Gawker is "more concerned about page clicks than accuracy," John Travolta's lawyer says
John Travolta's attorney is lashing out at Gawker over a report suggesting that the "Grease" star shelled out more than $84,000 to settle sexual assault claims, calling the story "outrageous" and "false."
Gawker published the story Tuesday, along with a document that the site claimed is an "internal report" of insurance claims indicating that the actor's insurer paid out a total of $84,500 to two parties after they issued attorney demand letters alleging sexual assault.
In a statement Wednesday, Singer said the amounts listed in the Gawker story are "consistent with legal fees being paid in connection with the defense of lawsuits that were filed."
"Gawker's outrageous false story claims that a purported insurance document supposedly shows that $84,500 was paid out in sexual assault settlements, but that alleged document does not show that a single penny was paid for settlements," Singer said. "The document (which has not been shown to be authentic) shows costs and expenses incurred, consistent with legal fees being paid in connection with the defense of lawsuits that were filed. Gawker's reckless publication of this absurd story has once again shown that the website is more concerned about page clicks than accuracy."
According to the Gawker story, Travolta's insurer paid out $3,850 to a former employee of Travolta's, identified as Mark Higgins, and $80,750 to an unidentified party. (Travolta was sued in 2012 by two plaintiffs identified as John Doe #1 and #2, who claimed that Travolta sexually assaulted them during massage sessions. Both suits were ultimately dropped.)
The site went on to insinuate that the dollar amounts smelled an awful lot like settlements over the sexual assault claims.
"All of which is to say that despite Marty Singer's public insistence that no settlement offer was made in the John Doe case, Travolta's insurance company tells a different story," article author Camille Dodero wrote.
Gawker, which did not offer specific comment to TheWrap on Singer's statement, has updated its post with a strike-through of the above sentence.
Travolta has been besieged by accusations of sexual misconduct, with multiple lawsuits filed against him.
Singer has denied the accusations leveled against Travolta.