TODAY'S PAPER
49° Good Afternoon
49° Good Afternoon
EntertainmentCelebrities

Paramedic charged in John Travolta extortion plot

NASSAU, Bahamas - NASSAU, Bahamas -- A Bahamas paramedic was charged Monday inan alleged scheme to extort $25 million from John Travolta afterhis chronically ill son died of a seizure at the family's vacationhome.

Tarino Lightbourne, 47, pleaded not guilty to charges ofattempting to extort and conspiracy to extort from the movie star.

Details of the alleged plot remain fuzzy, but prosecutor BernardTurner said investigators are looking for a "certain document"and police say it involved $25 million. Magistrate Carolita Bethelremanded the suspect to jail after Turner objected to bail.

Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Marvin Dames said theactor's lawyers filed a complaint of attempted extortion afterPleasant Bridgewater, an attorney and then-senator, allegedlyinformed them that Lightbourne claimed he "was in possession of adocument that, if released, would prove damaging to theTravoltas."

Lightbourne was detained after police issued an alert that hewas wanted for attempted extortion and was considered dangerous.

Earlier, several tabloids had quoted Lightbourne describingefforts to revive 16-year-old Jett Travolta after he collapsed Jan.2 on Grand Bahama.

Bridgewater was arrested on Thursday and charged with abetmentto extort and conspiracy to extort, and was released on $40,000bail.

She has vowed to prove her innocence but resigned Saturday fromher seat in the legislature.

Another parliamentarian, Obie Wilchcombe, was detained Friday,questioned and released pending further investigation. He has notbeen charged.

"We don't have anything at this stage of our investigation toimplicate him," Dames said Monday.

Wilchcombe has described himself as a friend of Travolta who waswith the actor shortly after his son died. He said Bridgewater toldhim "someone was doing something untoward" after the boy's death-- a message he said he relayed to the actor's lawyers.

"She (Bridgewater) knew I was close to the Travoltas. Shewanted to bring something to my attention," Wilchcombe told Usmagazine in an interview published Saturday.

He called it "absurd" to suggest he'd sought money from themovie star, saying one "single individual" had tried to takeadvantage of the family.

The actor and his wife, Kelly Preston, returned home to Floridawith the ashes of their son shortly after his death.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More Entertainment