John Travolta, Latest Victim of Celebrity-Gouging?

Posted on May 10, 2012


Here we go again.  Some anonymous people are accusing John Travolta of sexual misconduct, and asking for – what else? – money.  As in, $2 million a pop.  These are masseurs, as in, the male kind, and it is not lost on anyone that there is an embarrassment factor here since various random folks keep calling Travolta’s sexual orientation into question.

The “anonymous” lawyer in the case says more accusers may yet come forward.  I’ll bet they will!  Wherever there is a crowd chasing a bag of money, you can always get more unscrupulous people on the bandwagon, hoping for a free handout.

I guess you can tell that I am a bit skeptical, but that’s just a result of the formula:  famous person + lotsa money = gold-digger territory.  This whole thing reminds me of the Justin Bieber paternity suit, which ended up going nowhere.  What was most telling in that  suit was this quote, from celebrity lawyer Debra Opri:

“Here’s my view because I deal with celebrities all the time: when you look at this event, it’s only being looked at through: how is this going to hurt my career? So if they need, behind closed doors, to say to her, ‘Look, we’re going to pay you off, it’s done, we’ll settle out with you but go away,’ and that’s the value to his career, it’s one thing. If she has a ticker in her head that says she likes the attention, she’s not going to go along. It’s a poker game and a matter of what she needs and what she wants…. If it were me I’d say get this cleaned up immediately…. I can tell you personally that just because somebody sues you doesn’t mean you’re guilty or liable. I wouldn’t attach that, and I think the faster he gets this out of the way and under the rug, the better off for everybody.”

I disagree.  This attitude only perpetuates the money-grubbing and ensures that some slimeballs will get big bucks that they don’t deserve, from celebrities who did not do the things they are accused of.  I liked the Team Bieber approach, which was to meet the charges head-on, and countersue.  Not only did that send the (apparently) false accuser scurrying for cover, it will discourage future frivolous lawsuits from random gold-diggers.

For their part, Team Travolta has produced evidence that Travolta was not even in Los Angeles when the first incident was supposed to have occurred.  That’s a good start.  Now bring the big legal guns to bear.  Assuming there is no substance to the claims, countersue for slander.  It’s not a matter of the sexual orientation aspect of the charges, it’s a matter of the fact that he is accused of sexual assault.  That’s a big deal, and – in my opinion – a police matter, not a money-grubbing lawsuit matter.  This is the kind of thing that can land a man on the sex offenders database, and Team Travolta needs to strike back swiftly and hard against it.

Meanwhile, keep leaving that paper trail.  Other men have been cleared of criminal accusations thanks to our Big Brother surveillance-happy society, and electronic trails like emails and credit card receipts.