It's been three years since John Travolta and Kelly Preston's 16-year-old son Jett Travolta's tragic death in the Bahamas. Now, the actress is opening up about the health conditions and environmental factors she believes contributed to his sudden passing.
Jett died during the family's vacation in the Bahamas in 2009 after suffering from a seizure and hitting his head on a bathtub. "[Jett] was autistic. He had seizures and when he was very young, he had Kawasaki Syndrome," Preston said on the November 21 episode of The Doctors.
The actress, 50, (pictured above with John and their 2-year-old son, Benjamin, this September) believes Jett's health conditions were caused by a number of factors, including her use of antibiotics while breastfeeding, toxic chemicals in the environment, Kawasaki Syndrome (a rare autoimmune disease), and complications from her "fast and hard" childbirth. The antibiotics, she shares, “gave [Jet] thrush,” an infection of Candida yeast, which some studies have linked with the symptoms of autism.
During the interview, Preston, who's credited Scientology in the past for helping her cope, made a plea for parents to look into organic foods. "I strongly believe as a mother, as does my husband, that there are certain contributing factors that lead to autism and some of it is very much the chemicals in our environment and in our food."
Now, she says that she and John are trying to raise their two younger kids, Benjamin and Ella, 12, in a cleaner, healthier environment.
The exact causes of autism are still a mystery but it's spurred many a debate in Hollywood. Some celebrity mothers like Jenny McCarthy and Holly Robinson Peete have been outspoken, blaming the condition on childhood vaccines and promoting dietary changes among other things. Meanwhile, others like Amanda Peet and many in the medical community have said that not vaccinating children is irresponsible and dangerous, and urge the need for more research into environmental and dietary causes.
More:Kelly Preston Says Scientology Helped Her Cope With Son's Death
John Travolta Sued for Sexual Assault Again
Actress stirs up autism battle with new rally cry for vaccines
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The numbers are in and Something's Gotta Give gave the competition a run for its money this weekend as the Jack Nicholson/Diane Keaton romantic comedy claimed the No. 1 spot at the box office with $17 million.* The film's box office victory makes it the ninth No. 1 opening for Sony Pictures this year--the most of any distributor in 2003.
Something's Gotta Give also hacked last week's box office champ The Last Samurai, which dropped to second place with $14 million, and the new comedies Stuck on You, which debuted in third place with $10 million, and Love Don't Cost a Thing, which kicked off in fourth place with $6.5 million.
Eddie Murphy's holiday fright flick The Haunted Mansion rounded out the Top Five with $6.3 million in its third week of release.
Although Something's Gotta Give didn't rake in as much as Nicholson's comedy Anger Management, which opened in April to the tune of $42.2 million, it debuted slightly stronger than the actor's 1997 romantic comedy As Good As It Gets, which took in $12.6 million in its first weekend.
Sony Pictures' head of distribution Jeff Blake told The Associated Press Sunday that although Something's Gotta Give is targeted at older adults, it scored well among younger crowds, with viewers under 30 accounting for a third of the audience.
"For the holidays, this is the perfect piece of entertainment, especially in a market that for the most part has had either children's films or darker-themed adult films out there," Blake said. "This is funny, well-written, and we think [it] works for all audiences."
THE TOP TEN
Sony Pictures' PG-13 rated romantic comedy Something's Gotta Give debuted at No. 1 with an ESTIMATED $17 million at 2,677 theaters. Its $6,350 per theater average was the highest of any film playing wide this week.
In the film, an older man dating a pretty twenty-something falls in love with her dynamic mother.
Directed by Nancy Meyers, it stars Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet and Frances McDormand.
Warner Bros.' R rated period actioner The Last Samurai, last week's box office topper, dropped to second place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $14 million (-42%) in 2,908 theaters (unchanged; $4,831 per theater average). Its cume is approximately $46.8 million.
Directed by Edward Zwick, it stars Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, Tony Goldwyn and Timothy Spall.
Twentieth Century Fox's PG-13 rated comedy Stuck on You opened in third place with an ESTIMATED $10 million at 3,003 theaters with a $3,330 per theater average.
In the film, conjoined twins discover how difficult it is when one wants to pursue his dream as an actor in Hollywood. But once they become celebrities, they realize it's time for an operation to separate them.
Directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly, it stars Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Eva Mendes and Cher.
Warner Bros. PG-13 rated teen comedy Love Don't Cost a Thing kicked off in fourth place with $6.5 million at 1,844 with a $3,544 per theater average.
In the film, a remake of the 1987 comedy Can't Buy Me Love, a geek pays the most popular girl in school to be his girlfriend so people will think he's popular.
Directed by Troy Beyer, it stars Nick Cannon, Christina Millian and Steve Harvey.
Buena Vista's PG rated horror comedy The Haunted Mansion dropped two notches to No. 5 in its third week with an ESTIMATED $6.3 million (-33%) at 3,001 theaters (-121 theaters; $2,099 per theater). Its cume is approximately $53.9 million.
Directed by Rob Minkoff, it stars Eddie Murphy, Terence Stamp, Nathaniel Parker, Marsha Thomason and Jennifer Tilly.
Miramax Films' R rated dark comedy Bad Santa held steady in sixth place in its third week with an ESTIMATED $6.2 million (-12%) at 2,540 theaters (+449 theaters; $3,385 per theater). Its cume is approximately $35.9 million.
Directed by Terry Zwigoff, it stars Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Tony Cox and John Ritter.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
New Line Cinema's PG rated holiday comedy Elf fell three spots to seventh in its sixth week with an ESTIMATED $6.2 million (-23%) at 2,876 theaters (-243 theaters; $2,156 per theater). Its cume is approximately $147.6 million.
Directed by Jon Favreau, it stars Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, Zooey Deschanel and Mary Steenburgen.
Universal Pictures' PG-13 rated hip-hop drama Honey tumbled six rungs to eighth place in its second week with an ESTIMATED $5 million (-60%) in 1,972 theaters (+30 theaters; $2,585 per theater). Its cume is approximately $20 million.
Directed by Bille Woodruff, it stars Jessica Alba, Mekhi Phifer and Lil' Romeo.
Universal Pictures' PG rated live-action comedy Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat, fell from its fifth place perch to ninth position in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $4.1 million (-41%) at 2,955 theaters (-454 theaters, $1,420 per theater). Its cume is approximately $90.7 million.
Directed by Bo Welch, it stars Mike Myers, Dakota Fanning, Spencer Breslin, Kelly Preston, Alec Baldwin and Sean Hayes.
Warner Bros.' R rated horror thriller Gothika fell three notches to round out the Top 10 in its fourth week with an ESTIMATED $2.7 million (-48%) at 1,806 theaters (-399 theaters; $1,514 per theater). Its cume is approximately $53.9 million.
Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz, it stars Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr., Penelope Cruz and Bernard Hill.
Sony's PG-13 rated drama Big Fish debuted in six theaters with an ESTIMATED $215,000 with a $35,833 per theater average.
In the film, a son comes to understand his father through the older man's fantastic stories.
Directed by Tim Burton, it stars Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter and Alison Lohman.
The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $83 million, down 7.08 percent from last weekend's $89.3 million take and also down 8.1 percent from last year's $90.4 million.
Last year, Sony Pictures' PG-13 rated romantic comedy Maid in Manhattan debuted in first place with $18.7 million at 2,838 theaters ($6,593 per theater); Paramount's PG-13 rated sci-fi sequel Star Trek: Nemesis opened in second place with $18.5 million in 2,711 theaters ($6,829 per theater); and 20th Century Fox's PG-13 rated teen musical Drumline kicked off in third place with $12.6 million in 1,836 theaters ($6,865 per theater).
This weekend's box office suffered from a slight Identity crisis.
The new thriller opened with a respectable $17 million*, barely beating out the previous two weeks' box office champ Anger Management, which came in at No. 2 with $16 million.
The adventurous Holes at $13 million and outlandish comedy Malibu's Most Wanted at $7.7 million took third and fourth place respectively, while the new con artists on the block in Confidence debuted at No. 5 with $4.7 million.
Other openers to make the Top 10 list included the Douglas clan's It Runs in the Family, which came in ninth place with $3 million, and New Line's reality film The Real Cancun at tenth with $2.3 million.
Box office was considerably less than last weekend, almost a 12 percent drop--but things will surely change in the weekends ahead with the opening of X2: X-Men United next weekend.
"'X2 is probably going to do great business, but it's a tough comparison when you look at the year ago numbers of Spider-Man,'" which debuted with a record $114.8 million, Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations, told The Associated Press.
THE TOP TEN
Sony Pictures claimed the top two spots this weekend, starting with the R-rated Identity, which debuted on top with an ESTIMATED $17 million at 2,733 theaters ($6,220 per theater).
"We're having a very good weekend," Rory Bruer, president of Sony Pictures Releasing told AP. "We really figured Identity would open fairly strong, but this is far better than anticipated."
The Psycho-esque thriller centers on 10 strangers who are forced to seek refuge in a run-down desert motel one dark and stormy night--and soon realize they've found anything but safe shelter.
Directed by James Mangold, it stars John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Rebecca DeMornay and Alfred Molina.
Sony's box office champ for the last two weeks, PG-13-rated Anger Management, just barely dropped one notch to No. 2. The comedy took in an ESTIMATED $16 million (-36%) at 3,656 theaters (+86 theaters; $4,376 per theater), and its cume is approximately $104.5 million, making it the fourth film to break the $100 million mark so far this year.
Directed by Peter Segal, it stars Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei and John Turturro.
Buena Vista's PG-rated Holes also slipped a spot to third with an ESTIMATED $13 million (-20%) at 2,349 theaters (+18 theaters; $5,534 per theater). The pic, based on Louis Sachar's award-winning children's novel about the adventures of troubled teens forced to dig holes in a dry lakebed, has gathered approximately $36.8 million so far.
Directed by Andrew Davis, it stars Rick Fox, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Tim Blake Nelson and Shia LeBeouf.
Keeping it real at No. 4 was Warners Bros.' PG-13 Malibu's Most Wanted, collecting an ESTIMATED $7.7 million (-39%) at 2,503 theaters ($3,078 per theater). The film, which revolves around a white wannabe rapper named B-Rad who thinks he is the dopest thing Malibu has to offer, has accumulated approximately $24.2 million in two weeks.
Directed by John P. Whitesell, it stars Jamie Kennedy, Taye Diggs and Anthony Anderson.
Lions Gate's R-rated Confidence debuted in fifth place with an ESTIMATED $4.7 million at 1,871 theaters ($2,539 per theater).
The film follows a polished grifter and his crew who have to pull off the con of a lifetime in order to save their necks from a ruthless crime boss--and stay one step ahead of the cops.
Directed by James Foley, it stars Edward Burns, Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia and Rachel Weisz.
*Box office estimates provided by Exhibitor Relations, Inc.
Dropping two spots from fourth to sixth was MGM's Bulletproof Monk, which took in an ESTIMATED $4.6 million (-46%) at 2,955 theaters ($1,574 per theater). The film, about a Tibetan monk charged with protecting a sacred scroll, has made approximately $19.1 million.
Directed by Paul Hunter, it stars Chow Yun-Fat and Seann William Scott.
Warner's 'tween flick PG-rated What A Girl Wants fell a notch to No. 7 with an ESTIMATED $3.3 million (-25%) at 2,450 theaters (-480 theaters; $1,369 per theater). In theaters for its fourth week, its cume is approximately $32.9 million.
Directed by Dennie Gordon, it stars Amanda Bynes, Kelly Preston and Colin Firth.
Slipping three spots to eighth place was 20th Century Fox's PG-13 Phone Booth with an ESTIMATED $3.1 million (-45%) at 2,113 theaters (-335 theaters; $1,467 per theater). Also in its fourth week on the box office chart, its cume is approximately $40.2 million.
Directed by Joel Schumacher, it stars Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland and Forest Whitaker.
The PG-13 It Runs in the Family's ninth-place debut was disappointing, considering its stellar cast of Douglases, including patriarch Kirk and his son, Michael . It took in an ESTIMATED $3 million at 1,207 theaters ($2,486 per theater).
The MGM film sees three generations of a dysfunctional family go through bad times, good times and average times.
Directed by Fred Schepisi, it also stars Cameron Douglas (Michael 's son), Rory Culkin and Bernadette Peters.
New Line Cinema's R-rated Spring Break bonanza The Real Cancun opened in tenth place with an ESTIMATED $2.3 million at 2,261 theaters ($1,017 per theater).
From the producers of MTV's The Real World and director Rick De Oliviera, The Real Cancun follows 16 strangers sent to the lush Mexican beach locale to spend eight glorious days for the time-honored tradition of Spring Break--and have all of their actions filmed for better or worse.
The Top 12 films this weekend grossed an ESTIMATED $78.6 million, down 11.16 percent from last week's $88.4 million total.
The Top 12, however, were up 8.6 percent from last year when they totaled $72.3 million.
Last year, Universal's PG-13 rated The Scorpion King came in at the top of the box office with $18 million at 3,449 theaters ($5,230 per theater); Paramount's R rated Changing Lanes stayed in second in its third week of release with $9 million at 2,642 theaters ($3,410 per theater); and New Line's R rated Jason X debuted in third with $6.6 million at 1,878 theaters ($3,540 per theater).