In a interview that is sure to outrage many, the lawyer for the man accused of extorting John Travolta blames the actor for using his power and wealth to destroy the criminal defendant’s life, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.
Carlson Shurland is the lawyer for Bahamas ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne, who was accused of trying to extort $25 million from Travolta after the tragic death of the actor’s son Jett. Lightbourne and politician Pleasant Bridgewater were alleged to have threatened to give the media a document the actor had signed, releasing the ambulance driver and his colleagues from any liability for Jett’s death after Travolta decided to try to fly his son to Florida for treatment rather than have him taken to a Freeport hospital.
Travolta did have his son taken to the hospital after realizing it would be faster than flying him to the U.S. for treatment.
Shurland said that Lightbourne’s home is in foreclosure and exclusively told RadarOnline.com: “Obviously, the death of his son Jett was tragic but John Travolta and his lawyers have tried to destroy the lives of two innocent people in my opinion.”
He then added this shocking accusation: “The real issue was not one of extortion but whether John Travolta knew that his son was dead and tried to take him off the island without the appropriate government permits.
“When he couldn’t fly off the island the body was taken to the hospital in Freeport and the focus on extortion is a distraction from that – to our knowledge no coroner’s report or autopsy were ever done.
“Tarino believes in his innocence but the reality is that he is up against a person who has enormous resources afforded by power and privilege.”
Shurland’s accusations against Travolta are particularly outrageously unbelievable considering his client was secretly taped discussing a $25 million payoff that he wanted from Travolta. And sources close to Travolta told RadarOnline.com that the actor at one point simply thought he could get his son treated in the U.S. by flying him to Florida on his private plane but abandoned that plan when events made it obvious that was not a good option.
Lightbourne has asked the public for money to help feed his family.
Travolta and wife Kelly Preston recently confirmed that she is pregnant at age 47.
As RadarOnline.com revealed exclusively, Pleasant Bridgewater, the other defendant, recently sent good wishes to the couple and said she hopes Kelly ‘has a healthy baby’ despite the accusations that have been made against Bridgewater.
Lightbourne’s first trial ended last October in a mistrial and the new case will be heard before Senior Supreme Court Justice Jon Isaacs in New Providence on September 6.
Shurland told RadarOnline.com that the Travolta case has wiped out his client: “I believe Tarino is innocent and the Travolta case has had a devastating effect for him and his family.
“He has not been able to work and the accusations have destroyed his life and even if he is vindicated at the new trial it will be very tough for him to get over the accusations.”
A post mortem determined that 16-year-old Jett Travolta died of a seizure during a family vacation at the Old Bahama Bay Resort on January 2, 2009.
The Pulp Fiction star testified during the five-week trial that he had tried frantically to save his son by performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while another visitor at the resort helped with chest compressions and used a defibrillator on Jett, who had been found unresponsive on a bathroom floor.
Travolta revealed he was told that unless he paid $25 million, the document would be sold to the news media and used to generate stories suggesting he was at fault in his son's death. During his testimony he revealed that Jett was autistic and suffered frequent seizures.