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John Travolta still a hot target; sued for alleged assault, libel

June 27, 2012|By Christie D'Zurilla
  • John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston arrive for the premiere of "Savages" in Westwood.
John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston arrive for the premiere of "Savages"… (Joe Klamar / AFP/Getty Images )

It was a good thing John Travolta was getting smooched by wife Kelly Preston on the "Savages" red carpet Monday night, because the actor hasn't been getting much kindness in the rest of his public life.

Travolta -- recently hit with a couple of now-you-see-'em, now-you-don't federal lawsuits brought by "John Doe" masseurs who accused the actor of sexual battery and then had their suits dismissed without prejudice -- has some new paperwork crossing lawyer Martin Singer's desk. 

A lawsuit from a third accuser, a former cruise ship VIP steward who alleges Travolta assaulted him on a Royal Caribbean Cruises sail in 2009, was filed last week in U.S. District Court.

PHOTOS: 'Savages' movie premiere

Fabian Zanzi, who went public with his allegations on a Chilean entertainment news show April 27, two weeks before the other lawsuits were filed, was disciplined by his employers at the time of the alleged incident, for improper fraternization with a guest.

Zanzi says that on the day in question, Travolta disrobed and hugged him, pressing his erect penis against the steward while propositioning him. The actor then allegedly offered Zanzi $12,000 to stay quiet, an offer the steward said he declined. The actor, whose son Jett had died just months before, left the cruise early.

Zanzi and his lawyers are accusing Travolta of assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

In a statement to multiple media outlets, Singer dismissed the filing as "another ludicrous lawsuit with inane claims. It is obvious that Mr. Zanzi and his lawyers are looking for their 15 minutes of fame."

The statement continued, saying in part: "The lawsuit’s ridiculous claims are completely contradicted by what Mr. Zanzi told his employer back in 2009 when he was being disciplined for his own violations of company policy."

Also last Thursday, a libel lawsuit was filed in L.A. Superior Court against Travolta and Singer by Robert Randolph, the author of "You'll Never Spa in This Town Again," who alleges the two spread false statements about his mental health in an attempt to discourage people from buying his book, which was teased to in 2010 and finally published early this year. 

A Travolta rep told TMZ the lawsuit was "absurd," adding that "the suit is based on a privileged communication, and it will promptly be thrown out by the court.

"To evaluate the credibility of Robert Randolph and his ridiculous lawsuit one need look no further than his own statements published on his website stating that he sustained 'permanent brain damage' and had to 'retrain' his brain."

Lawsuit or not, the Ministry has read the book, which details Randolph's supposed first-hand observations of Travolta allegedly having sex with other men at a couple of spas in L.A., and, well, um -- we can safely report that a youthful Randolph definitely had a childhood crush on the "Welcome Back, Kotter" star.

So let's leave it at that. Because now we feel slightly more awkward than Travolta and Preston looked while kissing in front of a bajillion photographers.

RELATED:

John Travolta: Third accuser emerges, first parts ways with lawyer

Travolta extortion trial: Guy who talked is sorry, and shutting up now

Attempted-extortion case involving John Travolta dropped in the Bahamas

Follow Christie D'Zurilla on Twitter and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip @LATcelebs.

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