Sexual Harassment Allegations Against John Travolta Spark Legal Furor

Last week, the actor John Travolta (Greece; Saturday Night Fever; Pulp Fiction; etc.) got hit with a second lawsuit over allegations of sexual harassment.

Back in January, a masseur at the Beverly Hills Hotel filed a similar lawsuit against Travolta, claiming that the actor groped him during a massage and tried to have sex with him. Travolta’s representatives fired back, saying that they had proof that Travolta was on the East Coast during the day of the alleged massage… and thus that the story had to have been fabricated.

The second claimant – also a masseur — sued last Tuesday. This second masseur claimed that he had “substantial documentation and numerous witnesses regarding the substance of Travolta’s actions” at a resort in Atlanta, Georgia.

So far, both plaintiffs remain anonymous: they are known as “John Doe Plaintiff No. 1” and “John Doe Plaintiff No. 2”. Both men want $2 million for the alleged sexual assault and harassment. John Doe No. 1 has asserted a number of provocative claims, including:

• Travolta told him that “Hollywood is controlled by homosexual Jewish men”;
• Travolta suggested that he and the masseur should engage in a threesome with a “Hollywood starlet.”

Travolta’s legal representatives responded, lividly, saying that “none of the events claimed in the suit ever occurred.” They have threatened to sue both the plaintiffs and their attorney for “malicious prosecution.”

Travolta has faced scrutiny in the press before over his sexuality. In 1990, a man named Paul Barresi published an account in the National Enquirer, claiming that he had been Travolta’s lover for two years in the early 1980s. The gossip magazine allegedly paid Barresi $100,000 for his story…which Barresi later retracted, interestingly.

Travolta has been married to Kelly Preston for two decades, and they have two children together – a third child, Jet, passed away in 2009.

Whether or not the sexual harassment allegations against Travolta hold up in court, the story illustrates how painful and scary it can be for victims of harassment and assault to step forward and take action. When you make a case, you need to be prepared for the counterattacks, legal and otherwise, from the other side. Likewise, you should be sure that the issues you experienced can legally be categorized as litigatable harassment, so that any counter-attack by a defendant can be securely repelled.

No matter where you are in the process of dealing with the after-effects of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and hour violations, or other problems at your workplace, you can benefit from the powerful guidance of the team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum. Call and get a free consultation about your legal situation -(212) 688-5640 – or explore the useful free resources we have here at www.jhllp.com.