Travolta 'victim of blackmail plot'

Authorities in the Bahamas have charged an island senator and detained two other people in connection with an alleged plot to extort money from the actor John Travolta after the death of his son.

Pleasant Bridgewater has been charged with abetment to extort and conspiracy to extort, and released on $40,000 bail. She was an MP until the 2007 general election, then appointed a senator, but resigned yesterday.

Authorities said Travolta filed a complaint of attempted extortion but they did not reveal what the allegations involved. Media reports said it was a threat to sell pictures of Jett Travolta's body if the actor refused to pay for them himself. A figure of $20m has been rumoured. Jett died of a seizure this month at his family's vacation home on Grand Bahama.

The two other detainees – Tarino Lightbourne, an ambulance driver, and the former tourism minister Obie Wilchcombe – were held on Friday.

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