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In Nassau, Travolta testifies about day son Jett died

  • Story Highlights
  • Travolta, wife Kelly Preston and family were vacationing in Bahamas
  • As Jett had seizure: "We continued CPR, and my wife was holding his head"
  • Travolta initially wanted to fly son to Florida, then changed his mind
  • Paramedic, former Bahamian senator are accused in $25 million extortion plot
From John Couwels
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NASSAU, Bahamas (CNN) -- John Travolta spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday about his desperate efforts to save his teenage son's life after he suffered a seizure at the family's vacation home in the Bahamas in January.

John Travolta and Kelly Preston leave a courthouse in the Bahamas Wednesday.

John Travolta and Kelly Preston leave a courthouse in the Bahamas Wednesday.

Travolta testified in the criminal trial of a paramedic and former Bahamian senator, who are charged with a plot allegedly designed to extort $25 million from the actor.

Travolta and his wife, actress Kelly Preston, have remained secluded for most of this year. Friends have described their deep grief over the death of 16-year-old Jett Travolta.

Jett was found unresponsive by a nanny at the home on the island of Grand Bahamas, where the family was spending a New Year's holiday, he said.

A family friend with a medical background helped in urgent efforts to revive Jett, Travolta said.

"We continued CPR and my wife was holding his head," said Travolta. His wife sat in the Nassau courtroom, sometimes crying as she watched the testimony.

Travolta said he initially told the ambulance driver to rush them to an airport where his private jet was parked. Travolta, who is a pilot, said he wanted to fly his son to a West Palm Beach hospital instead of driving him to one in Freeport.

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The paramedic, however, asked Travolta to sign a statement releasing the ambulance company from liability.

"I received a liability of release document," he said. "I signed it. I did not read it. Time was of the essence." Video Watch Travolta and Preston leave court »

Travolta said that while he and his wife were riding in the ambulance with their son, they decided to divert to the hospital.

At the hospital, Travolta was told his son "wasn't alive," he said.


The defendants -- paramedic Tarino Lightbourne and former Bahamian Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater -- allegedly tried to get Travolta to pay them $25 million to not make public a medical document about his son's death.

The judge told Travolta to return to the stand for more testimony Thursday.

All About John TravoltaJett TravoltaKelly PrestonBahamas

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