Thursday, September 24, 2009

Travolta tells court of failed bid to save son

John Travolta told a court in Nassau, Bahamas, on Wednesday about his desperate efforts to save the life of his autistic son.

Testifying in the trial of two people accused of trying to blackmail him over the boy's death, the film star, 55, said a nanny had alerted him that his son, Jett, 16, had fallen at the family vacation home in the Bahamas on Jan. 2.

"I ran downstairs with my wife to help my son," Travolta said.

He described performing CPR on the teen, who had seizures every five to 10 days. Travolta said he performed artificial respiration and a caretaker handled chest compressions, but the boy died of the seizure.

Travolta described his son's illness as a "seizure disorder," adding "he was autistic."

Security was tight at the courthouse for Travolta, who was accompanied by his wife, Kelly Preston.

Travolta is one of 14 people expected to testify at the trial of paramedic Tarino Lightbourne and former Bahamas senator Pleasant Bridgewater.

The defendants are charged with trying to extort $25 million US from the star by threatening to make public a document he signed turning down an ambulance.

A police officer testified Tuesday that Travolta signed the release because he initially wanted his son taken to the airport instead of a local hospital, but later changed his mind.

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