The civil case between actor John Travolta and his former pilot — and alleged gay lover — will be heard in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, despite Travolta’s attempts to move the hearings to Los Angeles.
Douglas Gotterba worked as a pilot for Travolta — and corporations Alto Inc. and Constellation Productions Inc. — from 1981 to 1987, according to the complaint filed last November.
He signed a termination agreement in March 1987 while living in Santa Barbara County, which has since become the topic of much debate between himself and Travolta.
When reports came out last summer that Gotterba and Travolta had engaged in a relationship, Travolta’s attorneys insisted that the agreement included a confidentiality agreement, according to the complaint filed by Gotterba’s attorneys from Sanger, Swysen & Dunkle.
The complaint states that Gotterba did not initiate the publicity about the relationship, and Travolta’s attorneys from Laverly & Singer threatened legal action for alleged violations of the “purported confidentiality agreement.”
Gotterba says otherwise, and is suing in the face of Travolta’s threats to sue. Gotterba is asking a judge to declare the March 17, 1987, agreement — without a confidentiality agreement — as valid.
With Judge Donna Geck’s ruling this week, the case will be heard in its entirety in Santa Barbara County, not Los Angeles County. Travolta and his attorneys had argued to move the case since the actor and many witnesses reside in Los Angeles.
Geck insisted that the case be heard here, since Gotterba lived in Santa Barbara at the time the agreement was signed.
“The contract at issue was entered into and was to be performed in Santa Barbara County,” she wrote in her tentative ruling, which she upheld in court Wednesday. “Therefore, Santa Barbara County is a proper place for trial.”
Geck also ruled that Laverly & Singer must pay $2,200 to Sanger, Swysen & Dunkle to pay for the time spent fighting the motion for a change of venue.
Gotterba has given multiple interviews to tabloids and other media, and claims that he was Travolta’s gay lover for six years in the 1980s.
According to the Huffington Post, one of Travolta’s former assistants was the one to first tell the media about their relationship.