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Travolta's Son -- Fatal Blow to Head

1/3/2009 2:36 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ has learned what may have killed Jett Travolta, and it's not what police have suggested.

We've spoken with John Travolta's lawyer and close friend, Michael McDermott, and family attorney Michael Ossi, both of whom are with John in the Bahamas. They tell TMZ it appears Jett's fatal injury was the result of hitting his head on the bathtub, toilet seat, or both. And they say the intimation that Jett went undiscovered for hours is absolutely false.

Police have said the last time anyone saw Jett was when he went to the bathroom on January 1. His body was discovered by nanny Jeff Kathrein the next day at 10 AM. In fact, McDermott and Ossi say it appears Jett went back and forth to his room and the fatal injury occurred "very shortly" before Jett was found on the bathroom floor -- McDermott called it a "small window of time."

McDermott and Ossi tell us two nannies were present on the trip and Jeff was by his side 24/7. There was a baby monitor device by Jett's side and there was also a chimer in the bathroom when the door opened.

McDermott and Ossi say it is still unclear if Jett fell to the floor as a result of a seizure or if he had a seizure after falling or slipping. There was blood on the floor of the bathroom, but "not a tremendous amount." It appears the striking of Jett's head was the cause of death, though it won't be clear until the autopsy is performed Monday morning.

Jett's body will be embalmed Monday afternoon. There will be a local showing on Tuesday and later that day the body will be flown to Ocala, Fla. for burial.

McDermott says both John and Kelly are night owls. John often goes to sleep at around 5 AM. But McDermott says both nannies were at the hotel and Jeff always present.

McDermott tells us a hotel manager was first on scene with Jeff and the two of them administered CPR. John came in shortly thereafter and John took over for a "substantial period of time [and] was performing CPR and continued that until EMT came and took over."

McDermott says as for Travolta and Preston, the pain is "unimaginable and unquantifiable."

UPDATE: The Grand Bahamas health minister confirms that the autopsy will be conducted by two pathologists to ensure a proper evaluation has been made. A clinical and forensic pathologist from Nassau, that is U.S. certified, will fly into Grand Bahama on Monday to help perform the autopsy.


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How very very tragic to hear of young 16 year old Jett Travolta losing his life!
One cannot even imagine how his mother, father and sister are coping with losing their child and brother!
Life will never be the same for the Travolta family.
One should not judge the situation and let this family grieve in peace away from the public eye.
My heart goes out to the family at this very trying time!!!

2088 days ago


How absolutely heartbreaking... My grief for these people cannot be expressed. I don't think I could survive such a loss and I pray for each of them as they try to deal with this unspeakable loss. May they find strength in the love they share for each other...

But. I cannot believe those of you who are being so ugly in this worst day of a family's life. Your opinions matter NOT ONE BIT to this poor family, don't you think they have enough pain without your ugly drama thrown in? Not that they will see these comments but how cruel! Why do you feel you have the right to condemn them? Because they are celebrities? They are still people, with intense joy and love, pain and deep regret throughout life. Why step up and make hate filled comments when someone is hurting like this? And you obviously hold yourselves up as righteous? What you have just done to this suffering family, those who have written such scathing remarks, is abominable. You better pray you never find yourselves facing this kind of despair.

2088 days ago


To The Travolta Family, I am sorry for your loss and wish you the best for this very sad time in your lives. Remember the joy and good that your Son brought to your lives, and know that he is at peace now.

2088 days ago


God, do I feel bad for the parents, but if Jett had 2-nannies a baby monitor, then this suggests he had a condition that was severe, especially at the age of 16. They keep saying Jett was last seen going into the bathroom the day before, but at what time? I dont think they know. What is more upsetting, that as a parent of a 17-year old. I never go without 10-hours without checking on her personally. If this is why they had 2-nannies, then they slacked on their jobs.

2088 days ago


The nanny's name is Jeff Kathrein, hence why the name "Jeff" is in the article. People should read more closely before.

I hope this death is closely examined by the authorities in the Bahamas. Hopefully some good would come from it if it prevents more children from dying at the hands of the Scientologists.

Clearly this boy had issues beyond Kawasaki Syndrome, which only causes seizures in the acute phase due to an extremely high temperature. If the boy did have a seizure due to Kawasaki, the nanny should be arrested for negligence for not taking him to a hospital. But teens with autism due frequently have seizures and the Church of Scientology likely would be preventing the Travoltas from seeking proper treatment to prevent the seizures. Hopefully a thorough investigation will uncover the truth.

2088 days ago


Right on Sandra. No point in me posting now since you said exactly what I was going to say anyway. You got it absolutely right.

2088 days ago


Why is everyone asking about the 2 nannies, chimes, etc...? It is absolutely NONE of their business what went on in their household, as far as medical issues go. With parents being so lax in the care of their kids these days, it seems that precautions were in place, & this was a way to keep an eye on Jett's safety. My 6-year-old still sleeps with us, because he stops breathing in the middle of the night. When a child has medical issues, you go beyond what the average person does to ensure their safety & health. Get off the nannies & chimes...IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!

2088 days ago


Sounds like cocaine was involved.

2088 days ago


Threre are other reglions that prevent people from getting the proper medical attention they need. Jehovah's Witneses don't accept blood....they would die first. Nobody knows what if any medical treatment was being proviced, however we do know that supervision was. There is NO anti-sezure medication that will prevent seziures 100%. As a family they may have substitued typical meds. for herbal medication many people try that road. Accidents happen, that's why they are called accidents.
We live in America people, we have a choice of religion. Due to illness some people never get to chose their religion, parents chose it for him. The fact remains that a parents have lost a son. I think it's safe to say the Travolta family loved their son, protected their son and provided a nanny to help care for him. They like you and I are NOT required to tell the world about any health issues our children have. If Jett was autistic, that was their business not ours. Lastly, I do NOT support their religion, however I believe as American's we have a choice of religion. People die every damn day believing in their religion all around the world. My prayers go out to the Travolta family, and any other parent who has lost a child.

2088 days ago

not me    

My heart goes out to the family. Whether it's my choice of religion doesn't matter; I hope their beliefs help them through this horrible time. What if it were one of my sons? I can't imagine that I would even want to go on living.

2088 days ago


Apparently the chimer didn't work and the caregiver was NOT around 24/7 as the story say's...someone is lying....

2088 days ago

Um Hello???    

Kawasaki disease is an illness that involves the skin, mouth, and lymph nodes, and most often affects kids under age 5. The cause is unknown, but if the symptoms are recognized early, kids with Kawasaki disease can fully recover within a few days. Untreated, it can lead to serious complications that can affect the heart.

Kawasaki disease occurs in 19 out of every 100,000 kids in the United States. It is most common among children of Japanese and Korean descent, but can affect all ethnic groups.

Signs and Symptoms
Kawasaki disease can't be prevented, but usually has telltale symptoms and signs that appear in phases.

The first phase, which can last for up to 2 weeks, usually involves a persistent fever higher than 104° Fahrenheit (39° Celsius) and lasts for at least 5 days.

Other symptoms that typically develop include:

severe redness in the eyes
a rash on the stomach, chest, and genitals
red, dry, cracked lips
swollen tongue with a white coating and big red bumps
sore, irritated throat
swollen palms of the hands and soles of the feet with a purple-red color
swollen lymph nodes

During the second phase, which usually begins within 2 weeks of when the fever started, the skin on the hands and feet may begin to peel in large pieces. The child also may experience joint pain, diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain. If your child shows any of these symptoms, call your doctor.

2088 days ago


My prayers are with this family during this tragic time.

As for the people saying there was something wrong with the family having 2 nannies, a chime on the bathroom door, and a baby monitor, these people are famous, and you have no idea what kind of crazy things or people they deal with everyday, throw in a sick child and you take serious precautions. And unless you have this child dr records available you have no reason to speak on what kind of treatment they gave this child, I am sure it was good care, most people with the disease this child had only lived to be age 5, so unless you have all the facts, you should have nithing to say otherwise!

2088 days ago


I think it is horrible that so many people are making up their mind that John Travolta and his beliefs had something to do with this. None of us know what happened. And as for having nannies and a baby monitor we don't know exactly what that was all for. And he has a history of have seizures so any responsible parent would make sure if he did have a seizure someone could find out and get to him ASAP, which is probably why there were nannies and a monitor. You can't expect John and Kelly to be there 24/7. They live a life we don't know about. My brother died when he was 5 years old and it was on the news and my dad was blamed, which he had nothing to do with it. So before people start making accusations you might want to put yourself in their position. At this time it's not about us critisizing who they might be as people it's a time to respectfully let them mourn in peace. They may have some wacky ways of thinking but I do agree drugs aren't the answer for children. It is a very sad event that has happened and my thoughts and prayers are with the Travolta family whether they believe in that or not. RIP Jett!

2088 days ago


#10 Sandra,
Yours is the most insensitive post I've ever read. You are looking for Gossip and want to blame anything you can think of. There is no more unbearable pain on the face of the earth than the loss of one's child. You don't get over it, you learn to live with it, every day for the rest of your life! I wouldn't wish that much pain on my worst enemy.

You ask why two Nannies. The boy was prone to seizures, that's why two nannies. The Travolta's child is dead and you are looking for what they didn't tell you. You should hang your head in shame! Don't you understand that a part of John and Kelly has died and is gone forever. Some of the comments others have made are just as bad as yours. Things like blaming Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard or saying that 'you chose the wrong Religion" are totally pointless and incredibly insensitive beyond belief. It's like people that came up to me when my daughter died and told me that they understood how I feel because their dog had just died. I know they meant well, so I forgave them in my heart for it. Comments like yours I could never forgive.

John and Kelly, You have my deepest sympathy. I truly share your pain!


2088 days ago
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