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John Travolta acknowledges late son Jett was autistic during trial

UPI News Service, 09/23/2009 

John Travolta described his late son, Jett, as autistic for the first time in public Wednesday when he testified at an extortion trial in the Bahamas.

"My son was autistic and he suffered from seizure disorder every 5 to 10 days," said Travolta told the court Wednesday. "He would suffer a seizure that would last 45 seconds to a minute and sleep for 12 hours."

The case concerns Jett, 16, who died after a massive seizure in his family's vacation home in the Bahamas in January.

Tarino Lightbourn, the paramedic who tried to revive Jett after Travolta called for help, and Pleasant Bridgewater, a former Bahamian senator, have pleaded innocent to charges they conspired to sell Travolta documents detailing Jett's emergency care the day he died. They allegedly threatened to make the papers public if Travolta didn't pay them $25 million.

The "Grease" and "Pulp Fiction" actor said Wednesday he was awakened by nanny Eli Wheaton the day his beloved son died.

"He was pounding on the door upstairs where we were sleeping," Travolta said, recalling how he dashed downstairs to find people already trying to revive his son.

"I took the place of the woman who was doing CPR. She was an employee of Old Bahama Bay who I recognized as such," he said.

A courtroom observer told both Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, were "graceful" and remained dry-eyed during the court session.

The court took a break for lunch, but the actor was expected to return to offer more testimony.

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Copyright 2009 by United Press International


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