John Travolta sued for sexual assault by cruise line worker
New York: Zanzi is seeking unspecified damages and follows two similar but recently withdrawn sexual battery lawsuits that were filed against John Travolta by masseurs in Beverly Hills and Atlanta.
The 58-year-old actor’s lawyer has called the new lawsuit “ludicrous” and has accused the worker of looking for fame.
The ‘Grease’ star has vehemently denied Zanzi’s legal claims on Monday as his latest movie ‘Savages’, an Oliver Stone thriller co-starring Benicio Del Toro and Blake Lively, was set to premiere in Los Angeles.
“This is another ludicrous lawsuit with inane claims,” the New York Daily News quoted the actor’s lawyer Marty Singer as saying in a statement.
“It is obvious that Mr. Zanzi and his lawyers are looking for their 15 minutes of fame,” he added.
Zanzi, who lives in Chile, had gained headlines last month after he told a Chilean news program that Travolta had accosted him when he delivered a meal to his private cabin aboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship in June, 2009.
According to the federal lawsuit, the worker said that the actor motioned to an area behind his neck, apparently complaining about the label tag of his bathrobe.
And when he reached for the neck area to help, Travolta shed the robe and “forced his naked person and his erect penis” against the unsuspecting ship worker, the lawsuit stated.
“Travolta stated to (Zanzi) that he was beautiful and asked (him) to ‘take me, I will take care of you, please,’” the lawsuit claimed.
Zanzi said that the superstar offered him 12,000 dollar for his “discretion and silence,” and that Zanzi was confined to a room for five days by his superiors when he complained about the incident.
The former ship employee, who stated that he is currently receiving treatment for ongoing and “severe” emotional distress, said that a superior “refused” to allow him to write down any information about the alleged sexual contact in a report.
Singer has seized upon the lack of a written documentation.
“In his handwritten report three years ago, the only physical contact he claimed occurred was allegedly touching my client’s neck,” Singer said.
“The inappropriate conduct he alleges in his lawsuit is absent from his written report he submitted at the time. That glaring omission speaks volumes,” he said.
Singer has questioned that why did Zanzi continue to work for Royal Caribbean for more than year after the alleged mistreatment by his superiors.
“Now, after waiting three years, and after getting paid to tell his story to the media, Mr Zanzi has filed this absurd lawsuit,” Singer added.