John Travolta Sex-Assault Suit Dropped After Arbitration Ruling
A John Travolta lawsuit alleging sexual assault by the actor has been dropped, shortly after a judge cleared the way for it to proceed in federal court.
The now-defunct lawsuit was brought by a cruise ship steward named Fabian Zanzi. The Chilean man claimed that Travolta exposed himself and forcibly embraced Zanzi while naked in a stateroom on a cruise ship last summer.
The most recent legal issue revolved around a mandatory arbitration clause found on the cruiseline's tickets. The clause required all disputes between passengers (like Travolta) and the cruise liner (which employed Zanzi) go through arbitration instead of court, TMZ reports.
But did that clause apply to Zanzi himself? After all, Zanzi wasn't a signatory to that arbitration agreement, writes The Hollywood Reporter. Furthermore, the lawsuit wasn't between Travolta and the cruise line.
A federal judge ruled that the cruise ship's arbitration clause did not apply in this dispute. That meant Zanzi's lawsuit could proceed in court.
But in the hours since that decision was announced, there's apparently been a dramatic about-face. Lawyers for both Zanzi and Travolta have signed off on paperwork to dismiss the lawsuit altogether, the New York Daily News reports.
The paperwork reportedly includes a clause that prevents Zanzi from refiling the case.
Zanzi's lawsuit was filled with salacious allegations. He claimed that after delivering a room service meal to Travolta last June, the superstar asked for a neck massage. Travolta then allegedly pressed his naked body against Zanzi -- an act that Zanzi's suit claimed caused "pain, shock, embarrassment, distress and fear."
Travolta, of course, denied the allegations.
Zanzi's sex-assault lawsuit against John Travolta wasn't the first. Two other plaintiffs made similar allegations in separate complaints last year, but both of those lawsuits were also withdrawn. Travolta had denied those allegations as well.
- Check the Venue Before You File a Cruise Ship Claim (FindLaw's 11th Circuit Blog)
- I'm on Boat: Liability Waiver Form Void for Injuries on Vessel (FindLaw's 11th Circuit Blog)
- John Travolta Wins in Defamation Suit Over Lawyer's Letter (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
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