September 23rd, 2009
04:25 PM ET

Travolta's heartbreaking testimony

John Travolta is being forced to reveal personal details about the day his son died—and admitting for the first time that Jett suffered from autism.

Tarino Lightbourne and former Bahamian Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater are accused of trying to extort $25 million from Travolta.  It is alleged that the two conspired to extort money in return for not making documents pertaining to Jett’s treatment public.

John and his wife Kelly Preston walked into the Bahamian courtroom together before Travolta took the stand for the prosecution.

PEOPLE Magazine reports John testified that he and Kelly woke to banging on their door and then ran to their son’s side where they found people already trying to help him. "I took the place of the woman who was doing CPR.” John said according to PEOPLE. "Jeff, the other nanny, was doing some compressions. I was doing the breathing."

It was during his testimony that he revealed for the first time that Jett suffered from autism- something that he and Kelly had long denied. According to PEOPLE John said, "My son was autistic and he suffered from seizure disorder every 5 to 10 days, he would suffer a seizure that would last 45 seconds to a minute and sleep for 12 hours."


soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Janice Swope

    God Bless you and your family.

    September 24, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Robin

    First and foremost, my heartfelt prayers and sympathies to the Travolta family. In regards to why Jett wasn't on medication for his seizures, the Travolta family has stated that Jett was on medications for his seizures and that the medication was not helping him and it had horrible side effects. They chose not to put their son through the side effects of medications that were ineffective. This is something that I personally understand. I, myself, do not respond to many medications like other individuals. There are those of us out in the world for whom the known meds simply are ineffective. I chose to stop some of my medications because of the side effects. If the drug had worked, I certainly would have tolerated the side effects, but when it doesn't, why bother? SO, please leave the Travolta family alone when judging them. I have no doubt that they did the best they could for their son, they loved him a life time's worth in his short 16 years.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, John, Kelly and Ella

    September 24, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. johanna

    Last time I looked, this was America....Mind your own business, people. People that live in glass houses.....get it? These poor people just lost a child. My mother lost a son when I was 5 and I lost my mother. It kills a part of a parent when they bury their child. Get a life and quit worrying about theirs. Pray.for them.

    September 24, 2009 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Catherine

    The death of Jett Travolta is a tragedy and my heart goes out to his parents. They are in my prayers.
    The whole atmosphere of John Travolta "admitting" that his son was autistic bothers me greatly. He owes no one an explanation or his son's condition. Because he is a celebrity, people think they have a right to know all about someone's life. That is a very wrong concept.. Everybody has the right to privacy. Anyone with a child with problems should have the right to live without having to continually explain to the public their child's problems. Give them the privacy that anyone would demand in their own life. A loving mother and father lost a beloved child. Let it be at that and not glorify in the details.

    September 24, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. patricia moore

    Why was it anyone's business but the Travoltas that their son had autism? Why should they have had occasion to deny that he had it? It's one thing to say that Travolta and Preston have given up some rights to privacy because of their profession. That does NOT give the public the right to details about their children and their children's lives. It is absolutely revolting to me that someone would take details about a child's health and attempt to use it to blackmail their parents, who were simply attempting to maintain the same privacy for their son that we as citizens live in expectation of for our own. Not every person with every health condition has to be a poster child. Bless those who are willing to take on that burden, but leave the rest alone.

    September 24, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. c

    i personally feel scientology had a hand in jetts care= they dont recognize autsim, definately dont encourage the medicine needed for him...but on the flip side, john and kelly didnt deserve anything( jetts death let alone being blackmailed/extortion) scientologists or not....

    September 24, 2009 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. tracey k in ohio

    God bless the Travoltas in this very difficult time in their lives. My son is ADHD w/borderline autism, but without seizures – thank sweet God. My heart just breaks for these guys losing their precious boy. May their faith hold them tight. And to those asses who tried to get money outta grief – put their sorry asses in jail.

    September 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nicole

    While I don’t understand why John Travolta and Kelly Preston opted to keep Jett’s condition a secret, it’s horrible that they finally had to admit it under such tragic circumstances. But whatever their reasons were, it is not anyone's place to point fingers or judge. Jett was their child, and ultimately, the only one they had a responsibility to.

    Why anyone would attempt to extort money from a family grieving over the death of a beloved child is simply beyond me. I also have a son with Autism – ironically named Jet as well – who is just a few months older than their son and I can’t imagine the pain this family must be living with right now. Perhaps not having to carry this secret any longer will help the family heal and come to terms with their loss. My heart goes out to them and I hope justice for the family is finally served.

    September 24, 2009 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  9. Christa

    After reading all of these posts, I completely understand why this family chose to not reveal to the public about Jett's autism. It is because most people on here have managed to nit pick everything they have done, from not telling, to them not getting proper treatment, to their religion. They wanted to be able to live their lives as normal as possible and give their son the best life they could have without people watching everything they did and critiquing them along the way and telling them how to raise their child. No one likes for people to tell them how to raise their child!!! Shame on all of you on here that have taken strikes at this family during this time. If you have an autistic child and choose to publicize it, great I'm so glad for you, but don't get upset at others (no matter how much pull you think they would have) for making the choice not to. It is their choice and they do not have to reveal anything, nor do they owe it to anyone!

    To the Travolta Family, my heart truely goes out to you in all of your times of pain! Find peace, love, and comfort in each other!

    September 24, 2009 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  10. ShedTheLight

    Many questions were never asked of the Travoltas and I want to know why.

    Why did they have untrained poeple watching Jett with no medical backgrounds?

    They are SO weathly. Why didn't they have the best of care with round the clock TRAINED medical help? What were they hiding?

    Why throw a party for 60 people in the Bahamas if your son is suffereing grand mal seizures?

    Why does the log for Travolta's plane show him or someone flying back and forth to Florida the day of Jett's death, and the night before?

    Why did they put their son on the dangerous Scientology Purification Rundown instead of trying another anti seizure medication?

    How were they able to put Jett on this rundown? Suanas, mega doses of vitamins and swallowing oil for days. How was this achieved by an autisic child?
    Why was the autopsy SO rushed?

    Why havnt' the Travoltas been questioned and investigated? Any other non famous couple would have been fully investigated.

    Just because someone has the right to believe in what they want, does not make it legal when it comes to a death of a child.

    September 24, 2009 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. Pete

    The death of Jett Travolta is indeed tragic, but still more tragic is that it could probably have been avoided had Jett been given adequate treatment. The Scientologists do claim that all mental disorders (like autism) are the result of evil spirits, and that psychiatry is evil. Thus they took him OFF conventional medical treatment for his seizures, and gave him the Scientologists "Purification rundown" in stead. It consisting of a week of fasting, saunas and hyperdoses of vitamins. It is totally worthless as a cure, and putting an autistic child through it is fairly close to torture. I can't say his parents killed him, but they certainly did not help him!

    September 24, 2009 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. Debra R

    please allow the Travolta family to grieve in peace...this is not any of our business it is pure tabloid reporting

    September 24, 2009 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jeri

    I think the man's son died and should be left alone. It is noone else's business what his son had or did not have in the way of health problems. I've buried two of my own children (due to stillbirth) and it is extraordinarily unnatural to attend your child's funeral and it's like walking in marshmallow filled quicksand on a daily basis. I commend them for even being able to pick up their heads in the mornings. Until you've been in a situation like that, don't judge..

    September 24, 2009 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Susan

    My heart goes out to the family but I do feel that they should have gone public with his autism. Claiming they wanted to be private is ridiculous. They openly claimed it was Kawasaki Syndrome and started education about the disease that he did not have! This is all so very sad. Jett should have been on medication for the seizures.

    September 23, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cherie

    That took a lot of guts to admit that you were lying to everyone all of these years, especially your fans who love you so much. But when it comes to your children you will do anything to protect them and to seek justice in their death.

    Everyone can say what John and his wife should have done but the bottom line is only they knew their child and his particular needs and emotions, they made the best decision for HIM as possible.

    The family is in my prayers. May they finally have some closure and begin the healling process.

    September 23, 2009 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Annie

    I am the proud mom of twins boys aged 6. Both are diagnosed as Autistic. I have no problem saying this to anyone since I believe this is a way to raise awareness about a condition that affects 1 in every 80 boys, but... this has been my decision. My husband, for example, does not feel the same way and he does share this information with a lot of people.

    I don't believe the Travoltas meant any wrong in denying that their child was autistic, specially to their own son. Even though I believe that their participation would have helped raise awareness, they are in no way obligated to do so.

    My heart and prayers go to their family and to Jett's precious soul.

    September 23, 2009 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Elise Turner

    Haven't John and Kelly suffered enough. Please leave them alone and allow them to heal.

    September 23, 2009 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Sandy

    I am so sorry they have to go through this, what a shame that they have had to deny that their child had the diagnoses, I am sure the press would have never left them alone if they would have know, he kept it a secret for a reason. My thoughts and prayers go out to them .

    September 23, 2009 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Kelly

    Shame on anyone who judges them. I sincerely hope that having to speak publicly about this proves to be an important step in their grief management process.

    September 23, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Wally Boyce

    My sincere sympathy to the Travolta family . John has givin us great entertainment for years from Vinnie Barbarino through today . One of my favorites though many didn't understand ( I cheated , I read the book) was the character Terl in Battlefield Earth.

    However , the extortionists I believe we should be kind to and only give them each a year for each $100 they tried to extort from the grieving family.

    September 23, 2009 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Elizabeth

    To all who have responded to my earlier post, whether negatively or positively, please understand one thing: I do not in any way place BLAME on Mr. and Mrs. Travolta nor do I mean to heap ridicule on them for not disclosing earlier their son's disorder. My comment was only to state that I wish they had felt that they COULD be more open about what autism meant to their son and to their family. I certainly understand their wish, even their need to shield their child and protect him. No one can put blame on them for that. My wish, and it is just that – a wish – is that because of their high public profile they could have felt safe in being open about their son's disorder so that other families struggling with the stigma that so wrongly accompanies autism could have felt that they had a "champion" who spoke for them. I feel nothing but deep sympathy for the tremendous loss they have suffered and I am sure everyone who has posted a comment here feels the same.

    September 23, 2009 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  22. LMD

    Rest In Peace Jett and Find the peace you deserve John and Kelli.

    September 23, 2009 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Mark

    update: sources on other websites saying that Lisa Marie Presley and singer Beck's brother Channing Hansen may also have left the crazy $cientology cult.

    September 23, 2009 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Mark

    Jett Travolta's meds, especially Depakote, had been halted because of the Travoltas' kooky $cientology cult. I've been told that John is out of the cult and Kelly might be still a member. She was hawking a "purification rundown" program (a sort of detox of the deadly chemical niacin) on Montel a while back, saying it did wonders for Jett. hmm...

    September 23, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Sebastien

    The Cult of Scientology (yes I can say cult as it's classified as a cult in Belgium) doesn't recognize autism. It's a tragedy that a cult can influence their members to refuse medical help when it's needed. Scientology killed Jett

    September 23, 2009 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  26. b.a.n.

    Elizabeth: It was not the Travolta's responsibility to step "to the forefront with other parents who are trying to raise awareness for this disorder." It was their responsibility to be loving and supportive parents to both of their children, along with the added job of sheltering their son from something most other parents of autistic children have to deal with, nosy paparazzi.

    September 23, 2009 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  27. David J Mudkips

    Autism?

    Funny that, because for years, John and Kelly werte claiming Jett suffered from Kawasaki Syndrome, a condition caused by exposure to carpet-cleaning chemicals.

    This is despite John's brother, an Autism Awareness Activist, who was on record encouraging them to just be honest.

    But, of course, they couldn't. Scientology doesn't believe in Autism. If Scientology, a child born with a birth defect is a Degraded Being, and their condition is caused by the unresolved past-life actions of the parents. But John and Kelly are big-shot Operating Thetans! How could they have a child with a birth defect? Hence the coverup.

    Oh, yeah, and they tried to cure Jett using Scientology's medically-unproven Purification Rundown, rather than medicating the seizure symptoms and having Jett treated by a properly-trained paediatric physiotherapist

    September 23, 2009 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  28. JacklynD

    Given the public scrutiny they are under as celebrities I don't blame them for keeping it private. it is none of our business. It's still none of our business.

    I hope the creeps who tried to blackmail them get punished appropriately.

    September 23, 2009 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Annette

    Why hide the truth? So WHAT if Jett was Autistic? It is such an accepted diagnosis today.. I think Scientology has a horrific hold on John as well...

    He needs OUT....get out of it John... now.. while you are in the spotlight.. nothing will happen to you and yours as long as you are visible!

    September 23, 2009 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  30. yvette

    I've been a fan of John Tavoltas since welcome back kotter, the no explaination why things happen I'm not a religious person but I do believe that he has plans for all of us. he needed Jett for something, to be by his side, maybe for help and guidence for his family. who knows, but he is in a better place, and it wasn't anybody's business if he suffered from autism or not. That private family business. keep the faith and MUCH LOVE!

    September 23, 2009 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Ellen J

    Tragic loss.........I wonder Jett would have been a candidate for VNS (vagus nerve stimulator) Thereapy and if it may not have saved his life. I also wonder how the church of scientology views such therapies. It sure is better than adding more medications, as the meds for seizures have such significant side affects.

    September 23, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Erin

    The Travolta's should not have to tell anyone ANYTHING about their private lives. I wouldn't doubt that the reason why they never came forward with their son's illness is because they didn't want the press involved! And I doubt that they would have wanted their son to be the "poster child" for autism. My heart and sympathy goes out to his family. All the people who are saying they should have told the public, shame on you. It is not any of our business! The only reason why he has had to reveal any information about his son is because he was forced to. I can't imagine what his family is dealing with, but chastising him for keeping his son out of the public eye isn't exactly appropriate.

    September 23, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Lynne

    John and Kelly Travolta highly valued their privacy even before the tragic death of their only son occured. They wanted to raise their
    children AWAY from Hollywood. John Travolta's first love was his family...not his career. I applaud him for that.
    To think that emergency medical personnel would try to extort money from them is just unreal. No matter what illness Jett suffered from...it is painfully obvious that John and Kelly will have a hole in their hearts forever due to this loss. How can one ever recover from the loss of a child ?? I couldn't.

    September 23, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Roberta

    Once a label is put on a child it sticks and is often not in the best interest of the child. Let the travoltas have a personal life...it is none of our business. My prayers go out to them

    September 23, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  35. restless

    My heart breaks for the Travolta family..having lost a son myself, there are no words of comfort that will ease the pain and emptiness that follows. Jett, although I surely did not know him, was an innocent angel. I am just sorry that Scientology puts such limitations on the medical field and all that medicine can do for all of us. Their private life is theirs alone, but Jett was his own person and I wonder why scientologist hide so much....God created all of us...we are imperfect people who have so much to learn in this world. I know the only comfort I find now, is knowing through my faith I will see my son again. Iwish that for the Travolta family

    September 23, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Stephanie

    I think your medical charts and those of your children are your business and your business only. Sure it would have have been nice for other people to benefit from their misfortune, but it is nobody's responsibility to use their child's medical chart to educate the masses.

    September 23, 2009 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Glenda

    I have great respect for the Travolta's. My heart goes out to them, I couldn't bear the thought of losing a child. Their celebrity by no means require's them to share personal matters such as their childrens health or issues, nor does it require them to subject their children to public scrutiny or parade them around for a cause. I applaud them for scarificing their privacy to see justice done in this case.

    September 23, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Linda S.

    It's very tragic that John and Kelly lost their son. Austism should not be looked upon as a stigma. Shame on the EMT who attempted to extort the family. EMTs and Paramedics are there to help people in need when they are most vulunerable. Patients should not be taken advantage of by pre-hospital professionals. We are entrusted to not only take care of the patient, but also that of their belongings enroute to the hospital, whether that means to lock up purses and wallets or secure their homes and making arrangements for their pets with relatives, neighbors, friends or police/animal control, etc. before leaving to the hospital. As an EMT, I feel bad that this joker in the Bahamas pulled such a heinous act. It makes all pre-hospital personnel look bad. My prayers to the Travolta family.

    September 23, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Amy

    Why should they have to go public with something about their private life? Yes they are public figures but why do we need to know every detail of their private lives. I commend them for keeping their son's condition private for so long. Punsish the blackmailers not the parents for protecting their son

    September 23, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  40. thomas

    ya know people who care what other think are betraying themselves and there family....i don't know the whole story....and we never will....john and kelly love jett...jett loves them....thats all that matters...not god...not jesus...not media..not you not me...THEM!!!! kids die of autism and seizures everyday.....my best friend growing up Andrew.....we were playing toss with a football in three feet of water in a lake in our home town......he look as if he tried to throw the football at me as hard as he could....but instead without me realizing he was suffering from a seizure....he died that day as i pulled him from the water and gave him CPR...i knew he was dead...and not coming back...but i keep at it till the medic showed up....30min later....it was the longest 30min of my life and the worst.......i miss him so much!!! and he was only my friend....i know if my son ever died......i would die.....im so sorry john and kelly.....just remember that he is always listening to what you say.....even though you can't hear him...he is talking back :) peace and love to your family.....be strong.....live better everyday...for him :)

    September 23, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Kris

    The Travolta family had every right to keep this a very private thing. While they have a public persona they should not have to reveal everything about their lives, especially when there is a real concern that it could cause more harm to someone they love. I am sure, like all parents that deal with 'special' children they wanted him to have as normal a childhood as possible. I commend them for this and my heart goes out to them, as this trial cannot be anything more than a painful reminder of the precious son they have lost.

    September 23, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Shannon

    Tina, why are they obligated to be the ambassadors of anything. They are actors, who have a right to their private lives. Do you need an actor "ambassador" to tell you right from wrong, or bring awareness to an issue. Will you only give to a cause if someone famous tells you to. Your judgement toward a family who is going through the tragedy of losing a son is astounding in it's pettyness.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Rose from Muscoy, Calif

    John Travolta must of been hurting inside for along time knowing this condition that his son had. Being in deniel don't make you a bad parent just a over protected one.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  44. vbabe

    An Autistic Child is NOTHING to be ashamed of whether you're in the public eye or not! Most likely Scientology played a part in Jett's death considering autism isn't "reconized" by scientologist. Jett's death may have actually been prevented.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Bailey

    It must of been a trying time. My soon to be brother-in-law suffers from Autism and a seizure disorder. He has to take medicine every morning to prevent them. He has a mental capacity of a 2 year old, being around him makes my heart smile. I am understanding this is how Jett was to his father...and just being around these kids will leave you appreciating life more each day. God bless!

    September 23, 2009 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  46. V

    I agree with Annie F. The Travoltas only obligation was to raise and love their children. Celebrities are abused by the media as it is, they did not need the world monitoring how they handled such challenging disorders. My son has autistic tendencies, significant behavioral issues and a seizure disorder. There isn't just one approach to helping these children. Each child is different and each combination of disorders is different. Then, every time you feel like you've got a handle on their development, they grow & change and your back to modifying your approach in the hopes that it will work. Its exhausting and heartbreaking at times. The Travoltas focused their energies on their children. They did not need to carry the rest of the world too (or the opinions of the rest of the world).. By all accounts, both of their kids were happy and loved. Their parents did an excellent job!!

    September 23, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Bonnie Morningstar

    Everyone deserves some privacy. Just because they are actors doesn't mean we the public have a right to know anything about their family. I remember reading that John was one to stay up nights. He would go out to eat in the middle of the night and sometimes Jett went too. I can't even imagine what a hole this has left in their family as well as in their souls. They are in my thoughts and prayers.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  48. debi

    Everyone has the right to privacy regarding health issues. I understand as parents desire of awareness of Autissm and how John Travolta could increase that awareness...But a what cost? Jett also has the right to privacy,,,And I commend the Travoltas decision to exercise Jetts privacy rights, this should not be considered a religious issue..But one of LOVE for your child.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Tami

    I pray that God gives the Travolta family peace, so they can heal and move forward. Yes, they're famous, but they' are in no way different than anyone who loses a child. They've lost their son and are definitely experiencing the most difficult time one can ever imagine. Can you imagine how much they're hurting? They also have to focus on raising Ella Bleu who lost her brother. The last thing this poor family needs is more stress and criticism. There are a lot of celebrities who are willing to speak out about autism...let them be a voice. The Travolta family chose to keep their family protected and out of the spotlight, and we must respect that. No doubt they're awesome, loving parents. I pray they can hold together strong and move forward, one step at a time..

    September 23, 2009 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  50. ck

    What a tragic situation for the Travolta family, no one deserves to go thru that. The thing is, they didn't just not reveal his autism. They claimed he had another rare disease, caused by chemicals in their carpet from having their carpets cleaned so often when he was a baby. I'm not making that up, Kelly Preston told Oprah that on her show years ago. So it's not like they kept there son's illness private, they just flat out lied about it & blamed it on something else. And why do all this? Because they're Scientologists & that cult says there is no such thing as autism. Who knows what kind of treatment they didn't seek for their son because their psuedo-religion/cult told them not to. That is what makes this all the more tragic.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  51. lbw

    That the Travolta's son had this condition was pretty much a secret that everyone knew. I doubt confirming or denying it would have made any difference in the outcome. The people who wanted to take advantage of the way they tried to protect their son's privacy are criminals. That said, they if they can help someone else by speaking out now, there could be some good come of their loss.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Neli

    I totally agree with a viewer. Like she say's, some people are borderline and the family wanted this a private matter. Sometimes it is too hard for families who have a family member that has certain medical disorders made public. The media seems to hound on these things and it's really sad they do. I can understand why the Travolta family kept this a secret. I have epilepsy and as a kid, I and did not notify all of my classmates of this disorder because of people who talk. It's very understandable to respect ones medical privacy and conditions. Also, taken in consideration people with autism and seizure related conditions harms no others.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Mary

    So sad that that they had to reveal something private due to someone's greed. I understand how some may feel they should have made it public all along but a child's illness is a private family matter and it was thier choice to keep it that way. Now on top of losing thier child they have to go to court and reveal personal matters.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Shannon

    did they hide it or just figure it was none of our business. There is a difference. They seemed like good, loving parents, but I'm sure the self righteous will be out in droves to judge.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Marina

    My heart goes out to the Travoltas and all who have lost a child. I lost my only daughter, Karen, in March 2008. They say time heals all, but time only lessens the body's reaction to the loss and will never heal the broken heart. I wake each day comforted by the knowledge that as each day passes I am one day closer to seeing my Karen again...

    September 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  56. SanginSista

    They did what they thought was best. I applaud their courage and pray they're strength in the Lord.

    I just hope this doesn't put a strain on their marriage to such a degree that they aren't able to keep it intact.

    The death of a child has been known to make even the strongest of marriages crumble. God forbid!

    September 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Mickey

    I agree with Jennifer. The Travolta's are public people. Announcing there son had autism would have surely brought a very private matter into the public eye. My daughter is autistic. I would not want the world watching her every move, every meltdown, odd behaviour and all the setbacks she has faced.
    I remember an interview Mr. Travolta gave when Jett was 2 or 3. The reporter commented on the child being unruly, climbing on the table and not being able to be controlled.
    Fourteen years later I found myself with a child similiar to Jett. And I finally understood.
    No matter how many articles are written or tv special produced, Autism is a very private personal matter.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  58. John

    I know two mothers that has a child with serious mental disorder, whom are in denial, hoping it will go away. My heart goes out to the Travoltas.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  59. TR

    to Elizabeth..........you are an imbecile, to suggest that their choice to keep private their sons condition gave way to illegal activity is about as assinine as one can get.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  60. mama

    No one should have to reveal personal information regarding their health let alone that of their child. The Travolta's may not have wanted to admit their son's diagnosis but from all reports these two parents did all they could to care for Jett. Such a shame that in light of this tragic situation people feel obligated to treat as if because they are public personalities they somehow brought this on themselves or should have anticipated it. Hog wash! These two have endured the same heart ache that accompanies any loss of a child. I only wish I could offer them both a healing hug filled with love and respect. My heart goes out to them both!

    September 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  61. John Skilka

    John Travolta is a family icon at our home. Looking back and thinking about the good and great movies he's made helps me understand Mr. Travolta's magnitude as an actor and his diversity as a actor. There are so many of his movies that come to mind when I think about him.

    Being a father and grandfather, I can only begin to understand the level of pain and personal grief he's feeling during this trying time. We simply want to add our best wishes to the Travolta family and tell them our prayers are added to the thousands of other people's prayers. We sincerely hope they recover and something positive will result from their son's tragic death. Thanks to both of you for your years of entertainment & our thoughts are with you. Best wishes!

    September 23, 2009 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Ana Santana

    I agree they had no obligation to share private details of their son's medical circumstances with anyone. It is something that we as people out of the public eye take for granted.

    It is obvious this is a family that loves their members well. I was saddened to learn of their son's death and feel for this family famous or not. I wish them peace,comfort and acceptance. Losing a child is the most devastating thing that can happen to a parent-famous or not.

    How awful is it that on top of the pain of this loss they also had to deal with those hoping to gain financially from their pain.

    What a world.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Asad

    My sympathies are with John Travolta and his entire family. May John and his family find comfort and may Jett rest in peace.

    I cannot understand the mental state of those two despicable people who tried to extort money out of one person's terrible ordeal. They (Tarino and former Bahamian Sen. Bridgewater) should be charged and thrown into jail !

    September 23, 2009 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Ann

    John Travolta was under NO obligation to tell the public anything about his children or any disorders they suffered from.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Tina

    Like Elizabeth, I wish they'd come forward sooner with fact that Jett had autism. Why did they deny it? It's nothing to be ashamed of, and as Elizabeth suggested, they could have been ambassadors for its early diagnosis and treatment. I suspect their involvement in Scientology caused them to disguise his illness; like depression, it's probably not 'recognized' as a legitimate ailment.

    Parents such as John Schneider and Holly Robinson Peete have done much to advance the cause of autism, regularly appearing on Larry King, giving interviews, addressing conferences, and badgering politicians. Travolta could have thrown his weight behind their efforts as well. He is respected, he has a voice. Such a shame that Jett's illness instead had to become fodder for some unethical Bahamian morons, and now sundry tabloid fodder. He deserved better.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  66. :)

    John Travolta accidentally his son. I blame scientLOLogy for it.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  67. theobc

    elizabeth – how can you blame the travolta's for this? it is their private business as to what they reveal to the public and whether or not their son was austic was NO ONES business but that family's. they had the right to decide that. unscrupulous people tried to extort money from them and you can bet the farm that those same people would have tried blackmailing travolta or anybody else that they thought they could get money from. just because the travolta's chose not reveal their son's autism does not make it okay for those people to do what they did.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Anita

    It is within "everyones" right including the Travolta family to keeping thier illnesses and health issues private. We all have our different ways in processing and dealing with these matters. In this case they didn't feel the need to share with the entire world and that is their choice and should be respected. Let's not lose sight of what this case is about "extortion" which is why the Travolta family is in court. I don't believe the Travolta family was trying to HIDE their son's illness but simply dealing with it in their own way. I praise the parents that are trying to raise awareness for this disorder but this is no reason to say they were hiding the disorder let alone reason for blackmail. My heart also goes out to the Travolta family and I'm proud of them for doing what they believe is right for them and no one else.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Lisa

    I am a mother of a child with autism. I agree with Elizabeth. My heart certainly goes out to John and Kelly but it really just stresses the importance of speaking out and putting a face on something that is so unjustly stigmatized. Their admitting this certainly would not have prevented this tragedy but could have open doors of opportunity to families suffering through the Autism diagnosis and possibly even open supportive doors for themselves instead of isolating themselves from the autism community – especially since at the time of Jetts birth autism was not nearly as visible.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Dontrell

    My Heart goes out to the Travolta family, as well as my prayers.
    It was a shame that they kept Jett's autism a secret however, as if it was something to be ashamed of, embarassed about. It's not, and it helps to have famous people campaign for more awareness/

    But as with his Scientologist Brother Tom Cruise, and prescriptions like prozac, it's part of the Scientology Culture to think like that. Sad. But true.

    September 23, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  71. annie f.

    the Travoltas were not obligated to reveal anything to anyone. Even though they are public personalities, they don't owe any private details to the rest of us. I wish them Godspeed in their healing.

    September 23, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Jennifer

    Elizabeth- everyone handles pain differently. Yes, the rate of autism is alarming, however, it is not anyone's place to judge the way they handled their son having autism. Perhaps they felt him having the disorder was difficult enough, and did not want him used as the poster boy for autism? Most celebrities want to protect their children's privacy, autistic or not. He handled it the best way he could, and the way that they felt they could. Whether or not he was accepting of the fact that his son had autism, we will never know. Not everyone can come to terms with it quickly. That does not mean that he didn't love his son, because I think he very much did and was doing what he thought was right, and that is all that matters.

    September 23, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Mona19595

    Jett suffered from both autism and a seizure disorder. They are lucky to have had him in their lives for so long. I commend the Travolta's for the way they have handled his death and the whole ugly extortion plot. Those people once found guilty should receive the death penalty for what they have put this family through. This proves that money can't buy you everything. I would bet John and Kelly would trade all their money and fame to have their son back!!!

    September 23, 2009 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Rich

    I understand why they kept it a secret. It is possible that Jett was borderline austisic. His parents, like many others, are always hoping for a break through. It does happen. They gave him every chance to be normal, whats wrong with that ?

    September 23, 2009 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Diana

    My heart goes out to the Travolta family, I have a son that is 14 and he has autism and has had a few seizures. I know the stigmatism that goes along with the label of autism. I will keep them in my prayers. I pray that this helps other people deal with this disorder and seek treatment early.

    September 23, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Elizabeth

    My heart goes out to the Travolta family. Had they not hidden their son's disorder, however, there would have been nothing anyone could try to use for purposes of blackmail. Had they gone public years ago perhaps many people would have realized that the stigma assigned to autistic people is unjust. The disorder is so misunderstood. I wish they had not remained silent all these years but had, instead, stepped to the forefront with other parents who are trying to raise awareness for this disorder.

    September 23, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |

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