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Saturday, July 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Former Pilot Sues John Travolta

SANTA BARBARA (CN) - A former employee who claims he had an affair with John Travolta claims in court that the movie star invoked an invalid confidentiality agreement to stop him from talking publicly about their relationship.

Travolta's former pilot, Douglas Gotterba, sued Travolta, his aircraft company Alto, and his firm Constellation Productions in Superior Court.

Gotterba asks the court to invalidate a confidentiality agreement that Gotterba claims Travolta, 58, plucked out of thin air. He says that even if such a contract exists, it was "induced by fraud." (17)

Gotterba was Travolta's pilot from 1981-1987 before he officially stopped working for him in March 1987, according to his 6-page complaint.

"An actual controversy has arisen and now exists between plaintiff and defendants Travolta and Alto regarding the respective rights and duties under the termination agreement. Various news and entertainment publications have recently published articles regarding plaintiff's relationship with Travolta. Plaintiff did not initiate this publicity," the complaint states.

In August, Gotterba, a Californian businessman, told the National Enquirer that he had a sexual relationship with Travolta for six years until, 1986.

Travolta has since threatened to take legal action against Gotterba under the confidentiality agreement, the pilot says in his complaint.

Gotterba claims that no such agreement was ever part of his termination contract.

He claims that Travolta's attorney (nonparty) Marty Singer accused him of violating the terms of that agreement, and of writing a book about the actor.

Whether or not the book is a tell-all is not detailed in the complaint.

Gotterba claims he asked Singer and Travolta this year to show him the confidentiality agreement, but they did not respond.

In August, Singer sent a letter to National Enquirer's publisher (nonparty) American Media, asserting the existence of the confidentiality agreement between Gotterba and Travolta, according to the complaint.

Gotterba says he asked Singer to retract that letter. In response, Singer sent a decades-old letter to Gotterba's attorney attaching a copy of a revised agreement which Singer claimed Gotterba had signed, the complaint states.

"The purported revised version of the agreement is not authentic. Plaintiff did not sign the purported revised version of the agreement and, in particular, did not agree to any 'confidentiality agreement,'" according to the complaint.

Travolta has been sued several times this year by men alleging sexual assault.

In June, a cruise line worker claimed that Travolta had solicited him for sex during a June 2009 voyage. This federal complaint came on the heels of similar claims of male masseurs the month before.

Shortly after a second masseur joined that case, the first plaintiff admitted that he had got the dates of the alleged attack wrong, and attorney Okorie Okorocha dropped him from the complaint.

Famed civil rights attorney Gloria Allred has since signed on to represent both plaintiffs, and was then sued by Okorocha, who claimed she had stolen his remaining client.

Travolta's camp has vehemently denied the allegations against the actor since the first masseur filed suit anonymously in May.

Singer called the latest lawsuit "ridiculous."

"Mr. Gotterba obviously filed this lawsuit to get his 15 minutes of fame. We plan to get this meritless case promptly dismissed," Singer told gossip website TMZ.

Gotterba is represented by Robert Singer, with Sanger Swysen & Dunkle, of Santa Barbara.

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