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Travolta Friend Says He's Innocent of Extortion

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US Magazine: In the first interview since he was released from police custody, Obie Wilchcombe, a longtime friend of John Travolta and the former Bahamian Minister of Tourism, tells Us Weekly that he has not been charged with any crime and that he was only trying to help the actor and his family. "I did a noble thing," he says.

Wilchcombe was one of three Bahamian citizens who were detained in the past week as police investigated an alleged extortion scheme targeted at Travolta and involving the death of his 16-year-old son Jett, who died of a seizure disorder at the family's vacation home in the Bahamas. Local lawmaker and lawyer Pleasant Bridgewater was arrested on Thursday, and paramedic Tarino Lightbourne, who was quoted in the press earlier this month about efforts to revive Jett, was detained on Friday. Bridgewater was released yesterday on $40,000 bail.

Wilchcombe tells Us Weekly he was approached early last week by Bridgewater who alerted him that "someone was doing something untowards" and that he passed this information to Travolta's lawyers, Michael Ossi and Michael McDermott. "She knew I was close to the Travoltas. She wanted to bring something to my attention." He says this was the topic of his questioning by investigators.

Asked if he sought or expected any compensation from the Travoltas, Wilchcombe was adamant: "Never once, asking for anything! Never once, expecting anything! This is ridiculous and absurd. The Travoltas are suffering, it's just outright foolish. Never did I ask for anything, no one can say that. We had a friend in my country who lost a son. It was one single individual [who tried to take advantage of the family], the Bahamian people have been very kind to the Travoltas."


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