Page last updated at 03:45 GMT, Thursday, 24 September 2009 04:45 UK

Travolta recalls day his son died

John Travolta and Kelly Preston arrive at court 23.9.09
John Travolta and Kelly Preston arrived at court with a security escort

Hollywood actor John Travolta has given evidence during an extortion trial in the Bahamas.

Former senator Pleasant Bridgewater and medic Tarino Lightbourne are accused of demanding money from the star after his son died in the Bahamas in January.

They allegedly wanted $25m (£15m) in return for keeping secret a document relating to 16-year-old Jett's treatment. The pair deny the charges.

Since the death of his son, the actor has rarely appeared in public.

Ms Bridgewater resigned her seat on the Bahamas senate after she was arrested in January. Mr Lightbourne was one of the paramedics who responded when Mr Travolta's son was taken ill.

John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston arrived at Nassau Supreme Court on Wednesday with a large security escort.


The court was told that Mr Travolta and Ms Preston had travelled to a resort on Grand Bahama with Jett and their eight-year-old daughter, Ella, accompanied by four nannies.

The actor began his testimony by recalling the moments before his son's death.

He said he had been woken by one of the nannies pounding on his door and had run downstairs to find his son on the bathroom floor and one of the other nannies trying to resuscitate him.

John Travolta and his son Jett
Jett was John Travolta's only son

Mr Travolta said he took over the resuscitation attempts helped by a visitor at the resort.

The actor told the court his son was autistic and suffered from seizures.

Earlier, police inspector Andrew Wells told the court that Mr Travolta had wanted his son flown to the US instead of the nearest Bahamian hospital.

He said Mr Lightbourne had wanted a signature on a statement confirming that Mr Travolta waived medical treatment for his son.

Mr Travolta said he was so intent on saving his son that he signed the medical liability release document - which is thought to be the subject of the alleged extortion - without reading it.

Bahamas prosecutor Bernard Turner testified on Tuesday that Mr Travolta had been threatened with the release of potentially damaging statements if money was not paid.

The case continues.

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