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Travolta Friend, 2 Others Arrested in Extortion Plot

1/23/2009 6:29 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

John TravoltaUPDATE 11:35 PM ET -- After being detained earlier in the day, Wilchcombe was released pending further investigation. Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater was charged with abetment to extort and conspiracy to extort and released Friday on $40,000 bail. Lightbourne remained in police custody.

UPDATE 6:52 PM ET --
A police official tells TMZ Wilchcombe was initially brought to the police station under the pretext of helping authorities crack the case, but is now "implicated" in the alleged extortion plot -- that's why he's currently in custody.

We've learned...Obie Wilchcombe, the former Minister of Tourism, was one of three people in the Bahamas who was arrested by Bahamian police in connection with an alleged $20 million extortion plot against John Travolta, local authorities tell TMZ.

Wilchcombe was a very close friend of the Travolta family. On Larry King's show, he talked about how the family was coping with Jett's death.

Just yesterday, he told the media, "I thought it was a despicable act. One person should not destroy the character of the country."

On Larry King's show, Wilchcombe talked about the intimate details of the funeral home and the cremation, etc.

Wilchcombe has said no politician was part of the plot and said only one person was involved. Yet two of the three people arrested were politicians -- Wilchcombe, a Senator in Parliament named Pleasant Bridgewater and an ambulance driver named Tarino Lightbourne. Lightbourne reportedly was one of the EMTs who tried to revive Jett.

Wilchcombe is a current member of Parliament.

The videos below show Wilchcombe calling into "Larry King Live" on the day Jett died and Lightbourne doing an interview with "Inside Edition" the next week.

Larry King Live: Click to watchInside Edition: Click to watch


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WOW HOW RUDE!!!!!!!!!!!

2062 days ago

Mike Kochhertz    

Looks like he's in deep theton thought, he's even quivering in the photo. Wow, I don't know if I've ever typed the word
"quivering" before???

2062 days ago

two cents    

Are you sure it isn't Obi-Wan Kenobi! Whew! That was indeed close.

Gee, I wonder what they had on Jett. Maybe the real reason why he died? Maybe photos that don't line up with the cult's story of what happened. Whatever. Be careful John, the truth always comes out. Just ask TMZ! LOL

Lord Xenu! Where are you?

2062 days ago


Maybe dude knows what happened to Anna Nicole and her son too!

2062 days ago


I would also fake being his friend so I could get some cash. Travolta is toad, anyway. Nobody really likes him. He is gay and hides it. Rotten actor, terrible father who didn't take his kid to the doc.

2062 days ago


WOW! We all need "close family friends" like that. Suffering the greatest loss any parent could imagine and all the while your "close friends" are trying to extort 20 million out of you.

I will admit though, I'm wondering what they could have been "extorting"? Makes ya go hmmmm doesn't it?

2062 days ago


really tmz.
get ur facts straight.
they have someone in questioning but its not obie.
i know him personally and he wouldnt do something like that.
trying doing actual investigating before u print these stories that can mess up people's lives.

2062 days ago


It is such a terrible tragedy the Travolta's are going through. It's awful that someone tried to profit from it, but it's getting a little ridiculous how much coverage this is getting despite the fact that NOBODY ACTUALLY SAYS HOW THEY TRIED TO EXTORT HIM.

2062 days ago


How tasteless of those people? There's gotta be a special place in hell for anybody who does something like this to someone experiencing such heartbreak. Sad.

2062 days ago


Some people will do anything for money. This is adding insult to injury. I'm so sorry for the family.

2062 days ago


oh well it was bound too happen with it being travolta's son the pic of jett is worth a lot of money thats part of being a world famous actor and having money

2062 days ago


Usually celebs use politicians for their own illegal purpose, in this case it worked the other way. Wonder how much the rules were broken or bent for Travolta, now that it's cutting the other way he's squawking.

If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

2062 days ago


What was he in charge of as the Minister of Tourism? Besides Para Sailing rides, did he also handle autopsies?

Gosh these lovely countries to visit are suddenly becoming rather dirty...

2062 days ago


One of the coolest aliens on the 1960s OUTER LIMITS series was a Theton. John probably show that episode and the rest is history.

2062 days ago


What GHOULS! Just let the young man rest in peace. I'm not a big fan of John Travolta, but really now, his son is dead and now the worms come 'round with their hands out.

2062 days ago
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