Page last updated at 09:32 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 10:32 UK

Senator denies Travolta blackmail

Pleasant Bridgewater
Pleasant Bridgewater told the court in Nassau that she is innocent

A former Bahamas senator has denied trying to blackmail John Travolta over the death of his teenage son Jett.

Pleasant Bridgewater told jurors she was framed by the star's lawyers, and said: "I maintain my innocence."

Ms Bridgewater is accused of trying to negotiate a $25m (£15m) payout for paramedic Tarino Lightbourne.

It is claimed he threatened to sell stories suggesting Travolta was at fault over the death of Jett, who died in January following a seizure.

Liability

A form signed by Travolta after his son's death would have released the ambulance driver of liability had Jett been flown to the US from the Bahamas for treatment, as the actor had initially wanted.

However, the 16-year-old ended up being taken to a local hospital where he died.

Travolta has told the court that Mr Lightbourne, threatened to sell the media stories suggesting he was at fault in his son's death.

A Bahamas detective has already testified that Ms Bridgewater destroyed a document relating to the case, and that the former senator told her it could never be found as it had been burnt and flushed down the toilet.

Both Ms Bridgewater and Mr Lightbourne have pleaded not guilty to extortion.



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