The Five Most Dream-Like Sequences in the John Travolta Sex-Assault Lawsuit (UPDATED)
The Internets are buzzing this afternoon with news that actor John Travolta has been sued by an unnamed masseur for touching his penis.
Travolta has long been the subject of speculation that he's a gay man who is one of several celebrities in the Church of Scientology who the church encourages to "handle" their homosexuality by trying to appear hetero.
And frankly, we really don't care which way things swing for Travolta. If he touches penises all day long, we are not bothered by it in the least. He'd probably be a lot better off if he got far away from Scientology and its notorious homophobia, as we've said in the past.
Today, however, he's in the spotlight as the defendant in a lawsuit that we've read a couple of times now, and you'll no doubt be hearing about its more salacious elements -- like that Travolta supposedly told the masseur that he'd need to get used to the taste of semen if he wanted to make his way in Hollywood.
Yeah, it's perfect tabloid material. But after looking through it, we couldn't shake the feeling that John Doe's lawsuit sure sounds like he dreamed the entire episode. After the jump, check our math.
The lawsuit, asking $2 million in damages, was filed on behalf of the unnamed plaintiff by an attorney named Okorie Okorocha who, according to his own website, calls himself "Dr. DUI."
If that doesn't give you pause, let's go through the key moments of the tale that Okorocha tells in John Doe's complaint...
1. The black dude making hamburgers
The lawsuit states that John Doe is a massage therapist working in the Beverly Hills area, and that he'd received a call from someone claiming to represent a celebrity. He'd get $200.00 an hour to massage the celebrity, but he'd need to be very discreet, yadda, yadda.
The therapist was told where to go to be picked up for the gig, but then, to his surprise, it was Travolta himself who arrived and had him hop into a black Lexus SUV. Doe claims that he saw condoms in the SUV's console as Travolta drove them to a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Now, things start to take on a Fellini-esque flavor as the edges of our camera lens go fuzzy. From the complaint:
The door was unlocked, and there was an overweight black man preparing hamburgers, who meekly said 'hey' Plaintiff and Defendant, and no formal introductions were made. This black man was actually preparing hamburgers, from watching his skill and dexterity in food preparation, it seemed he was some sort of professional chef.
At this point, according to the complaint, Travolta strips naked and apparently expects Doe to go right into a sex act. But Doe claims that he told Travolta to put on a towel and get on the massage table, to Travolta's supposed incredulity.
So Travolta does what he's told. And the masseur starts to go to work on him. While the black dude cooks hamburgers. For an hour.
Already, the dream-like quality of this is thing is bugging me. But it gets better.
2. The chime of the wristwatch
So, for the next hour, the lawsuit claims, Travolta engages in a cute little game of pulling his towel down off his ass while John Doe is giving him his rubdown, chastising him, and pulling his towel back up.
And now comes the next hypnotic segment...
Right before the hour ended, Defendant's chronograph watch started to chime, and the black chef covered the burgers, and other things he was preparing with plates. The black chef then left the room with a stack of papers, and what appears to be some sort of notebook. No words were exchanged.
Yeah, I have no doubt that the "cover the food at the one-hour chime" signal was something most stars work out with their personal chefs.
3. John Doe's John Thomas is suddenly unclothed
But then things really get dream-like. As in, you know how you're dreaming something, and all of a sudden you have no clothes on and you have no idea how you got that way?
Sure, you do. And that's apparently what happened to John Doe, too.
Remember, he was hired to massage Travolta, who had stripped down. But nowhere in the complaint does John Doe ever refer to taking off his own clothes. But suddenly, after the watch chimed, we get this description...
Then Defendant touched Plaintiff's scrotum, and this time Plaintiff told Defendant to please not touch him again.
Defendant apologized, but then snickered to himself like a mischievous child. Defendant then touched the shaft of Plaintiff's penis, and seized on to it. Defendant quickly tried to rub the head of Plaintiff's penis as he tried to pull away.
Suddenly, John Doe is buck naked and John Travolta is pulling on his John Thomas. You would think, in Okorocha's carefully prepared telling of this incident, he would not have forgotten the part where John Doe stripped down and exposed his genitalia in John Travolta's general vicinity. Details.
4. Exclamation points for days
John Doe claimed that he was angry and hurt that Travolta had yanked on his pecker, and that Travolta laughed it off as a misunderstanding. In fact, the lawsuit claims, Travolta then offered to give John Doe a massage, saying, and we quote...
Then Defendant said, "Come on dude, I'll jerk you off!!!'.
Now, those extra exclamations may mean nothing to you, but it says something about Okorocha and his lawsuit. You see, if you're going to sue a celebrity for a couple of million dollars, you're going to go over every character in your complaint multiple times. The goofy way this is typed up suggests to us that Okorochoa was working from something John Doe himself had drafted. Again, it's hard to take very seriously.
5. A fugue state of fun
From here, things just get silly. Rather than simply get out of there after supposedly being "painfully" groped, John Doe says he was "hoping to conclude the session" as Travolta supposedly jerked off his big 8-incher while coming at him.
And now comes the money shot, so to speak, the thing only a wannabe would dream up coming out of a celebrity's mouth...
Defendant began screaming...that Defendant got where he is now due to sexual favors he had performed when he was in his "Welcome Back Kotter" days; and that Hollywood is controlled by homosexual Jewish men who expect favors in return for sexual activity. Defendant went on to say how he had done things in his past that would make most people throw up.
Oh, but it gets even better. Doe says that Travolta told him there was a starlet who knew what was good for her career, and would be open to the two of them double-penetrating her, if he'd only give Travolta what he wanted first.
There's still one cliche left -- that John Doe was being put through all this because Travolta could make him a star...
Defendant told Plaintiff that he had Hollywood looks, but just needed to lose some weight and learn to lick some 'ass', and then Plaintiff would be ready to make millions and be famous.
John Doe then claims that he was paid $800 for the session instead of the $400 he was promised. Well, he has that going for him.
Well, here's the upshot: Travolta is screwed. The gross specifics of this tall tale have already circled the globe a few times by now, and there's really only one thing he can do: pay off Doe and Okorocha to make them go away. And he will.
Maybe then Doe can tell us which porn film he fell asleep to before his feverish imaginings took over his impressionable mind.
UPDATE: Travolta wasn't even in LA on the day John Doe claims this all happened. The great folks over at The Smoking Gun also find the lawsuit completely fanciful, and they say Travolta's camp says the actor was on the east coast that day. They also note that Okorocha took down his Facebook account after a TSG reporter questioned the lawsuit's veracity.
UPDATE: Travolta's attorney, Marty Singer, plans to sue for malicious prosecution. Singer told The Hollywood Reporter that he'll file a motion for summary judgment to have John Doe's lawsuit dismissed, he'll file to have John Doe's real name revealed, and then he's going to sue both Doe and Okorocha for bringing the suit. Hey, this could get interesting. Doe's allegations first turned up in the National Enquirer back in March, and it will also be interesting to see what the tabloid does if Travolta can prove he wasn't in LA on January 16 and this case falls apart.
UPDATE: A SECOND UNNAMED PLAINTIFF has been quickly, and sloppily, added to the lawsuit in an amended complaint.
After Marty Singer threatened to sue Okorocha and his unnamed client, Okorocha fired back by adding a second unnamed plaintiff. This therapist claims that he was hired to rub down Travolta in an Atlanta hotel on January 28.
In this episode, we hear about Travolta wanting his ass massaged and pulling his ass apart while he was being rubbed down. Then, suddenly, he "turned on his stomach" -- one assumes that Okorocha means that Travolta turned onto his back -- and tried to get the therapist to grab his balls. Travolta then jerked himself off as the therapist ran for the hills, or something.
If the first plaintiff's story sounded like a dream (as we said) or fan fiction (as The Smoking Gun suggested) this second one simply lacks anything one could say was actionable. Even if Plaintiff No. 2's allegations were all true, apparently the worst thing Travolta did was expose his "red and chapped" rectum, and then masturbated in his presence.
Two million bucks in emotional trauma? Dream on.
Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at email@example.com, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, a Tumblr, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.
New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories.
As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and was sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.
Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.