Celebrity News

Secret tapes screened for Travolta jurors

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Oct 06, 2009 | 5:00am EDT

The clips, screened to the Nassau jury, showed the actor's attorney Michael McDermott speaking to ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne, while his lawyer, politician Pleasant Bridgewater, can be heard on the phone loudspeaker.

Lightbourne and Bridgewater are accused of trying to extort millions of dollars from the Grease star by threatening to sell stories to the media about his son Jett's death during a family vacation earlier this year (09).

In secret footage filmed at McDermott's hotel room, Bridgewater can be heard telling the attorney that Lightbourne wants at least $20 million (£13.3 million) in return for keeping private documents out of the press.

Prosecutors claim the footage shows Lightbourne wanted to hand out the cash to Bahamas poor residents.

In the tape, he can be heard telling McDermott, "I was poor all my life, you know, me and my family. We struggling all my life. I wanted to do things for charity all of my life. I assume I'm in a position now, not only for me to help the less fortunate out there - so that figure ($20 million) just come to my head."

McDermott then quips, "You're a Bahamian Robin Hood!"

McDermott last week (01Oct09) revealed the defendants approached him with the bribery plot after the 16-year-old suffered a seizure.

He described receiving a phone call from Bridgewater on 12 January (09) - 10 days after Jett died - threatening to release Travolta's signed Refusal of Treatment/Transportation form to the press if their demands for cash weren't met.

Bahamas authorities then set up hidden cameras in McDermott's hotel room to film meetings with Lightbourne.

Bridgewater and Lightbourne deny extortion. The trial continues.

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