LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - John Travolta’s lawyer on Friday hit back at “ridiculous” new claims of sexual advances leveled at the actor by a third man, as a first accuser backtracked on the date of an alleged Beverly Hills incident.
Cruise ship worker Fabian Zanzi claimed on a Chilean TV show, “Primer Plano,” that the Hollywood star offered him $12,000 to have sex while on a cruise in 2009.
It was unclear whether Zanzi had filed a legal action against Travolta, who is already the subject of a sexual assault lawsuit by two unidentified masseurs in Los Angeles.
“This is just another ridiculous claim by someone hopping on the bandwagon to get his 15 minutes of fame with a story about something that supposedly happened over three years ago,” Travolta’s lawyer Martin Singer said in a statement on Friday.
“At that time Zanzi’s supervisors did not believe him, confined him to his cabin and subsequently fired him, according to media reports. Significantly, we never heard of this guy before. The fact that we are only hearing about him now through tabloid gossip stories three years later speaks volumes,” Singer added.
Meanwhile, the masseur known as John Doe No. 1 who filed the first sexual assault lawsuit against Travolta last week was reported on Friday to have admitted that he got the date wrong of his alleged, unwanted encounter with the actor at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Travolta’s lawyers have insisted that the two-time Oscar nominee, who has been married for 20 years to actress Kelly Preston, was in New York City on the day of the alleged incident in California. A restaurant receipt and photos have appeared on celebrity websites to bolster their claims.
Celebrity website RadarOnline.com, quoting unnamed sources close to the case, reported on Friday that the day on which the alleged Beverly Hills assault took place was earlier than the original January 16 date stated in the masseur’s lawsuit.
The lawyer for John Doe No. 1 on Friday, told Reuters in an email that he no longer represented the masseur, and did not return calls seeking further comment. The new attorney for the plaintiff could not be reached.
A second masseur, also unidentified, joined the $2 million lawsuit this week, claiming Travolta had touched his genitals and approached him for sex at an Atlanta hotel on January 28.
Singer has called all the claims absurd, ridiculous and fictional.
Travolta, 58, is one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars after roles in “Saturday Night Fever”, “Grease” and “Pulp Fiction”. He also gained worldwide sympathy when his autistic son Jett, 16, died after a seizure in 2009.
Reporting By Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte