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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The masseur whose $2 million sexual battery lawsuit against Hollywood actor John Travolta was dismissed earlier this week hired celebrity attorney Gloria Allred on Wednesday and could file a new claim.
Allred, who numerous high-profile cases over the years have included representing women involved in the Tiger Woods sex scandal, said on Wednesday that she is now the attorney for "John Doe No. 1" and will be consulting with the masseur on his next steps in the case that has made headlines worldwide.
"Mr. Doe's lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice which means that he is still legally entitled to file a lawsuit against John Travolta if he chooses," Allred said in a statement. "We are in the process of conferring with him regarding the next steps, which he may wish to take."
Travolta faces a similar claim from another masseur. His lawyer, Los Angeles-based Martin Singer, has vehemently denied the sexual battery claims against the "Grease" actor and on Tuesday said his client had been vindicated by the dismissal of the first complaint. His office had no immediate comment about Allred's hiring on Wednesday.
John Doe No. 1, a Texas resident, initially claimed in court papers filed earlier this month that Travolta groped him during a private massage in Beverly Hills in January.
But on Tuesday, his former attorney, Okorie Okorocha, filed a notice dismissing the lawsuit. Okorocha told Reuters he had "limited his representation" of the plaintiff after the masseur got the date wrong of the alleged incident and contacted media outlets directly.
"I wanted to be the only one talking to the press ... His case needed to be redone and it would take a lot of time to redo the whole thing," Okorocha said.
Okorocha plans to go ahead with the lawsuit against Travolta representing a second male masseur, John Doe No. 2, who claimed Travolta sexually assaulted him during a massage session in an Atlanta hotel in late January.
Two other men have made similar claims to media outlets but no legal filings have yet been made in those cases.
Travolta, 58, has been married to actress Kelly Preston since 1991. He first gained fame on the television show "Welcome Back, Kotter" and later enjoyed hit movies such as "Saturday Night Fever" and "Urban Cowboy" before going on to grittier roles in films such as "Pulp Fiction" and "Get Shorty."
Allred represented the family of O.J. Simpson's slain ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, during Simpson's trial and filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against actor David Boreanaz on behalf of a client who was an extra on Borneanaz's show "Bones." She also represented a Chicago woman who alleged that former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain sexually harassed her.
Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Bill Trott