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Gloria Allred representing massage therapist in Travolta sex assault case

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 6:00 PM EDT, Wed May 16, 2012
John Doe #1 has hired Gloria Allred to represent him against John Travolta.
John Doe #1 has hired Gloria Allred to represent him against John Travolta.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • John Doe #1 "is still legally entitled" to sue John Travolta if he wants, she says
  • "We are in the process of conferring with him regarding the next steps," Allred says
  • Travolta's lawyer called the charges from both men ridiculous
  • A federal lawsuit accuses Travolta of groping a male massage therapist in Atlanta

Los Angeles (CNN) -- A massage therapist who accused John Travolta of sexually assaulting him at the Beverly Hills Hotel hired high-profile attorney Gloria Allred to represent him a day after he withdrew from a lawsuit filed by another lawyer.

"We are in the process of conferring with him regarding the next steps, which he may wish to take," Allred said.

The original federal suit against Travolta is still pending, but it involves just one male therapist who says the actor groped him during a massage at an Atlanta hotel.

Attorney Okorie Okorocha, who filed the lawsuit last week, dropped John Doe #1, who made the Beverly Hills allegation, from the complaint Tuesday because of the Texas man's confusion over the date of the alleged incident.

Travolta lawyer Martin Singer called the charges from both men "ridiculous" and said the dismissal of John Doe #1 "completely vindicated" the actor on that allegation.

"We fully expect that my client will similarly be vindicated with respect to Doe #2, as well as with respect to any other person who makes meritless claims against John Travolta," Singer said.

That dismissal was "without prejudice, which means that he is still legally entitled to file a lawsuit against John Travolta if he chooses," Allred said Wednesday.

Okorocha apologized last Friday for putting the wrong date of the John Doe #1 incident in the lawsuit, saying his first client initially told him it was January 16, 2012. Singer produced a restaurant receipt and a time-stamped photograph that showed the actor was in New York, not Los Angeles, on that date.

Instead of just changing the date on the filing to January 15 -- the day John Doe #1 later decided was when it happened -- Okorocha decided to withdraw the allegation from the lawsuit. Otherwise, it would have hampered the chances of John Doe #2's case, he said.

Okorocha also said he had "personality conflicts" with John Doe #1 that contributed to his decision.

The lawyer insisted in a CNN interview Tuesday that he would "mop up" in the courtroom with the allegations made by John Doe #2.

"I can guarantee that John Doe #2 has a truckload of witnesses to back up what he's saying," he said.

His case is also bolstered by a series of e-mails in which the Atlanta plaintiff complains to his supervisor about Travolta's advances, Okorocha said.

Singer attacked one e-mail published in some online reports that purportedly supports the Doe #2 claims.

"Various media outlets are reporting on an e-mail that Doe #2 allegedly sent to his bosses, which significantly does not refer to my client at all, nor does it make any mention whatsoever of any of the things outrageously alleged in Doe #2's lawsuit," Singer said. "Instead, Doe #2 voiced complaints about his co-workers gossiping and being insubordinate."

The e-mail's lack of Travolta's name "says it all," Singer said. "Nothing that is alleged in Doe #2's lawsuit was mentioned in the e-mail he sent to his bosses, making his claims even more unbelievable."

"The allegations in 'Doe #2's' lawsuit are unraveling, just like 'Doe #1's' ridiculous allegations, which were proven false and impossible," he said.

Okorocha disagreed.

"I think I can show a custom, habit and practice," Okorocha said, referring to his allegation that the actor has sexually assaulted dozens of other massage therapists over the years.

"If I bring in 100 people that don't have an ax to grind, don't want any money, they're in 50 different states, they don't know each other, they're all massage therapists, they all have dates, they're at different spa resorts and they say this exact same thing happened, it's pretty hard to refute," Okorocha said.

His client "ain't going nowhere," and is looking forward to a trial, he said.

"He means business, and he is absolutely determined and he's as solid as they come as when it comes to character, history, reputation," Okorocha said. "He's everything you would want in a client."

The second plaintiff was a staff massage therapist at the Atlanta hotel where he claims he was assaulted by Travolta on January 25, the amended lawsuit said.

Travolta, 58, has been married to actress Kelly Preston for 20 years. The oldest of their three children, Jett, was 16 when he died of a seizure while the family was vacationing in the Bahamas in January 2009.

CNN's Kareen Wynter contributed to this report.

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