witness the signing of a "refusal of medical attention" form.
The court in Nassau, in the Bahamas, then heard how paramedic Tarino Lightbourne allegedly threatened to make the actor's decision public unless Travolta - who also has a nine-year-old daughter, Ella, with wife Kelly Preston - handed over the huge sum of money.
Police Inspector Andrew Wells says Travolta's alleged request to take Jett to the island's airport instead of hospital was the first time in 27 years he had encountered such a request.
He told the jury he signed the form and the ambulance sped away, but on the way the plan was changed and Jett was taken to the island's Rand Memorial hospital instead of the airport.
Tragically, Jett was pronounced dead on arrival.
Speaking about the scenes at the Travolta family home on January 2 2009, following Jett's fatal seizure, Wells said: "Mr. Lightbourne told me Mr Travolta wanted his son taken to the airport instead of Rand Memorial hospital. He then asked me to witness a refusal for medical attention form which he showed me. I signed that document."
Lightbourne and his attorney Pleasant Bridgewater are jointly accused of attempting to extort and conspiring to extort by means of threats, charges they both deny.
Travolta - who is listed as one of 14 prosecution witnesses - will testify at the trial.