Hollywood actor John Travolta may be the subject of a $2 million assault and sexual battery lawsuit, but there is little likelihood the allegations will ruin the 58-year-old’s career, say celebrity image experts.
Travolta has battled negative headlines all of last week after the filing of a lawsuit by two unidentified male masseurs who claim, the actor sexually assaulted them in two separate incidents during private massages. A third man, cruise ship worker Fabian Zanzi, too claimed that the Hollywood star offered him $12,000 to have sex while on a cruise in 2009.
Travolta’s lawyer has vehemently denied the claims from all three men, saying they were all trying to get their “15 minutes of fame.”
“People tend to bond and create a certain affinity with certain actors, and who they like and what they like is rarely related to the actor’s tabloid images, it’s related to their body of work and how cool their fans think they are,” said Howard Bragman, a veteran celebrity publicist, adding, “None of us were there and none of us know what happened, but I’ve seen a lot of phony lawsuits against celebrities... so I look at these with a very cynical eye.”
Travolta, who shot to fame in the 1970s on the TV show Welcome Back Kotter, and with movies such as Saturday Night Fever and Grease, suffered a career lull in the late 1980s. But he bounced back with gritty roles in films such as 1994s Pulp Fiction.
Others have faced it too...
Several high-profile stars have faced sex scandals in the past and, although they hit rocky patches for various lengths of time, they managed to put their careers back on track. Golfer Tiger Woods, who saw his marriage torn apart by a torrid sex scandal in 2009, went to sex rehab and still remains among the US’ top professionals. Hugh Grant, Rob Lowe, all saw their names splashed across headlines in various sex scandals and were able to return to the limelight. Then there’s Kim Kardashian— little known until her sex tape surfaced. Now, she’s a star.