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HomeEntertainmentIs John Travolta Gay? Here’s What We Know About His Secret Sexuality

Is John Travolta Gay? Here’s What We Know About His Secret Sexuality

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John Travolta once again found himself engulfed in gay sex rumors, resurrecting the long-looming question: Is John Travolta gay?

Over the years, several people have stepped forward to accuse John Travolta of being gay or, worse, sexually harassing them.

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From private masseurs and porn stars to ship employees and his company staff, the actor’s reputation was all but hanging by a thread at some point thanks to the resulting legal battle and media scandal. These gay rumors have prevailed for almost as long as the actor’s career.

Is John Travolta gay | Image: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

In September 2022, the allegations experienced a rebirth after Mike Rinder, a former senior member of the Church of Scientology, claimed to have witnessed Travolta kiss a male masseur.

He also alleged the organization tasked him with dissipating the scandal surrounding Travolta’s sex life to avoid soiling the Church’s reputation.

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Although a representative of the Church of Scientology has since denied these claims, highlighted in Rinder’s memoir, “A Billion Years: My Escape from a Life in the Highest Ranks of Scientology,” it has once again stirred the question, Is John Travolta gay?

Is John Travolta Gay?

John Travolta had blatantly denied allegations that he is gay. In one of his interviews, the “Pulp Fiction” star dismissed the claims that he is gay as people’s attempt to extort him, something he called “a celebrity’s Achilles heel.”

The icon divulged:

“It’s just about people wanting money. That’s all. It happens on many levels.”

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John Travolta and Tommy
Image: John Travolta/Instagram

He also explained why such allegations against him prevailed. Travolta attributed it to his reluctance to attack it strongly, like most celebrities, which in turn lets the rumors go out of control.

While the question about John Travolta’s sexuality will always remain subject to public speculations owing to the long-prevailing rumors, the actor’s insistence on his non-involvement in the gay sex allegations screams louder.

John Travolta’s Past Gay Scandals

The scandals resulting from the gay allegations against the actor have prevailed since the eighties. But that does not confirm that John Travolta is gay. Some of the past gay scandals ended up resolving themselves after testimonies became contradictory.

Here’s a timeline of the gay scandals the actor has had to deal with over the years:

1980s: John Travolta Was Allegedly Involved With An Adult Film Star

During the 80s, Pal Barresi, an adult film star, made claims of a romantic relationship with Travolta. Their supposed meeting at a gym led to a tabloid-fueled saga in which Barresi claimed their relationship lasted three years. Travolta, for his part, chose not to address these claims publicly.

2006: He Was Photographed Kissing His Male Nanny

Travolta kissing male nanny
Source: Pinterest

A photograph from 2006 sparked another wave of gossip. The actor was photographed sharing a kiss with his male nanny, Jeff Kathrein. Despite the public frenzy, Travolta brushed it off, emphasizing his habit of affectionately greeting male friends. This explanation didn’t quell the rumors entirely, especially as Kathrein continued to be employed by the Travolta family until 2009.

2007: John Travolta Kissed Kirk Douglas At A Public Event

A year after the photograph, at an awards ceremony, Travolta made headlines again by spontaneously kissing the venerable actor Kirk Douglas. Though the gesture surprised many, including Douglas himself, the intent behind it remained a mystery.

2009: A Male Cruise Ship Employee Accused Travolta of Sexual Assault

John Travolta also had a run-in with former Royal Caribbean Cruises employee Fabian Zanzi. The employee accused him of non-consensually pressing his naked body against his person while aboard a ship in 2009. The involved parties eventually signed documents jointly dismissing the legal action.

John Travolta and Doug Gotterba aboard a ship
Image: Pinterest

2010: Travolta Allegedly Frequented LA Gay Bathhouses

A 2010 memoir by interior designer Robert Randolph claimed that Travolta frequented gay bathhouses in Los Angeles over a span of 15 years. In response, Travolta’s legal team refuted these allegations, questioning Randolph’s credibility due to past brain injuries and time spent in psychiatric facilities. In retaliation, Randolph filed a defamation lawsuit against Travolta and his attorney, but the case was dismissed in 2012.

2012: Scandals Involving Two Male Masseurs and His Former Pilot

The year 2012 seemed particularly tumultuous for Travolta. Two male masseurs came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. A Beverly Hills masseur and another from Atlanta filed sexual battery lawsuits against the star, accusing him of groping them. During the court proceedings, it was discovered that the star was off in New York shooting a movie at the time the Beverly Hills assault allegedly happened. Both cases were eventually withdrawn.

That same year, a former pilot for Travolta, Doug Gotterba, claimed he and Travolta sustained a long-lasting relationship for years back in the eighties. He also threatened the release of a tell-all book detailing his life’s journey, including sexual escapades. The efforts of Travolta’s legal team to prevent him from revealing his “confidential” story proved abortive. In the end, the court ruled in Gotterba’s favor, granting him permission to speak his supposed explosive truth in court.

2022: Recent Revelations from a Former Scientology Official

Even as time passed, whispers about Travolta’s sexuality lingered. A 2022 memoir by ex-Scientology official Mike Rinder alleged further incidents involving Travolta. Given the church’s reputation for secrecy and damage control, Rinder’s claims added another layer to the ongoing saga.

What John Travolta’s Dating History Says About His Sexuality

Despite the prevailing allegations that John Travolta is gay, the actor has not been in any public same-sex romantic relationship. His Hollywood dating profile has seen him linked to the likes of Anita Gilette, Diana Hyland, Brooke Shields, Catherine Deneuve, and Kelly Preston.

John Travolta and Kelly
Image: John Travolta/Instagram

John Travolta began dating Diana Hyland, 18 years his senior, in 1976. They hit it off after co-starring as mother and son in his first TV film, “The Boy in the Plastic Bag.”

The two soon tied the knot and enjoyed marital bliss until 1977, when Hyland passed away from breast cancer. He moved on to French actress Catherine Deneuve in 1980. 

In 1981, Travolta was linked to Brooke Shield, then a teenager. However, it appears their relationship remained platonic thanks to their bogus age gap. He seemingly dated Henner before finally finding love with Kelly Preston.

Aside from these women, John Travolta was linked to other women and co-stars, including rumored relationship with “Grease” co-star Olivia Newton-John. However, the two have clarified they never dated but admittedly had a strong chemistry that sustained their deep friendship until Newton’s demise.

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