3:49pm PT by Matthew Belloni
John Travolta, Marty Singer Sued for Libel by Author of Spa-Sex Book
The legal odyssey involving John Travolta's alleged sexual exploits has taken another turn. Travolta and his lawyer Marty Singer were sued Thursday for trade libel by the author of an incendiary book about the actor.
Robert Randolph, who wrote You'll Never Spa in This Town Again and participated in a 2010 Gawker article called "The Secret Sex Life of John Travolta," claims he has been damaged by Singer's media statements in response to detailed allegations of gay encounters in bath houses. (Here's the Gawker article, to which Singer responded with a lengthy letter to the gossip site denying the allegations and making several statements about Randolph that were widely quoted online, according to the suit.)
Singer allegedly said Randolph had been in mental institutions and suffered from brain damage.
"Several of the statements made by Defendant Singer, on behalf of Defendant Travolta, are untrue and amount to defamatory statements sought to disparage the quality of [Randolph's] property and reputation and to induce members of the public to believe [Randolph] is an unreliable source and thus abstain from purchasing" his book, the complaint alleges.
Randolph, who says his memory is fully operational, claims unspecified damages.
The suit, filed by attorneys from L.A.'s Golden & Timbol, alleges causes of action for trade libel, intentional and negligent interference with prospective advantage. It comes on the heels of two May lawsuits by masseurs who claimed Travolta had touched them inappropriately and subjected them to unwanted sexual advances. Those cases subsequently were withdrawn.
A Travolta rep sends us the following statement on the new suit:
"The lawsuit filed by Robert Randolph is absurd. The suit is based on a privileged communication, and it will promptly be thrown out by the court. To evaluate the credibility of Robert Randolph and his ridiculous lawsuit one need look no further than his own statements published on his website stating that he sustained “permanent brain damage” and had to “retrain” his brain. Randolph also claimed on his website that after he was beaten and sustained brain damage at a spa, he allegedly returned to the same spa months later, and that the same assailant was there and supposedly attacked him for a second time. Mr. Travolta will aggressively defend himself against this lawsuit and expects to be fully vindicated when this meritless case is dismissed."
In addition, Singer has put out his own statement promising to sue the lawyers involved -- much like Singer threatened reps for the men who made previous allegations:
“This is a ridiculous lawsuit. It is based on our letter which was completely privileged under the law. We intend to sue the attorneys for malicious prosecution after the court promptly dismisses this baseless lawsuit.”