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John Travolta scandal weaves from lurid to 'Let's revisit that'

May 14, 2012|By Christie D'Zurilla
  • John Travolta as Vinnie Barbarino in the sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter."
John Travolta as Vinnie Barbarino in the sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter."

In the unfolding scandal involving accusations against John Travolta, last week’s salacious sexual-misconduct allegations had given way Monday to a boatload of I-said-he-said, heck-no-I-never-said, and let-me-clarify-what-you-think-I-said minutiae.

Fabian Zanzi, the cruise-ship crew member who last month accused Travolta of inappropriate sexual behavior on the high seas, has spoken up again — this time in English — repeating allegations that while he was on the job several years ago, the actor asked him for a massage and a chat, then disrobed, gave him a naked hug and offered $12,000 in exchange for sex.

After reporting the 2009 incident to his Royal Caribbean supervisors, Zanzi received a written warning for fraternizing with a passenger, according to personnel papers obtained by TMZ. The document noted that the VIP attendant’s self-reporting had been considered as a mitigating factor in determining disciplinary action.

The cruise line’s report referred to a neck massage and conversation between crew member and passenger in the guest’s stateroom but said nothing about nudity or solicitation of sex. Zanzi reiterated to a Splash News video crew Sunday that he had declined the alleged proposition and then removed himself from the situation in a professional manner.

"I was a victim because of his power, because of his name," Zanzi said in the Sunday video.

A Royal Caribbean rep confirmed to TMZ that Zanzi was a room-service phone operator on the Enchantment of the Seas in June 2009 and had resigned in 2011 after more than seven years with the company on various vessels.

Meanwhile, Mike Caputo, a former Peninsula Hotel masseur quoted Saturday by the New York Daily News as saying Travolta had been banned from the hotel’s spa in the early 2000s for “inappropriate behavior” with massage therapists, subsequently told RumorFix on Monday, without going into detail, that he’d been misquoted.

Regarding whether John Doe No. 2’s case was headed for mediation, arbitration or a trial, on Monday the answer seemed to depend on which media outlet the plaintiff’s attorney was talking to at the time.

“My client will settle for $250k to make this go away quickly and without having any further action being taken in this case,” lawyer Okorie Okorocha told Radar Online, explaining that he’d been talking to Travolta lawyer Martin Singer about establishing “ground rules” for arbitration or mediation.

Okorocha was down to one client as of Friday, when he announced John Doe No. 1, the original complainant, would be seeking new counsel after problems arose regarding the date of the alleged incident in Beverly Hills.

 “My client wants his life back,” Okorocha said of John Doe No. 2, “and for that to happen at this point we would be willing to accept a settlement.”

But wait! Not so fast with that headline!

"There is no mediation,” he told People before promising “one hell of a fight” if that’s what Singer wanted, as long as the fight was kept completely private. “There'll never be a settlement. I want privacy for sex-crime victims.”

Common to both reports was Okorocha’s expressed desire for a private judge, private court proceedings, private transcripts — pretty much privacy all over the place moving forward.

The one person whose story is staying the same, no matter what? Defense attorney Marty Singer, whose argument leaves little room for interpretation.

Singer, of course, has said since the beginning that everyone else is just making stuff up.

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John Travolta trial: The guy who talked is sorry, and he's shutting up now

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

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