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John Travolta drops extortion plot case

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A judge in the Bahamas has granted John Travolta's request to drop charges against two people who allegedly tried to extort US$25 million from the actor.

Paramedic Tarino Lightbourne and his attorney Pleasant Bridgewater were accused of trying to extort the Travoltas by threatening to release private information about their son Jett's death in January of last year.

Former Bahamian Senator Bridgewater and her client, Lightbourn, allegedly threatened to go to the media if Travolta refused to pay $25 million for a "Refusal to Transport" document he had signed when Jett suffered a fatal seizure.

According to People.com, Bridgewater and Lightbourne reportedly hatched the extortion plot believing the actor would be embarrassed by his decision to sign the document.

Travolta, an avid pilot, had wanted to drive to an airstrip for an emergency flight to Florida, TMZ.com reported.

It was also alleged that Lightbourne threatened to sell stories suggesting Travolta was at fault over Jett's death.

Both Bridgewater and Lightbourne denied the original charges.

The pair went on trial last October, but the judge declared a mistrial after a jury member reportedly leaked the verdict to politicians. Despite the mistrial, the Travoltas originally vowed to fight on, and new court proceedings were scheduled to begin this week.

But the Travoltas have had their fill and the actor, who testified during the original trial, released a statement today saying he'd requested a judge drop the charges entirely. Case dismissed.

"I am grateful and appreciative of the dedication, hard work and support provided by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Royal Bahamas Police Force while handling matters associated with the attempted extortion that targeted my family in January of 2009," Travolta told TMZ in a statement.

"Throughout the investigation and prosecution, my staff and I remained fully supportive of all requests for assistance from law enforcement representatives even though this cooperation was at a great emotional cost to my family," he said.

"Unfortunately, in early October of last year the first trial of this matter resulted in a mistrial. Almost a year later, the long pending status of this matter continued to take a heavy emotional toll on my family causing us to conclude that it was finally time to put this matter behind us," Travolta explained.

"Therefore, after much reflection I concluded that it was in my family's best interest for me not to voluntarily return to The Bahamas to testify a second time at trial. We are thankful to the people of The Bahamas for the friendship, love and support they provided to us during this matter."

Legal woes behind them, the Travolta clan can now prepare to welcome a new addition to the family - Kelly Preston is due to give birth to a baby boy in November.

Announcing Preston's pregnancy earlier in the year, the couple said: "It's impossible to keep a secret - especially one as wonderful as this.

"We want to be the first to share this great news with everyone that we are expecting a new addition to our family.

"We tried for several years, and we didn't think it was going to happen for us. This is a miracle, and we feel blessed."

Good luck to them! Time to put that sorry mess behind them and move on. As my grandmother would say: "If you look back at the past for too long, you'll get a stiff neck."

Onwards and upwards...

Poker Face

Larry King and Ryan Seacrest slaughter Lady Gaga's Poker Face during a radio stint:

Carnage.

You wonderful man...

Uh-oh, when Jessica Simpson starts crowing and cooing about her love life, you can't help but wonder if trouble is just around the corner.

Regardless, a loved-up Simpson booms that she's never been happier and feels lucky to have bagged her new fella, NFL star Eric Johnson.

Simpson tweeted yesterday, "I met a wonderful man. Damn I'm lucky!"

She quickly followed that tweet up with a pic of the pair together. Awwwwwwww.

Just last month the actress said she is "very, very happy" with her life.

Speaking to People, she said: "I'm really just comfortable, and it's just kind of a go with the flow, easy, relaxed situation that's making me very, very happy."

Sounds like Johnson came along at the right time. He sounds like a keeper, honey!

Splits all over

Alert: Amy Winehouse is back on the market. She's single and ready to mingle, fellas!

According to The Sun, Wino has reportedly split with her boyfriend of four months Reg Traviss following claims he's been cheating on her.

Wino supposedly pulled the plug on the romance during a blazing row over Traviss' alleged dalliance with burlesque dancer ex-girlfriend Raven Isis Holt.

Word is Traviss and his ex remain close since their split, which has put a strain on his romance with Wino.

A friend of Winehouse said: "She hasn't spoken to Reg since and she's told everyone that it's over. She's pretty cut up about it, she was serious about him. Amy is confused and vulnerable."

I'll buy the confused part. But vulnerable? Nah, pull the other one, it's got bells on.

Done and done

Eminem says he's done and done taking a pop at former flame Mariah Carey.

The rapper sings about Carey again on Cold Wind Blows from his latest album Recovery, but it'll be the last time he says.

He tells Vibe magazine (Via WENN): "I really don't want to talk about her anymore only just because it's kind of like the last thing I said about her was on Cold Wind Blows. I made the comment. I don't want to keep beating a dead horse. I'm not even going to comment about it. I'm done with that whole situation. I said what I had to say. I'm done."

Good. Put Carey down and let it go, dude. In with anger, out with love.

Poison Penn

Wyclef Jean has struck back at Sean Penn after the actor criticised his bid to become Haiti's president.

But Jean's not bitter, because life's too short to be bitter. Yeah right.

During his set at Hot 97's 'On The Reggae Tip' event in New York City on Friday, the rapper let rip with a hate bomb for Penn.

While singing If I Was President, Wyclef morphed the lyrics to say:

"If I was president. I got a message for Sean Penn, maybe he ain't see me in Haiti cuz he was too busy sniffing cocaine..."

He also had a message for his former Fugees bandmate Praswell, who also raised a cynical eyebrow over his presidential bid.

"I got a message for Praswell, even though you don't want to support me, I got love for you, even though you only kicked eight bars in the Fugees."

Wyclef's well-publicised campaign was harpooned after Haiti's electoral commission ruled that he was not an appropriate candidate for the title.

It's good to see he's taken it so well:

Juicy Jeni

So it's alleged that British footballer Wayne Rooney did the dirty on his pregnant wife Coleen with a prostitute.

According to British tabloid the News of the World, prostitute Jennifer Thompson, 21, (nicknamed "Juicy Jeni") claims the Manchester United star, 24, slept with her seven times over a four month period - from July to October - while Coleen was pregnant.

And if that's not enough naughty love shame, get a fill of how he broke the news to wifey.

When Rooney caught wind that the Sunday tabloids were about to expose his love-ratting ways, he dutifully informed his wife...via text.

Poor Coleen was getting her hair done before a family celebration, when Rooney texted the happy news.

A snitch told the Daily Mail: "Coleen and Wayne were supposed to attend a family christening this weekend but they didn't show up.

"Coleen had been getting her hair done on Saturday when Wayne texted her to break the news.

"He's a coward for hiding behind a text message, especially when they'd been together earlier that day."

Mmmmmm, he's a keeper.

Blogger's Briefs

This lot just in...

* Playmate demands Spencer Pratt return sex tape. It'll be a looooong wait, love - it doesn't exist

* Pamela Anderson to film 'sex scene' with fan. Hey, what's a trailer park girl to do when the stakes are high and the funds are low

* 'Vanilla Gorilla' Jesse James finds himself some new ink

* Hulk Hogan hospitalised due to back pain

* Kanye West says sorry to Taylor Swift. Again. Stick a needle on another record, West.

* Racy Keira Knightley goes all biker chic filming new Chanel ad

* And finally...

Quite frankly the best X Factor audition video you're ever likely to clap eyes on.

Frenemies Abby and Lisa rock up to audition for the show in the UK, and proceed to behave like a pair of feral Vicky Pollards.

I'm in love.

Yeah, but no, but yeah, but no, but yeah. Like, oh my god, shut up!

Watch the magic below:

Blogger Bites Back

* Read more celebrity news and gossip from Myrddin Gwynedd here

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