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article imageOp-Ed: The case of John Travolta and the male masseurs is nothing new

By Alexander Baron     May 10, 2012 in Entertainment
Los Angeles - The recent allegations by two male masseurs against actor John Travolta are nothing new; the rich, famous and powerful are on the receiving end of this sort of thing all the time.
John Travolta is accused of inappropriate behaviour with a male masseur, and in short order another one comes forward. To some people who don't understand human nature, the second allegation may appear to corroborate the first. What do we know so far?
John Travolta is accused of touching a male masseur where only a doctor should ever touch another man, and in short order a second victim comes forward to make similar though not identical allegations. There is a well known saying: no smoke without fire. But there is a lesser known and far more accurate one: there is no smoke without smoke. How does this pan out?
Well, Mr Travolta has been accused of what is clearly a criminal offence, certainly in the first instance. In Britain, this would be called indecent assault, and anyone who is inclined to make an allegation of indecent assault under such circumstances...first port of call should be the police station. Why has that not happened here in either case? Well, again in Britain, allegations of this nature would be handled very discreetly, They are not dealt with in the US with such tact and discretion, but there is still a lot more mileage in contacting a lawyer - suing for assault - and then telling the world.
Yet again in Britain, if an allegation of this nature were pursued in the criminal courts and Mr Travolta were to be convicted, this would open the door for the victim to bring a civil action. Proving an allegation of this nature to a criminal standard is difficult, but the very fact that the allegation has been made means the damage has been done.
But aren't there two such allegations? There are indeed, but as with a saucer flap, once somebody reports a UFO and it gets picked up on the news, everybody is seeing them. This can even happen with allegations of sexual assault. Last year there was a genuine sex attacker on the loose in Cumbria, but that didn't stop two young women coming forward with entirely fictitious claims of sexual assault.
We don't know why Mr Travolta appears to like massage, perhaps he has some sort of muscular problem, but it is easy to see why a heterosexual male in his position would choose male masseurs. Apart from a possibly jealous wife, he might want to avoid fabricated kiss and tell stories, as has frequently happened to actors, rock stars and even soccer players. If that was his motive, he has come unstuck in a big way.
Again, what are we to make of these allegations? The second one has been supplemented with a claim that he said “Hollywood is controlled by homosexual Jewish men who expect favors in return for sexual activity.” Hmm, well Travolta does look a bit like Mel Gibson, so perhaps this guy got his wires crossed, or more likely didn't do his homework.
As stated, allegations of this nature are made all the time. While President, Bill Clinton was caught with his trousers down, literally, or more likely with his flies unzipped, but it was not only Monica Lewinsky with whom he was accused of having unprofessional relations, and the other allegations are all but forgotten now. And who now remembers Larry Sinclair and his allegations against a certain Senator Obama?
Perhaps a more appropriate case though, again from the UK, concerned a certain Nadine Milroy-Sloan. She sold her non-story and made a small fortune. Then she was given three years to mull over her folly.
Two other British cases involving very serious allegations should be mentioned here, both involving actors. In January 2003, the popular TV presenter Matthew Kelly was arrested following allegations that he had interfered with teenage boys. Kelly was and still is widely (and erroneously) believed to be homosexual. He was totally exonerated. More recently, Michael Le Vell was actually accused of raping a 6 year old girl in what was described as an historic offence. Le Vell plays a character in the soap Coronation Street who is both something of a Neanderthal and at times loose with his fists. When the legal authorities realised these allegations had no basis in fact, they issued a typically disingenuous statement to the effect that they were dropping the charges because there was insufficient evidence and no realistic prospect of a conviction. They might just as well said there was insufficient evidence to connect him to the Kennedy Assassination.
With what we know now about the human psyche, it is easy, or should be easy, for us to understand how a young girl can watch a soap opera, see a character who gives her nightmares, and then years later after something is triggered in her memory, believe she has actually met and been raped by this character. Obviously the Travolta allegations don't fit into this category, and have rather more in common with the case of Nadine Milroy-Sloan, but the Kelly and Le Vell cases show just how vulnerable well known faces (and at times all of us are) to false allegations.
While the allegations Nadine Milroy-Sloan made against Neil Hamilton and others were likewise far more serious than those levelled against Mr Travolta, he has made it clear that unlike Michael Jackson he is not going to open his cheque book in order to silence his accusers. Also, like then Senator Obama, he appears to have a full diary:
.“.on that date when the plaintiff claims John met him, John was not in California, and it can be proven that he was on the east coast.”
Watch this space, it could be over very soon.
One final point, this is not the first time John Travolta has been accused of closet homosexuality, or perhaps one should call it bi-sexuality as he is both a husband of some years and a father. But run the name of any famous person - from Whitney Houston to three times married John Wayne - at random through your search engine coupled with the word homosexual (or gay if you really must), and see what comes up. How about this for silliness?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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