Monday, January 16 , 2017, 10:28 am | Fair 58º

 
 
 
 

Local News

John Travolta Civil Case to Be Heard in Santa Barbara County

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.

Travolta has been married to actress Kelly Preston since 1991, according to the Internet Movie Database.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Reader Comments

Noozhawk encourages free expression, regardless of viewpoint, but requires that such expressions be civil in tone, respectful of other commenters and relevant to the stories on which they are posted. We reserve the right to remove any comment for any reason.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree not to submit a comment that is abusive, defamatory, disrespectful, illegal, libelous, profane, vulgar or disparaging (whether on the basis of disability, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, traits with which people are born, or otherwise).

» Agree not to submit a comment that attacks or threatens another person, threatens or promotes violence, wishes for harm to befall another person, invades another person's privacy or proprietary rights, or uses expletives (including veiled profanity).

» Agree not to stalk or harass another person, dominate the conversation, discourage participation by others, or bait, belittle, bicker with, mock or taunt others.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

» Comments with spam or self-promotional links are not allowed. Comments that include links are automatically routed to a Pending queue. Regularly checking it is not a priority of ours.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >