John Travolta’s legal team was all at sea as a sailor won the right to take the Grease star to court.
Fabian Zanzi claims Travolta sexually assaulted him on a cruise ship, but the star’s team of lawyers tried to prevent Zanzi from taking his case to court. They claim Travolta’s ticket aboard the cruise ship includes an agreement to settle all disputes between a passenger and the cruise line in arbitration. A federal judge has, however, dismissed that motion.
Kelly Preston and her husband John Travolta at the premiere of 'The Last Song' at the Arclight theatre in Hollywood, California March 25, 2010. Photo: Mario Anzuon. Credit: REUTERS
According to the Daily Mail, Travolta’s lawyer Marty Singer had previously filed documents asking for Zanzi’s claim to be dismissed, and that he be forced to pay for legal fees.
However, the case will now go to trial unless both parties agree on an out-of-court settlement.
Zanzi made his claims in May last year, accusing Travolta of sexual assaulting him while he worked as a room service operator for Royal Caribbean International in 2009. Travolta admits to having been on the cruise, but denies that he assaulted Zanzi.
Zanzi claims that after he made a delivery to the star’s room, Travolta asked for a neck massage. When Zanzi went over to him to comply, he claims Travolta dropped his robe and exposed his erect penis.
The Chilean-born Zanzi claims he rebuffed Travolta’’s advances, and the actor offered him $12 000 to keep quiet about the incident.
Zanzi further claims that he left out a lot of details in his complaint to Royal Caribbean International management because they wouldn’t allow him to include references to nudity or sexual conduct. The details of his original complaint are a bone of contention for Travolta’s legal team.
“This is another ludicrous lawsuit with inane claims. It is obvious that Mr Zanzi and his lawyers are looking for their 15 minutes of fame,” said Singer in a strongly-worded statement.
“The lawsuit’s ridiculous claims are completely contradicted by what Mr. Zanzi told his employer back in 2009 when he was being disciplined for his own violations of company policy.
“In his handwritten report three years ago, the only physical contact he claimed occurred was allegedly touching my client’s neck.
“The inappropriate conduct he alleges in his lawsuit is absent from his written report he submitted at the time. That glaring omission speaks volumes.
“Also calling his credibility into question is his dubious allegation that his employer supposedly restrained him in a room on the cruise ship for five days, yet after that supposedly occurred, Mr Zanzi continued to work for Royal Caribbean for years, on multiple ships.
“Now, after waiting three years, and after getting paid to tell his story to the media, Mr Zanzi has filed this absurd lawsuit.
“We are confident that my client will prevail on the merits and that he will be completely vindicated in court.” - IOL
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