Jurors See Hidden-Camera Tape at Travolta Trial
John Travolta and Kelly Preston
Jurors on the John Travolta extortion trial watched hidden-camera footage that shows former Bahamas senator Pleasant Bridgewater attempting to blackmail the actor, The Associated Press reports.
The tape shows Bridgewater telling Travolta's lawyer, Michael McDermott, that a paramedic who treated the actor's son wants at least $20 million not to release a document to the media.
John Travolta: Paramedic intended to blame me for Jett's death
Prosecutors say Tarino Lightbourne, the paramedic who responded to the emergency call after Travolta's 16-year-old son, Jett, suffered a seizure, threatened to release a document signed by Travolta that requested Jett be taken directly to the airport. Travolta testified last week that he signed the consent form because he wanted to have his son treated in Florida. He was taken to the local hospital, however, and died later that day.
Authorities set up hidden cameras in a hotel room to capture Bridgewater's meeting with Travolta's lawyer. Bridgewater had Lightbourne on the phone to discuss payment, and Lightbourne refused the first offer of $250,000, saying "My mortgage is more than that."
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Prosecutors say both Lightbourne and Bridgewater, who pleaded not guilty to the extortion charges, agreed to accept $10 million over a four-year period before they were arrested.