Royal Caribbean employee claims that John Travolta hit on him, then tried to pay him off for his silence
It's another day, another lawsuit for John Travolta.
The "Pulp Fiction" star, who lately has been besieged by accusations of inappropriate behavior during massage sessions, is again being sued for alleged massage misdeeds.
Fabian Zanzi, who went public with his claims against Travolta in May, filed suit against the actor late last week, claiming that Travolta had propositioned him during a 2009 cruise and offered him $12,000 to keep quiet about it.
In his complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in California, Zanzi claims that while he was working for the Royal Caribbean cruise line, he was assigned to be Travolta's personal room attendant.
Zanzi says he delivered a food order to Travolta's suite and found Travolta in his bathrobe. After complaining of neck discomfort, the lawsuit said, Travolta "pleaded for Plaintiff to touch his (Defendant TRAVOLTA's) neck."
But as Zanzi reached to check Travolta's neck, the suit continues, the actor took off his robe, "exposing his erect penis" to Zanzi.
The complaint says Travolta then "proceeded to forcefully embrace" Zanzi and "forced his naked person and his erect penis against Plaintiff's person causing Plaintiff to experience pain, shock, embarrassment, distress, and fear."
The actor then told Zanzi that he is beautiful and "asked Plaintiff to 'take me, I will take care of you please … ,'" the suit alleges.
Zanzi says that Travolta then asked him to keep quiet about the encounter, offering $12,000 in hush money.
According to Zanzi, he met with three of his superiors to discuss the run-in, but in his subsequent written report he was instructed not to detail Travolta's misconduct and was segregated in a room for five days, until Travolta's stay on the ship was over.
Zanzi claims assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress in the suit and is seeking unspecified damages in the suit.
Travolta's attorney, Martin Singer, called Zanzi's suit "ludicrous" and "inane" in a statement provided to TheWrap.
"This is another ludicrous lawsuit with inane claims," Singer said. "It is obvious that Mr. Zanzi and his lawyers are looking for their 15 minutes of fame."
Singer adds that Zanzi's new claims counter his original written report on the encounter.
"The lawsuit’s ridiculous claims are completely contradicted by what Mr. Zanzi told his employer back in 2009 when he was being disciplined for his own violations of company policy," Singer says. "In his handwritten report three years ago, the only physical contact he claimed occurred was allegedly touching my client’s neck. The inappropriate conduct he alleges in his lawsuit is absent from his written report he submitted at the time. That glaring omission speaks volumes.
"We are confident that my client will prevail on the merits and that he will be completely vindicated in court," Singer concluded.
Zanzi's attorney, Sarah J. Golden, disputed Singer's claims in a statement provided to TheWrap.
"The 'glaring omissions' that Mr. Singer references are fully addressed in Mr. Zanzi's complaint," Golden said. "The only thing glaring at this point is the growing number of individuals coming forward with similar claims of sexual assault against Mr. Travolta."
Golden added that Zanzi isn't seeking celebrity from the suit, and looks forward to a legal showdown with the star.
"Mr. Zanzi is not seeking 15 minutes of fame. This is a civil action; fame is not a remedy at law. Mr. Zanzi was wronged by Mr. Travolta’s actions. This lawsuit will vindicate Mr. Zanzi’s rights as a person. Mr. Zanzi is looking forward to a face off in Court."
The suit is just the latest in a long saga of legal entanglements that Travolta has experienced lately. Earlier this year, he was sued by two separate masseurs who claimed that Travolta had acted inappropriately during massage sessions with them. Though those suits were subsequently dropped, the plaintiffs have retained media-savvy attorney Gloria Allred and may re-file their complaints.
Last week, Travolta — along with his attorney Singer — was also sued by Robert Randolph, author of "You'll Never Spa in This Town Again." Randolph claimed that Travolta, through Singer, made defamatory remarks about him in an effort to discredit him after he wrote about alleged sexual encounters that Travolta had with men in a Los Angeles spa.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.