John Travolta Cruise Ship Massage Lawsuit: Actor's Bid for Arbitration Rejected, Case Could Be Headed to Trial
It may or may not be a bunch of Pulp Fiction, but John Travolta will have to defend himself in open court.
A California federal judge has dismissed a petition by the 58-year-old actor's lawyer to have a lawsuit filed against him by a cruise ship masseur decided in arbitration, which would have kept a lid on some pretty graphic accusations.
Travolta was sued last June for assault and battery and infliction of emotional distress by Fabian Zanzi, who accused the Get Shortystar of disrobing while the latter was giving him a neck massage and then "forcefully embracing" him during a Royal Caribbean cruise in June 2009.
After claiming Travolta engaged in contact that was "nonconsensual, inappropriate, extreme and outrageous," the suit also charged that the thesp offered to buy Zanzi's silence for $12,000.
Travolta subsequently denied the allegations, and his pit bull attorney, Marty Singer, pointed to a clause in the fine print of his cruise ticket to argue that the legal dispute should be settled by arbitration, which would not only allow the suit to be resolved expeditiously but also in secret.
However, per The Hollywood Reporter, in a 31-page ruling on Friday U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson smacked down that argument, noting there's no evidence that Zanzi, as a "nonsignatory," is bound by the arbitration agreement the A-lister entered into with Royal Caribbean.
Consequently, Zanzi's lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, now looks to be headed for trial—unless, of course, Travolta opts to settle.