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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

95 COMMENTS

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31.

37211    

Church of Scientology is infamous for extorting and Fair Gaming anyone who goes against them. This sounds like they had the news "handled" on their terms, but some locals didn't keep their mouths shut like they're expected to do. The scienos probably offered THEM the money to keep quiet, then cried extortion. The cult of co$ is to greedy to actually give anyone any of their $$$.
What TRUTH are they hiding? What are THEIR CRIMES??

2099 days ago
32.

Shay504    

Who ever tried to make cash out of someones pain is just down right effin dirty...No matter how you look at it! The man is mourning the loss of his son. To take a cheap shot like that is disgusting. Each and everyone who tried to make bank off of this needs to all rot in jail.

2099 days ago
33.

Lord Almighty    

To the conspiracy theorists: If these people had some damning evidence against the Travoltas like Jett died because of their negligence, then why in the hell would THEY contact the police about it? If they had something to hide, they would just pay up! You gossip mongers can be so thick.

This is just another example of TMZ reporting bits and pieces of nothing, and then sitting back and laughing while all the monkeys jump to conclusions. Scandal-in-a-box! It's so easy, anyone can make it!

To TMZ: It's quite a talented bunch you have here. People who can write and write and write so much about a topic when they have about 1% of the facts. That's rare.

2099 days ago
34.

Notafraid Towork    

Hey, I think its just a way for Wilchcombe to get money because he is too lazy to work for it!! Whether you like John Travolta or not he has worked for every penny he has. And I say worked hard. Some bunch that is too lazy to make it big decides to hord in on his money.... Creeps!

2099 days ago
35.

Dan    

"Wilchcombe was a very close friend of the Travolta family." - I'm betting they'd like no better than to beat the sh*t out of Wilchcombe now. As a favor to the family, I say the let John Travolta into his holding cell, and give him 30 minutes alone with the guy to beat the crap out of him. John could recreate the scene from "American HIstory X" and put the guy's mouth on the curb and then step on his head... maybe they could sell that videotape and have TMZ air it?!!



2099 days ago
36.

Melody Figurelly    

YA KNOW IT'S PRETTY DAMN SAD THAT THESE PEOPLE HAVE LOST THERE SON (I COULD NOT EVEN IMAGIN THE FEELING) WITHOUT PEOPLE TALKING AND "THINKING " THEY KNOW WHAT HAPPENED LET ALONE TRY TO TAKE MONEY FROM THEM IN THERE TIME OF NEED AND UNDERSTANDING.THE U.S NEEDS TO KEEP THERE COMMENTS TO THERE SELF AND LEAVE THESE PEOPLE ALONE.IF YOU'VE EVER LOST ANYONE THINK OF HOW YOU FELT??? WELL THATS HOW THEY FEEL !!!! LEAVE THEM ALONE....

2099 days ago
37.

Dan    

Opinions are like A$$HOLES everyone has one. For anyone that wasn't there to be making suppositions about the facts of the case when they weren't there is despicable. I'm a former law enforcement officer and have had to deal with idiots trying someone whether through gossip or in the media. I once had a case where a man was accused in the newspapers of vehicular homicide when he was completely innocent. If you don't know the facts, keep your mouth shut. Either way the Travolta family has suffered a great personal loss and the only thing we should be doing is offering our condolences.

2099 days ago
38.

Laura    

Anna Nicole died in Florida, moron - whoever wrote "wonder what REALLY happpened to Anna Nicole" - she was at the Hard Rock Hotel in FLORIDA... not the BAHAMAS. She's buried in the Bahamas, next to Daniel.

2099 days ago
39.

Debbie    

SICK - can't think of any other word. I could never think of trying to make money off of someone's tragedy, or someone else's fame for that matter. I don't want rich people's money, I want my own, too bad other people don't think like that, this is just sick.

2099 days ago
40.

MyThoughts    

To lose your only son, then have this added to it? I think this calls for some good ol' M@fia help. Have Fat Freddy cut this dudes b@lls off and shove them up his nose.

2099 days ago
41.

deb    

you people are cruel and have no sympathy for anyone may god help u if something happens t o your family or already did may that smack u all in the face

2099 days ago
42.

Lisa    

According to what I heard, they tried to extort him because they had pictures of Jett in the ambulance. With "friends" like that who needs enemies!!! I am soooo sorry for John Travolta and his family. Regardless of how you THINK of him as an actor and father............he still lost his son! I don't understand how people can make such ugle comments when a child is lost. Since NONE of us are family, we will not know the full details and personally...IT'S NONE OF OUR BUSINESS!!! THAT MATTER IS PRIVATE!!! Let's see how some of you would feel if you lost a child one and people questioning you as a parent or guardian. If that is the belief of Scientology for them to do certain things then that is THEIR belief not yours and they have to deal with it.

2099 days ago
43.

chrisa    

i see the church of scientol-nuts is out in full force speading their deceitful lies and no doubt trying to prosecute innocent people.

the charges are bogus! see what a rich cult can do with all that power and money?!

2099 days ago
44.

KEEP IT EASY    

SO FREAKING SICK !!!!!!!! BASTARD

2099 days ago
45.

Hannah    

I admire the Travoltas. They are decent family. The real jerks are like Brolin,Brad Pitt,Christian Bale,Madonna,Rosie,Marion Cottillard,Maggie Gyllenhaal,Streisand,Paltrow,Jeremy Piven,JayZ etc

2099 days ago
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