John Travolta Defamation Lawsuit: Judge Rules in Favor of Actor, Not Author

A judge dismissed the You'll Never Spa in This Town Again author's suit against the Savages star and his attorney Marty Singer Thursday

By Brandi Fowler Sep 28, 2012 1:30 AMTags
John TravoltaAP Photo/Evan Agostini

It's safe to say John Travolta has had his fair share of lawsuits this year.

After the dismissal of two lawsuits in May by masseurs claiming sexual battery, the Savages star just came out on top again in a defamation lawsuit filed against him and his attorney Marty Singer. 

According to court documents, You'll Never Spa in This Town Again author Robert Randolph, who provided quotes for a 2010 Gawker article called "The Secret Sex Life of John Travolta," sued Travolta and Singer claiming he had been damaged by Singer's statements in response to his book and article.

So, what went down?

Singer wrote a long letter to the site when the article was published, denied the allegations in it, and made claims that Randolph had "suffered from brain damage," and "spent time in mental institutions," among other things, according to The Hollywood Reporter

In his lawsuit, the author said Travolta and Singer, "sought to disparage the quality of [Randolph's] property and reputation and to induce members of the public to believe [Randolph] is an unreliable source and thus abstain from purchasing" his book.

Travolta and Singer responded to that suit with an anti-SLAPP motion, which bars lawsuits that infringe on First Amendment rights.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Malcolm Macky dismissed Randolph's case Thursday, saying Singer's letter was not subject to a defamation claim because it was a "protected pre-litigation demand letter."

"Defendant Singer has amply established that he sent the 11/23/10 letter to Gawker Media in good faith and in serious consideration of litigation," the tentative ruling said. "As such, the letter is privileged." 

The judge also ruled that Randolph "submitted no evidence" supporting the allegation that prospective buyers were dissuaded from buying his book as a result of Singer's letter. 

Attorneys for Travolta and Randolph have not responded for comment.

—Reporting by Claudia Rosenbaum