Keeping track of the lawsuits against actor John Travolta is increasingly tricky business. In May, three months after a tell-all book about the actor’s alleged proclivity to hang out in gay spas was released, two masseurs filed lawsuits claiming he had inappropriately touched them in incidents in Beverly Hills and Atlanta. Both men—whose identities were withheld in court documents—dropped their lawsuits later that month.
Now, two more claims have surfaced.
One was from a man who filed an assault-and-battery claim against Travolta in U.S. District Court on June 21 for an incident he alleges occurred on a cruise ship in 2009. Fabian Zanzi, a cruise-ship employee, claims Travolta made unwanted sexual advances toward him and is asking for a jury trial to determine compensation. The next day, Robert Randolph, author of the book You’ll Never Spa in this Town Again, filed a lawsuit against the actor and his lawyer for libel in Los Angeles Superior Court. Randolph claims Travolta and his lawyer, Marty Singer, spread false statements about Randolph’s mental health to discourage public interest in the book, which chronicles his alleged sexual encounters with the actor at a spa.
Through his attorney and his publicist, Travolta has denied all the allegations.
Although Zanzi’s claims against the movie star are not as salacious as the accounts that emerged last month, The Daily Beast found several juicy bits among his lawsuit’s allegations:
1. Zanzi worked on Royal Caribbean’s MS Enchantment of the Seas in June 2009, when he was assigned to be Travolta’s personal attendant during a cruise, according to the lawsuit. As part of his job move, Zanzi says, he was given a pager so he would be accessible to Travolta around the clock.
2. According to the complaint, on June 9, 2009, Travolta ordered room service while the ship was at sea. As the actor’s designated personal attendant, says Zanzi, he tended to his order and delivered the meal to the suite, where he says he found Travolta with two other men. As Zanzi departed, Travolta made an additional food order.
3. Twenty minutes later, when Zanzi returned, Travolta was alone and wearing a bathrobe. After Zanzi served him the meal, Travolta asked him to stay and take a seat. After conversing for a few minutes, Travolta asked Zanzi to move some of the actor’s clothes from one side of the suite to the other, continues the complaint.
4. According to Zanzi’s allegations, while Zanzi was moving the items, Travolta said he had pain in his neck and “pleaded” for Zanzi to touch his neck. Zanzi says he thought Travolta was referring to the label tag of his bathrobe and when he reached for it, Travolta allegedly disrobed and exposed his erect penis to Zanzi.
5. Travolta then “forcefully” embraced Zanzi—that is “Travolta forced his naked person and his erect penis against [Zanzi’s] person” causing [Zanzi] to “experience pain, shock, embarrassment, distress and fear,” the lawsuit states.
6. Travolta told Zanzi he was “beautiful” and asked him to “Take me, I will take care of you, please,” the complaint continues.
The cruise-ship employee alleges he was segregated for five days in a cabin until Travolta departed the ship.
7. According to Zanzi, he pleaded with Travolta to release him, but the actor “continued to restrain” him and “maintained a hard and painful grasp” on Zanzi’s hands while pressing his erect penis against him. Travolta then offered Zanzi $12,000 to keep his secret and advised him to return to the suite later that night to collect the sum, alleges the suit.
8. Zanzi says he immediately reported the incident to three superiors—a director, a human-resources manager, and the staff captain. But he alleges that he was instructed not to include anything regarding Travolta’s nudity or sexual contact in the incident report. The Chilean-born man also alleges that he was not allowed to describe the incident in Spanish, his native language. He further alleges that he was then “segregated” for five days in a cabin until Travolta departed the cruise ship. As a result, Zanzi did receive and is still receiving treatment for “severe emotional distress,” he claims.
Marlow Stern on the two lawsuits filed against John Travolta and the years of stories about the star.