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John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Jett Travolta

Courtesy of Travolta Family

What with the recent spate of celebrity deaths, it's easy to forget one of the first and most heart-wrenching of 2009: John Travolta and Kelly Preston losing their 16-year-old son, Jett.

But the Bahamian New Providence Supreme Court has remembered, and how: a jury was selected today in the alleged $25 million extortion plot against the Travolta family.

Former Bahamian Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater and ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne will stand trial in proceedings expected to last three weeks.

Travolta may also be making a cameo appearance, perhaps as soon as this week—his name is at the top of the 14-person list of potential witnesses. Testimony is expected to begin Tuesday.

Bridgewater and Lightbourne have both pleaded not guilty to respective extortion charges.

The duo allegedly threatened to release a refusal-to-transport document, typically signed when emergency medical services are refused, thus clearing the responders of liability. However, the Travoltas never signed such a document to begin with, making the alleged attempt at extortion all the more feeble.

Not to mention deplorable.

Aside from jury selection, the court also dispensed with some long-pending business, namely a motion filed by Lightbourne's legal team requesting disclosure of material evidence—the autopsy report, phone records, a witness statement by the nanny, etc.—by the prosecution.

Lightbourne's attorneys say they've met with resistance from the attorney general since requesting access to the materials last month. A separate hearing on the matter has been set for Wednesday.

Jett died suddenly on Jan. 2 after suffering a seizure and his mourning family has kept a low profile ever since.

Over the summer, Preston filmed The Last Song alongside Miley Cyrus but recently backed out of an appearance which would have called on her to speak publicly on her son's death. Travolta too quietly bowed out of promotional duties of his summer hit, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. In fact, it was only two weeks ago that the family made their first public appearance at Disney's D23 Expo to promote Old Dogs, in which the actors and daughter Ella Bleu all star.

It's not known when Travolta is expected to touch down in the Bahamas or whether he's already arrived on the island.


Take a look back at the life of Jett Travolta.