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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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Scientology is NOT a cult firstly; secondly, as far as taking your kid "to the doc" so they can get him high and desensitized by means of pharmacuticals (a.k.a. POISON) is not exactly a loving or even logical approach to a child's situation, lastly, Travolta seems to have an excellent father to the boy and took many percautions the kid could just of easily have died in a car crash and DON'T even try to tell me you're all so much better because I know just how much danger teenagers these days are in (considering the fact that I'M a teenager). Don't tell your kids not to smoke crack if you give them medication (especially psychiatric medication) - they're all the same thing anyway...

2037 days ago


What is your problem with scientology anyway? I mean seriously...I'd like to know. We don't have like human sacrifices or spiked kool-aid or anything so what's your problem anyway?

2037 days ago


I think they should mind their own business, let them be and leave them alone. I think these guys are just after money and they need something to do, and they know John and Kelly have money so what do you think.

2037 days ago

Some people    

Some of you guys are morons! Get a life...idiots! Travolta is a great actor who has worked hard to get where he is today and I am sure a very caring parent. When you lose a child, let me know what you think then. Geez...some people shouldn't be allowed to breed. Oops...guess that's too late!

2037 days ago


With friends like this, who needs enemies???

2037 days ago


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

2037 days ago


As a Bahamian that lives in the U.S. this is an embarrassment to the Country and to the people of the Bahamas, particularly when it involves leaders in government and community.

Shame on you Obie and the rest of your gang!!!

2037 days ago

Regan McNeil    

These comments are about as sick as the f*****s who tried to extort money from Travolta. 99centz, your 2 cent response shows all of us what a pea-brained idiot you really are. And Ellie, why don't you make sure that you use your hairdryer in the shower next time, preferably with the water running. Two examples of the worst of amerikkka.

2037 days ago


Mr Obie is not arrested,there are two people in custody and mr Obie is not one of them.please get your facts straight before printing it.he was just on the news here tonight.and for the record our island and its people are still beautiful,one person dont make the is still better in the Bahamas.

2037 days ago

This show is fixed    

Not everyone in the bahamas is uneducated. Like every other country on this earth, they are people that try to take advantage of situations.

2037 days ago

patty cake    

hilarious... well cults usually attract losers..guess his energy meter needs to be checked

2037 days ago


I heard that they had taken pictures of the child in the ambulance. What a terrible thing to have happen after losing your child. I am not sure where all the comments are coming from that they didn't take Jett to the doctor, it's common knowledge that they did, and that he was on seizure medications. My sympathy to the family.

2037 days ago


I know Obie he would never do something like this. Insiders on island say that this started with the family trying to pay people off, to hide SOMETHING, and then they turned on them, If you remember everyone involved had glowing things to say about the family at the beginning of this, when the investigation went further, and the Travota family kept contradicting the official police report, things got messy. Someone is being paid off, but it's someone in the police force and the coroners office. And keep in mind Jett was cremated immediately after the autopsy, unusual.

I don't know the Travolta's I'm sure they are truly sorry they lost their son, but something went awry, and Obie is an innocent who THOUGHT, he was in their inner circle, but now their willing to let him go down, to save their own reputation. There is much more to this story than meets the eye.

2037 days ago

Mimi Smith    

Firstly, my heartfelt sympathy is extended to the Travolta family. However, in reference to comments number 31,32,37 & 57, your ignorance betrays your bigotry, i.e. like the monkey you have climbed the tree and your a** is now exposed. I am not a fan of any of the alleged extortionists, but, we are all human and subject to imperfection, be it Bahamian or American. Like in America, some of our citizens choose to educate ourselves, others do not. We all know right from wrong, and whereas most of us abide by the law, a mere fraction of the population, from varying socio-economic brackets, choose not to. It is not fair or right to smite an entire nation/race because of the actions of 03 (three) of its citizens. It has not stopped my family and I from travelling to the islands of the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and America. Do the following ring a bell or bells: Don Imus, Milorad Blagojevich, Eliot Spitzer, Jim Jones, Ted Bundy, James Earl Ray, Lee Harvey Oswald? We as country, will not allow a few, to mar, that, for which our forefathers haved toiled. Forward, Upward, Onward, Together..........March on my Beloved, Bahamaland!!!!!!!

2037 days ago


Who ever did this to a grieving family deserves to be hung. It does not matter if the family is famous or not, its just
sick. IF, (and this is definitely questionable) the media is correct and these people were actual so called friends and are
politians (well they are sleezy anyway), can you just imagine what they are doing to their countrymen. I guess they would be the same political leaders that steal from the poor and any foreign aid that might be sent to help out the local people.

2037 days ago
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