Charges Dropped in Travolta Extort Case

Actor makes request, citing stress on family

By Greg Wilson
|  Monday, Sep 6, 2010  |  Updated 12:30 PM EDT
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John Travolta's Son Dies in The Bahamas

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LIMERICK, IRELAND - MAY 31: Actor John Travolta rides a cart with son Jett in 2004.

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Extortion charges against two people in the Bahamas in connection with the death of John Travolta's son have been dropped at the request  of the actor and his wife.

Tarino Lightbourne and Pleasant Bridgewater were facing a new trial beginning Monday after a mistrial last fall. They were accused of trying to force Travolta and wife Kelly Preston to pay them $25 million by threatening to release private information following the death of the Travolta's teenage son Jett. The 16-year-old boy died after suffering a seizure at the family's vacation home Jan. 2, 2009.

Lightbourne a paramedic who responded to the scene, allegedly threatened to make public a release that Travolta signed to have Jett taken directly to the airport, even though the youth ultimately died at a local hospital and the document never came into play. The disclosure seemed to be aimed at embarrassing the Travolta family.

Last fall, Travolta appeared in a Bahamas court to testify against Lightbourne, and Bridgewater, his lawyer. The pair pleaded not guilty to the charges and their first trial ended in a mistrial after a Bahamian lawmaker inexplicably told a public gathering that Bridgewater had been acquitted.

Prosecutor Neil Braithwaite submitted a motion to dismiss the case Monday at the request of the actor and his family. A spokesman said the case had caused the Travolta family "unbelievable" stress and they wanted to put it behind them.

Selected Reading: The Associated Press, New York Daily News, People.

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