Judge dismisses defamation lawsuit against actor John Travolta

Fri Sep 28, 2012 11:01am EDT

U.S. actor John Travolta poses during a photocall to promote the film Savages on the third day of the San Sebastian Film Festival September 23, 2012.. REUTERS/Vincent West

U.S. actor John Travolta poses during a photocall to promote the film Savages on the third day of the San Sebastian Film Festival September 23, 2012..

Credit: Reuters/Vincent West

(Reuters) - John Travolta has scored another legal victory with the dismissal of a defamation lawsuit filed by a Los Angeles man who wrote a book alleging he had gay encounters with the film star.

A judge in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday dismissed the defamation lawsuit against Travolta and his lawyer, Martin Singer, filed by Robert Randolph.

The author of "You'll Never Spa in This Town Again," published in February 2012, claimed the actor and lawyer spread false statements about his mental health in 2010 in an effort to dissuade the public from buying his upcoming book, according to court documents obtained by Reuters.

Judge Malcolm Mackey on Thursday dismissed Randolph's defamation suit, which centered on a letter Singer wrote to the website Gawker.com in response to a story about the planned book. Court documents available to Reuters did not spell out the reason for the dismissal, but CNN reported the judge found, in part, that the letter has free speech protection under the law.

The book was published three months before two unidentified male masseurs filed sexual assault lawsuits against Travolta, the star of "Grease" and "Saturday Night Fever." Both accusers swiftly dropped their lawsuits in May after doubt was cast on the details of their alleged encounters.

Travolta, 58, has been married to actress Kelly Preston since 1991.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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