The first tragic celebrity news of 2009 came way too early as reports quickly appeared on Friday that Jett Travolta, son of actor John Travolta and actress Kelly Preston, died in The Bahamas over the New Year’s holiday. Jett was only sixteen and I, for one, knew little about him–a testament to the way his celebrity parents wisely protected him from the limelight. My heart goes out to the Travolta family for their devastating loss. But now there are some pretty big gaps in the details surrounding Jett’s death. Although the Travoltas have every right to remain private during this trying time, they could do a great service by coming out and explaining Jett’s condition and the treatment they decided to use, since some will inevitably start speculating if Scientology is connected in some way to this tragedy.
I am extremely surprised at how delicately the media are tip-toeing around the very idea. But considering the fact that a seizure allegedly had something to do with Jett’s death and that he allegedly also had a history of seizures, it is not too much of leap to begin wondering if Scientology’s aversion to psychiatric drugs might be linked in some way to his medical issues, if in fact, Jett did have a mental condition and not just a physical one.
The Travolta family has only publicly acknowledged one serious medical condition in Jett’s past–Kawaski Disease, a rare disease that primarily affects toddlers. But this wouldn’t explain why a 16-year-old needed a caretaker or a nanny, as has been reported, or why it took so long to find him collapsed in the bathroom. All of this is in addition to rumors of untreated autism, which Scientology does not recognize as a disease.
I can only imagine that to have accusations hurled at your parenting skills when you are in the midst of mourning great loss is the last thing this family wants or needs. But at the same time, divulging information that could squash these rumors might give this family peace from endless future speculation.
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