Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

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


No Avatar

A Bahamian    

TMZ you have it wrong!! Obie was not arrested and is not involved. He is a good guy and friend of the Travoltas. The other two were questioned by police and may have been arrested. This is a terrible, oportunistic thing to do and those involved should be punished. Punished-not only for the terrible thing they did, but also for what they have done to the Bahamas' reputation. That said---Obie was not arrested and is not suspected of anything.

2076 days ago

Shirley LaFon    

What is wrong with people? This is so cruel when this family is grieving. There is no end to the greed in this Country and everywhere, it seems. Leave the Travoltas alone and let them grieve and get on with their lives in peace. Please.

2076 days ago


In the words of the great Don Imus. "Well, there ya go".

2076 days ago


Such a terrible betrayal! I think they have photos of Jett dying. My condolences again to the family.

2076 days ago

sam schonder    

this just shows you we have a wonderful country to explore. I myself travel abroad and love it but do not trust your family's well fair to another government ( i've been in other countrys and had law enforcement for one reason or another and it was not pretty) God bless Johns Family

2076 days ago

Anne Browne    

How tragic! For the entire family....from the moment this story broke, ne'er do wells were having a field day! Including Larry King. He ought to be horse whipped!

2076 days ago

something smells    


2076 days ago

Buck Naked    

What a douche....

2076 days ago


99 cent; r u nuts?????? noone should have their loved ones exploited like that!!!! jt is a great father and wonderful human being; jett was born with this disease; u can't get rid of it; u just manage with medicine; which he was under a doctors care. u r an idiot and very uncring person.

2076 days ago

Canadian EMT and Health Care Professional!    

First of all....If this is indeed true that an EMT is involved that person is absolutely ridiculous and deserves to be fired from their postition. They have no morals or integrity. Going public is none of anyones business as to what goes on in the privacy of someones intimate and possibly last moments. If there is an inquiry of it... I suppose the States is a little more public with their affairs, but quite frankly if John Travolta or anyone else wants to tell about THEIR private details it is right. Not that of someone they think is a friend.

2076 days ago


Just for the record, not all autistic kids like water, so the elecrocution comment is stupid. And even though the family denies he was autistic because it isn't reconized by their crazy religion, his mannerisms, comments I have read make me believe he was and shouldn't have been unattended.This is so sad regardless, and how tramatic for the family and how dare stupid people tryi to take advantage of them in their time of grief.

2076 days ago

Joshuas mom    

The Travoltas earned their money.They owe no one anything How dare these slime bug losers think they can use such a sad time as this to try to steal their money.These men are some of the lowest life forms on earth.Also they just lost their only son.Can you imagine how hard this time must be for them? Have some empathy.Let them mourn in peace.Just remember, what you do unto others sooner or later will be done unto you.If you harm someone, molest a child rape a woman,steal,lie,make someone suffer in some way then when you are weak and at your lowest point in life (And for some of us it will happen when you are old and vilnerable) it will come right back to you.Nothing goes unseen or unrewarded.?"An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" the bible says.,It also says "Do unto others and it will be done unto you" This means the good as well as the bad.The bible ,what an amazing set of instructions for humans.Don't knock it until you've read it.The bible also says"You have not because you ask not"I dare you to read the bible and find out what that means.Jesus Christ is our savior now and forever.It's based on faith.Look up the word faith.It is so sad that atheists refuse to believe in GOD.What will they say on judgement day when they stand before HIM?You say I don't believe in GOD.Well GOD is alive and well and there is NOTHING you can do to make HIM go away, npthing.GOD will win over satan and all the evil in this world.If you do not invite JESUS into your heart then you are doomed to hell.By doing nothing you are doomed to hell.Read Revelations, it is not a pretty place.We will all go to either heaven or hell depending on our beliefs.There is nothing you can do to keep from going to hell except live for Jesus.Case closed.I would hate to say I don't believe in GOD then die in this world and turn up in hell where there will be constant screaming,gnashing of teeth and knee deep in blood,forever as our punishment.You that surround yourself with thiese vampires and wicca and demons and psychics and such, you will be sorry.The bible says"What you live by so shall ye die by"

2076 days ago


STAY IN THE UNITED STATES...DON"T SPEND YOUR MONEY IN PLACES LIKE THE BAHAMAS, ARUBA, etc...mostly...uneducated...desperate people... who would do anything for money!!

2076 days ago

Brenda Wyatt    

This man just lost his son! These people are not his friends or they would not have done this ! Its rude!.....

2076 days ago


I just cannot get people. You are all so mean spirited. This family lost a loved child! Get over it. You people are all so jealous! Of everything about John T. and his beautiful family! I sure do pray that they do not read this garbage! John, Kelly and Ella. Hold your head high. Know that he is now in a much better place. This world is mean!!!!! God Bless all of you.

2076 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web