Cruise Gossip - John Travolta

| Thursday, 07 Feb. 2013

John Travolta settles his case with Fabian

The big gossip news in the cruise industry this week is that the case brought by a former Royal Caribbean crew member against mega-movie star John Travolta has been "dropped" with no news of the details forthcoming.

The Hollywood Reporter (a regular movie industry trade newspaper) reported that Fabian Zanzi, a crew member aboard the Royal Caribbean ship (frankly we are not sure if he was the phone attendant at the room service desk, a room steward, or a shipboard masseuse) Enchantment of the Seas, accused John Travolta of dropping his robe so he was fully naked and "forcefully embraced" him.

After the offer was rebuffed by Zanzi, he says, Travolta then made him an offer to write him a check for $12,000 if he would just forget the whole thing ever happened. Obviously, Travolta hoped the whole thing would just be forgotten, but he was not so lucky.

Travolta made this statement …


"While I was indeed a passenger aboard the MS Enchantment of the Seas in or about June 2009, Mr. Zanzi's allegations in the Complaint are entirely false, including... a purported physical encounter with me and his allegations... regarding an alleged financial offer I made him. None of these events happened, and Zanzi's allegations are pure fabrication."

Are you aware of this incident? Tell us here: Cruise News & Gossip

However, Zanzi' story is a little different. He says he was delivering room service food to the actor's cabin when Travolta stripped off his robe and said "Take me, I will take care of you, please." Travolta then offered him $12,000 to "remain silent," but Zanzi instead chose to file a report (ah, good crew training, there) with his department head.

Now this is John Travolta, so we are talking about a major movie star. In fact, we in the cruise world had already heard rumors in our forums that Travolta was on this ship before the incident reportedly took place. Sadly for Travolta - this was not an isolated case. Two other people accused him of similar improprieties in the same time frame - both were professional massage therapists, although they chose to remain anonymous as John Doe #1 and John Doe #2.

So, faced with what was potentially extremely good publicity for Royal Caribbean suddenly gone bad what is a cruise line to do?

They chose to "segregate" Fabian Ganzi in his quarters until Travolta left the ship. After nearly two years of watching this case go back and forth Fabian finally ended his job with Royal Caribbean by resigning on May 18, 2011. Records say that he resigned.

Well, this week the crew-member's case disappeared, although we do not know exactly why. TV Guide reported that Travolta made a deeply concerted effort to have the hearing moved to arbitration, having his lawyer submit a request. Interestingly, the basis for the request was the cruise contract - the same one that we discuss here often when it comes to the rights of the cruise lines and passengers in so many different circumstances. The cruise contract - which we also refer to as the boarding pass - stipulates that arbitration will be used in civil cases between a defendant and a cruise line.

But the judge denied Travolta's request in long-winded 31-page ruling. Later the judge commented, "This argument misses the mark. The pertinent inquiry is not whether Plaintiff's dispute falls within the Cruise Contract's arbitration provision (it might), but rather whether Plaintiff may be compelled to arbitrate despite being a non-signatory."

You can actually read the judge's quite explicit ruling here:

In other words, the "cruise contract" was between Royal Caribbean and Travolta, and the judge added there was no evidence that Royal Caribbean was authorized to bind Zanzi to the Cruise Tour Ticket Contract. However Zanzi still has a beef with Royal Caribbean. He has charged them with "unlawful imprisonment" after the ship's officers chose to confine Zanzi to his own room until Travolta was off the ship. That case is still pending.

Suddenly, on Wednesday (2-6) both parties agreed to drop the case without any specifics. Was there a cash settlement? No one is talking.

Are you aware of this incident? Tell us here: Cruise News & Gossip

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