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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

No Avatar
61.

Young, Black and educated    

To "yikes" who commented that the Bahamas and places such as Aruba are filled with uneducated people, I would like to inform you that if you were educated you would understand that one person does not reflect the character of a country. I am sure that only an uneducated person would make such a statement before doing some reasearch, places such as aruba and the Bahamas are educated by the British system, a system i doubt you would be able to survive in. So I would think before I made such a racist and ignorant comment! Every country has its bad apples..look at what goes on in your country everyday before you criticise another's!

2016 days ago
62.

HARDY-HAR-HAR    

Attn: Bahamas Law -- You better figure this out and punish the offenders if you want any more US tourists! This is SHAMEFUL!

2016 days ago
63.

sassy    

this is just sick !

dont go to the Bahamas becaUse it seems like part of the family never comes back. someone always seems to die there.

i feel SO SAD for the family. a child dying is a parents worst nightmare. so sad

2016 days ago
64.

A REAL BAHAMIAN    

FIRST OF ALL...I AM A BAHAMIAN LIVING IN THE BAHAMAS...and I find it amazing that mostly everyone on this site including TMZ wants to open their mouth with opinions they know NOTHING ABOUT!!! Most of you in America worship these celebrities like they are some type of GOD!! Well in the Bahamas, we don't give a crap who you are....celebrity or not..you're only human to us!!! With that being said, TMZ you need to get your facts straight...I watched the local news{IN THE BAHAMAS} tonight and the police department didn't say anything remotely close to what you're saying. LOL...I really would love to know who your sources are...you're paying out money to people who are just feeding you crap.

2016 days ago
65.

HA HA    

99 CENTZ # 14......... TMZ should have ''banned'' your comment. You are evil . What pond did you crawl out from under ? I'm all for freedom of speech , but this is just twisted. Just what are you trying to say ? Jett Travolta is an innocent child who sadly lost his life. You are so sick . I BEG YOU TMZ DO THE RIGHT THING AND PLEASE TAKE DOWN # 14 POST. P L E A S E !!!

2016 days ago
66.

sassy    

A REAL BAHAMIAN

the news lie a lot . sometimes i think tmz is better then the news on tv.

2016 days ago
67.

catherine boudeau    

IF THE TRAVOLTA FAMILY READ ANY OF THIS I DO HOPE IT'S MY COMMENT. MY HEART BREAKS FOR YOU BOTH. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO GO THROUGH WHAT YOU ARE FACING. PEOPLE WHO TRY TO MAKE A PROFIT FROM SOMEONE WHO IS EXPERIENCING SUCH DEEP SORROW ARE THE LOWEST OF THE LOW. PLEASE KNOW THAT MANY MANY PRAYERS ARE BEING SAID FOR YOU, AND IF THERE WAS SOMETHING I COULD DO OR SAY THAT WOULD EASE YOUR TERRIBLE PAIN, I WOULD DO OR SAY IT IN A HEARTBEAT. NO NEED TO GO ON AND ON, JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHO FEEL AS I DO. GOD BLESS YOU BOTH, ARLENE

2016 days ago
68.

uh?    

This "story" from the same midget who almost sunk the original OJ Simpson trial? Go to a news site for the news. Go here for
the latest comic book story.

2016 days ago
69.

why?    

Dear God,
Please forgive us for we know not what we do. Help us to remember he without sin cast the first stone. Please reveal your loving mercy to the Travolta family. Please keep Jett in your loving grace. I pray for all the cold hearted spirits here and everywhere. May you open their eyes to your grace and mercy. To thine be the power and grace the glory forever and ever.

P.S. Be with our new President, guide him to wisdom and please help the American Economy.

2016 days ago
70.

HA HA    

I can't believe no one is as outraged at # 14 comment as I am !!! It is vulgar ! TMZ WHY IS THIS SICK MEAN POST STILL UP ? I will never visit this web site again if it is not taken down .Is 99 centz trying to really say all kids like Jett should die ? PLEASE people speak up if you have a heart and soul . Once again TMZ , do the right thing . I knpw you can because you have before.

2016 days ago
71.

nira k    

And again, what was the information that the extortionists were going to use to get money from Travolta???????

2016 days ago
72.

Alexa    

Will wonders never cease!

2016 days ago
73.

George    

Yeah John looks gay, you can always tell when a guy is a gayford. I remember him being on welcome back Kotter he was a sissy back then, his hair was just longer is the only difference, why isn't he in pictures now ? how he ever managed to get to stardom I'll never know. I wouldn't hire him to do anything but maybe haul off my garbage. he's a looser with Money, probably done a lot of directors a good deed to get to where he is at if ya get my drift !!

2016 days ago
74.

George    

I hate that John's son died, but John is such a dead end actor he probably slamed the boys head so he would die to get the publicity that he craves so much. not to mention the big insurance money, GO TO HELL VENNIE BARBARINO !!! YOUR NAME EVEN SOUNDED GAY, I KNOW YOUR PICTURE ON WELCOME BACK KOTTER LOOKED GAY !!!! PICKLE BOY !!!!

2016 days ago
75.

You Can Do Better    

These parents should be allowed to grieve without all this crap.

2016 days ago
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