The multi-million dollar John Travolta extortion trial following the sudden death of his son Jett is due to begin in the Bahamas next week, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Paramedic Tarino Lightbourne and Pleasant Bridgewater have pled not guilty to trying to extort $25 million from the superstar following Jett’s death in January 2009. The trial will begin on Monday, September 21, 2009, at Nassau Supreme Court before Senior Justice Anita Allen. Travolta is expected to give evidence at the trial which authorities expect to last for at least three weeks.
Lightbourne drove 16-year-old Jett to the hospital on January 2, 2009, after he suffered a seizure and died at the family’s vacation home in the Bahamas. Former Bahamian senator Bridgewater, who is also accused of extortion in the case, resigned her position after charges were filed against her.
Both Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston were left devastated with their son’s unexpected death and have struggled to come to terms with the loss.
On September 11, 2009 the couple made their first public appearance with their daughter Ella Bleu, 9, at Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim to promote the new movie Old Dogs in which they all star. Preston recently pulled-out at California’s First Lady Maria Shriver’s conference on grief next month because she is not ready to open up about her son’s loss.
Insiders claim that Travolta has been dreading appearing at the extortion trial because it could reveal private details of Jett’s death and bring back heartbreaking memories of his sudden death for both the star and his family.
Preston and Travolta have been married for 18 years and Jett died during a family vacation at their holiday home on Grand Bahama Island.
Jett – who is believed to have suffered from autism – suffered a seizure before striking his head on the bath-tub. He was found unconscious in the bathroom by care-taker Michael Kathrain and failed to regain consciousness despite efforts to resuscitate him.
Travolta will be represented by Bahamian lawyer Allyson Maynard Gibson and by American lawyers Michael Ossi and Michael McDermott at the trial.