Photo Credit: Charley Gallay/WireImage
John Travolta is having a media "face/off" with a man who's accused him of making unwanted sexual advances. An anonymous masseur is suing the actor for assault, sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, alleging that Travolta tried to coerce him into sex during a massage. He is now seeking $2 million in damages.
According to the lawsuit (filed under the pseudonym John Doe), Travolta booked a home massage for $200 an hour after seeing the masseur's ad online. The actor brought the man to a Beverly Hills Hotel bungalow, stripped naked and laid on the table for his massage. After one hour, he reportedly got a little handsy, rubbing the masseur's leg and touching his genitals. When John Doe refused his advances, reminding him that sex in exchange for money is illegal, Travolta allegedly tried to give him a "reverse massage," pleading, "Come on dude, I'll jerk you off!"
The plaintiff says that Travolta then began to masturbate, and the lawsuit contains a description of the actor's penis ("roughly 8 inches in length" with "wiry and unkempt" pubic hair). While the plaintiff tried to figure out how to handle the situation, Travolta allegedly told the man that he "got where he is now due to sexual favors he had performed when he was in his Welcome Back, Kotter days," that "Hollywood is controlled by homosexual Jewish men who expect favors in return for sexual activity," and that he "had done things in his past that would make most people throw up." Yikes.
After John Doe threatened to call the police if Travolta didn't let him leave, the actor reportedly used a different seduction tactic, offering to arrange a three-way with a Hollywood starlet if they could "have sex together first before calling her, so this way they would be in-sync with each other sexually." When he declined, the actor agreed to drive him back to the spot where he picked him up, calling him "selfish" and a "loser" on the ride. He then reportedly paid him $800, double the amount that he owed for the massage.
Travolta is denying that any of this happened and has threatened to counter-sue. In a statement, the actor's representative referred to the lawsuit as "complete fiction and fabrication."
"None of the events claimed in the suit ever occurred," says the statement. "The plaintiff, who refuses to give their name, knows that the suit is a baseless lie... On that date when plaintiff claims John met him, John was not in California and it can be proved that he was on the East Coast. Plaintiff's attorney has filed this suit to try and get his 15 minutes of fame. John intends to get this case thrown out and then he will sue the attorney and Plaintiff for malicious prosecution."
Travolta has been married to Kelly Preston since 1991, but has long faced rumors about his sexuality. In 2006, he was photographed by paparazzi kissing another man. In 2010, a Hollywood insider claimed that he had personally witnessed Travolta having sex with multiple men in steam rooms. And later that year, longtime Travolta pal Carrie Fisher casually announced in an interview that he should just come out of the closet already, because "we know and we don't care."
The lawsuit, however, isn't about whether Travolta is gay. It's about whether Travolta acted like a colossal jerk, using his celebrity to try to intimidate an employee into doing something illegal. The lawsuit may be fiction, as Travolta's camp claims. However, it's very specific in its descriptions, down to the kind of litter in Travolta's limousine (chocolate cake packages) and the watch he was wearing (a silver chronograph with a chime alarm). If the actor can actually prove that he wasn't in Beverly Hills, then we can chalk it up to an impressive work of fiction. Otherwise? He may have a lot to answer for.