Grease money: Document shows John Travolta’s insurance company paid more than $84k to handle sexual assault allegations
A document obtained by Gawker appears to show that actor John Travolta’s insurance company paid more than $84,000 to handle claims by accusers that he sexually assaulted them.
Nearly one year ago, Travolta was plagued by a series of sexual harassment suits — all from men. Travolta is married to actress Kelly Preston, and the couple have had three children. One of their sons died tragically in 2009.
Travolta was first sued on May 4, 2012 by an anonymous male masseur, John Doe No. 1, who claimed he had proof that Travolta sexually harassed him at the actor’s bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel. He said Travolta began touching his thighs and genitals during a massage session, and then started masturbating in front of him.
A second John Doe from Georgia came forward days later and threatened to sue Travolta for $2 million on similar grounds.
At the time, Travolta’s lawyers vehemently denied the claims and threatened to counter-sue the first plaintiff. Both John Does — who were being represented by the same lawyer — eventually dropped their lawsuits.
Apparently, these weren’t the only two accusations. Four other accusers’ lawyers privately sent letters to Travolta’s insurance company last year, accusing him of sexual harassment, according to Gawker.
Travolta paid the first John Doe masseur — the one he allegedly masturbated in front of — $80,750 (this is the last line item in the document), according to Gawker. Gawker notes that although the person is anonymous in the document, the charges filed are from around the same time that John Doe No. 1 came out with his allegations last year, and are similar charges to what he presented at the time.
The actor also privately paid Mark Higgins, who is listed in the document as a former employee, $3,850 after his lawyer sent demands (this is the fourth line item, according to Gawker.
Gawker notes that Higgins is a Chicago-area sports therapist who treated the 2008 U.S. women’s soccer team and other high-profile celebrities. Higgins worked with Travolta after he suffered a golf-related back injury.
All of the alleged homosexual incidents began with a simple rub for an injury or a professional massage. After the accusers were contacted by Travolta’s high-profile lawyer, Marty Singer, they dropped their planned suits — or in the case of four others, never went public with their allegations at all.
Travolta’s saga of apparent homosexual encounters and cover-ups has been explicitly documented in a book by Robert Randolph, “You’ll Never Spa in this Town Again.”
Randolph alleges in his 2011 book that it was Travolta’s M.O. to troll gay bathhouses and have sex with random men.
He claims that “everyone in L.A.” knows that Travolta has gay encounters, although he has been married to Preston since 1991 and has vehemently denied the rumors for decades. Travolta’s religion, Scientology, categorizes homosexuality as an illness.
UPDATE, 6:27 p.m.: Citing Gawker’s reporting, The Daily Caller initially repeated the claim that the $84,000 was paid directly to two people who alleged being sexually assaulted by Travolta. The actor’s litigation firm told TheDC that the money simply “reflects costs and expenses incurred, which is consistent with legal fees being paid in the defense lawsuits were filed.” TheDC has updated the story to reflect this clarification. Gawker has also amended its reporting.