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A Bahamian judge has declared a mistrial in the case of two people accused of trying to extort $25 million from John Travolta, citing suspected jury misconduct.

The surprising development took place after a local politician said in a speech played on radio and TV that former Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater was acquitted.


Bridgewater is one of two defendants in the case. There was no acquittal.

Parliament member Picewill Forbes told an audience that Bridgewater was "a free woman." Forbes later admitted misspeaking and no verdict has been issued.

Closing arguments concluded yesterday and the case went to the jury shortly afterward. But the judge threw out the case, suspicious of alleged misconduct.

The case will now be re-tried.

John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston in the Bahamas.

"The dilemma that we face is great," Senior Justice Anita Allen told the shocked court. "I am erring on the side of caution. Justice must be transparent."

Bridgewater and ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne pleaded not guilty allegedly trying to get Travolta and Kelly Preston to pay for their silence regarding so-called damning details related to their son Jett's death in January.

Travolta's attorney, Michael Ossi, said that his client will fully cooperate with future legal proceedings and testify in the Bahamas again if need be.

The first trial was marked by John's emotional testimony and by several amazing revelations about all the alleged wheeling and dealing going on.

The extortionists were supposedly caught on tape, too. They're going down, it's just a matter of whether it happens sooner rather than later.

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John Travolta was apparently being played - albeit unsuccessfully - by a pair of goons looking to exploit his unspeakable family tragedy and not very subtly at that.

Seriously, these peeps make the tactics of Joe Halderman look subtle.

Transcripts have been released of discussions between alleged extortionist, former Bahamas Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater, and Travolta's lawyer, Michael McDermott.

The negotiations, per se, play out kind of like a lame game show.

The documents show Bridgewater, an attorney for fellow defendant Tarino Lightbourne, haggling with McDermott over how much the Travoltas should pay for the "Refusal of Treatment" document they threatened to make public.

At one point, McDermott offers property instead of cash, complaining it is too hard to raise $25 million cash - a common problem for those being extorted.

Travolta Pic

John Travolta is dealing with extortion on top of a family tragedy.

Bridgewater says Lightbourne believed that the document was worth hundreds of millions of dollars ... but he was willing to accept a modest $25 million.

McDermott countered with an offer of only $250,000, adding that the Travoltas could go as high as $1 million if Lightbourne would also accept property.

Later, McDermott, recognizing the absurdity of the situation, says, "We can do a little rug merchant negotiations here," then complains that their demands of $25 million require John to come up with "like a pickup truck full of money."

The extortion trial, which resulted from the alleged bilking of the actor after his son Jett's death, continues this week. It's unclear if John will testify again.

Bottom line? Don't attempt to blackmail a celebrity. Not only is it illegal, immoral and unlikely to succeed, but they probably can afford better lawyers.

by Free Britney at . Comments

Extortion isn't the kind of crime you generally associate with a smoking gun, but it looks like secret police videos may have nailed the alleged extortionists in the John Travolta case as they haggled over how much to bilk the star for.

Tarino Lightbourne and Pleasant Bridgewater were allegedly overheard demanding John Travolta's lawyers pay millions in return for them not making public a document related to the treatment of his son Jett, who passed away in January.

Bridgewater, an attorney and former Bahamian Senator, was supposedly heard on tape demanding millions of dollars, while Lightbourne, a paramedic, is apparently outraged that Bridgewater demanded what he considered such a paltry sum.

His demand was exponentially higher than hers, law enforcement sources believe.

While it's being reported that the pair allegedly demanded $25 million, TMZ sources say they finally agreed to $15 million. The extortion trial began this week.

Tarino and Pleasant

Tarino Lightbourne and Pleasant Bridgewater: Some shady characters.

They believed Travolta would cough up the sum to keep private a document he signed releasing paramedics of liability and ordering his son flown to the U.S., rather than a hospital in the Bahamas, after he suffered a seizure.

However, Jett was ultimately taken to the hospital anyway, meaning these two idiots were trying to extort an eight-figure sum for basically nothing.

Lawyers for Bridgewater and Lightbourne will move to suppress the videos in which they allegedly haggle, on grounds they were illegally recorded.

An interesting wrinkle straight out of Days of Our Lives: One of the Bahamian cops in the sting was badly injured "under suspicious circumstances."

The officer is thus is unable to testify.

John Travolta, who testified yesterday and acknowledged Jett's autism for the first time, left the Bahamas but will return next week to complete testimony.

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John Travolta calmly described in Bahamian court today how he helped a nanny perform CPR on his 16-year-old son Jett, whose death in January was not only tragic, but sparked an alleged $25 million extortion plot against the actor.

"Jeff [Kathrein], the other nanny, was doing compressions. I was doing the breathing," said the actor, whose son was in the bedroom of the family condo.

Paramedic Tarino Lightbourne, one of the first people to arrive when Jett Travolta died after suffering a seizure, and his lawyer, former Bahamian Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater, stand accused of conspiring to extort $25 million from Travolta.

In return for the money, the two allegedly would refrain from making public a document relating to Jett's treatment. The defendants pleaded not guilty.

The actor stood before the court during testimony, standard practice in the British legal system. At times he leaned foward on a podium when he spoke.

John Travolta testified that his son had a history of seizures and for the first time publicly said that his teenage son suffered from autism: "My son was autistic and suffered from seizure disorder every 5-10 days," Travolta said.

John Travolta Pic

John Travolta was forced to recall the worst day of his life under oath.

Police say that Jett was placed in an ambulance, while Lightbourn said John Travolta wanted his son taken directly to the airport instead of to a hospital.

A police investigator then testified that Travolta signed a form that released the paramedics from liability for not transporting the patient to a hospital.

At some point that morning, a decision was made to take Jett to the hospital.

Nonetheless, prosecutors allege that Lightbourn and Bridgewater threatened to release private information unless Travolta paid them $25 million.

In testimony, the two-time Oscar nominee recalled that Jett "would suffer a seizure that would last 45 seconds to a minute and sleep for 12 hours."

On the morning of his son's death, January 2, John Travolta said he was awakened and ran downstairs to find people already trying to save his son.

John arrived hand-in-hand with his wife Kelly Preston in the courtroom Wednesday, soft-spoken and calm during his testimony. Both were described as "graceful" by a courtroom observer, who added that the couple did not tear up.

by Free Britney at . Comments

One of the first and most heart-wrenching of the year's celebrity deaths was Jett Travolta, the 16-year-old son of John Travolta and Kelly Preston.

Thanks to the alleged $25 million extortion plot against the Travolta family, the details of the teenager's tragic death will now be rehashed in court.

John Travolta at Katsuya

Former Bahamian Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater and ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne will stand trial in proceedings expected to last 2-3 weeks.

John Travolta may also be making a cameo appearance, perhaps as soon as this week, as his name tops the 14-person list of potential witnesses.

Testimony in the Jett Travolta extortion case is expected to start tomorrow.

Bridgewater and Lightbourne have both pleaded not guilty to extortion counts after they allegedly threatened to release a refusal-to-transport document.

Such a document is typically signed when emergency medical services are refused by a person's legal guardian, thus clearing the responders of liability.

However, the Travoltas never signed such a document, making the alleged attempt at extorting the family all the weaker, not to mention straight up evil.

Lightbourne's attorneys say they've met with resistance from the attorney general since requesting access to materials and pieces of evidence last month.

Jett Travolta died suddenly on January 2 after suffering a seizure.

by Free Britney at . Comments

The item at the center of the John Travolta extortion case has been revealed as a "refusal to transport" document, RadarOnline and TMZ are reporting.

The document detailed how "John Travolta told EMT workers he wanted to fly his son to Florida rather than drive by ambulance to the hospital... which was 45 minutes away" in the Bahamas, where Jett Travolta, 16, died of a seizure January 2.

Travolta Head Shot

In the end, John Travolta concluded that there was no time to have Jett treated in the U.S. and agreed to have him treated in the Bahamas.

Paramedic Tarino Lightbourne was charged Monday with conspiracy to commit extortion for allegedly demanding $25 million to keep this document private.

It is unclear why Lightbourne thought the document was worth $25 million, as it was mostly, if not completely irrelevant to the tragic death of Jett Travolta.

Former Bahamian Senator Pleasant Bridgewater, also accused of trying to extort money from the Travoltas, plans to "fight the untrue and unfair charges."

Police also had detained former tourism minister - and longtime Travolta family friend - Obie Wilchcombe, but he has not been charged in the case.

by Free Britney at . Comments

Ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne of the Bahamas - the second suspect in the John Travolta extortion case - was charged Monday with attempting to extort and conspiracy to commit extortion against the actor, according to reports.

Lightbourne, 47, allegedly tried to extort $25 million from John Travolta and his family - for what, we don't know. At his arraignment, he pleaded not guilty.

John Travolta Hair

The details of the alleged extortion plot - which involved Travolta's late son, Jett Travolta, 16, who died earlier this month - have still not been made public.

Authorities also arrested Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater on charges of abetment to extort and conspiracy to extort. She was released Friday on $40,000 bail. Bridgewater - who has since resigned - said she plans to fight "untrue and unfair charges."

Lastly, the cops had detained former tourism minister Obie Wilchcombe, but he "has not been charged," at this time, says Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest. "He was not arrested; he was questioned on Friday."

In an interview, Obie Wilchcombe, a longtime friend of Travolta, denied any criminal involvement and said he was only trying to help the actor and his family.

Lightbourne was quoted in celebrity news reports about trying to revive Jett Travolta, who died at the family's vacation home in Grand Bahama January 2.

by Free Britney at . Comments

Two prominent Bahamian citizens and a paramedic were detained in the Bahamas in an alleged extortion scheme targeting John Travolta following the death of his 16-year-old son, Jett Travolta, earlier this month, according to reports.

Pleasant Bridgewater, an attorney and member of the country's parliament, has been held since Thursday. Ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne was detained on Friday.

John Travolta Press Conference

Obie Wilchcombe, the island's former Minister of Tourism and a friend of the Travoltas, was also arrested. On Larry King Live, he talked about how the family coping with Jett's tragic death - revealing some very personal details.

Police did not disclose the exact nature of the alleged plot, which was rumored - though never confirmed - to involve unnamed parties trying to extort $20 million from the Travoltas for information about Jett's passing.

Lightbourne was quoted in celebrity gossip reports about trying to revive Jett Travolta, who died at the family's vacation home in Grand Bahama.

Wilchcombe was initially brought to the police station under the pretext of helping authorities crack the case, but is now "implicated" in the alleged extortion plot.

He has been released pending further investigation.

Bridgewater was charged with abetment to extort and conspiracy to extort and released Friday on $40,000 bail. Lightbourne remains in custody.

by Free Britney at . Comments

Jett Travolta, the 16-year-old son of actor John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston, has died during a family vacation.

The family's attorney, Michael Ossi, confirmed his tragic death late Friday afternoon, telling news outlets that the young man suffered a fatal seizure at the Travolta clan's home at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel on Grand Bahama Island.

John Travolta Hair

Efforts were made to revive Jett Travolta, but he died at the scene.

Jett Travolta had a history of seizures from a young age. Preston said her son suffered from Kawasaki disease, which can lead to heart problems for some children.

The teenager was the couple's oldest child. They also have a daughter, Ella Blue, who is eight years old, and was born in 2000. May Jett rest in peace.

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