Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
John Travolta is facing another lawsuit.
Fabian Zanzi, the former Royal Caribbean employee who threw his own hat into the accusation arena when two masseurs accused the actor of sexual misconduct during respective appointments, has now filed his own lawsuit against Travolta, claiming inappropriate behavior during a cruise back in 2009.
"This is another ludicrous lawsuit with inane claims," Travolta's attorney, Marty Singer, said in a statement to E! News. "It is obvious that Mr. Zanzi and his lawyers are looking for their 15 minutes of fame."
The graphically worded, 16-page lawsuit alleges that Travolta approached Zanzi on the afternoon of June 9, 2009.
The plaintiff states that he was appointed the Grease star's personal suite attendant during his cruise and, while delivering room service, Travolta complained of discomfort in his neck.
When Zanzi reached for the neck of the robe, Travolta instead removed the robe and "proceeded to forcefully embrace" Zanzi while naked, the lawsuit continues. Zanzi claims that he "pleaded" with Travolta to let him go, but that the actor didn't do so immediately, engaging in contact that was "nonconsensual, inappropriate, extreme and outrageous."
The lawsuit also charges that Travolta offered Zanzi $12,000 to keep quiet about the incident, after which Zanzi immediately reported the incident to "at least three" superiors. (The suit does not explicitly state whether Zanzi accepted or refused Travolta's money.)
Zanzi's lawsuit claims the ship's human resources manager, Lorena Alvarez, instructed him to fill out paperwork regarding what happened, but said that if he was "not bleeding or bruised," he was not eligible to seek treatment "or any other type of attention." He also noted that he requested to fill out the paperwork in his native language, Spanish, but that Alvarez said he must do it in English.
Afterward, Zanzi claims, he was forced to stay in a room for five days until Travolta left the ship, then was placed on indefinite "sick leave" following the cruise. The suit states that Zanzi pursued his complaint with Royal Caribbean through 2011, but was continuously told to check back at a later time.
He is asking for unspecified damages for claims of assault and battery and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Travolta's attorney, meanwhile, says he is prepared to fight Zanzi's lawsuit and win.
"The lawsuit's ridiculous claims are completely contradicted by what Mr. Zanzi told his employer back in 2009 when he was being disciplined for his own violations of company policy," Singer's statement to E! News continued.
"In his handwritten report three years ago, the only physical contact he claimed occurred was allegedly touching my client's neck. The inappropriate conduct he alleges in his lawsuit is absent from his written report he submitted at the time. That glaring omission speaks volumes.
"Also calling his credibility into question is his dubious allegation that his employer supposedly restrained him in a room on the cruise ship for five days, yet after that supposedly occurred, Mr. Zanzi continued to work for Royal Caribbean for years, on multiple ships. Now, after waiting three years...Mr. Zanzi has filed this absurd lawsuit.
"We are confident that my client will prevail on the merits and that he will be completely vindicated in court," Singer concluded.