Attempted blackmail of John Travolta proves there's a new low in human behavior

Story here.

Gee, this guy’s kid just died. Let’s get $20 million to not release a photo of the dead kid.

Kudos to John Travolta for turning it over to the authorities and I hope these miserable cretins do some long hard time.

It is sickening.

Agreed. At the danger of hijacking on the first post, what sort of crime could they be charged with?

Extortion, I suspect. Oh, the article says “attempted extortion.”

They could have easily sold the pictures to a tabloid for whatever they were trying to extort from Travolta, offering them to him first seems like the “less wrong” option IMO.

I guess there are two ways of looking at this:

  • Raw, naked capitalism at its…um…best?
  • Excuse me, but if your first thought in this situation is “Let’s make some cash”, then there is something very, very wrong with your value system.

I’m glad Travolta didn’t cave. Watching paparazzi chase Britney Spears when it’s clear she’s on the verge of a complete collapse, or hearing them taunt known hotheads or emotionally disturbed celebrities hoping to get a rise, seeing video of them holding a camera while seated behind a driver on a motorcycle endangering the lives of celebrities (and themselves, though no loss there) or seeing photos taken with zoom lenses of actors on their own property, I’m just always amazed at how many completely soulless scumbags there are in the world. This one was just too greedy.

Of course this story reminds me of my favorite moment of a tabloid taking the “moral highground”. When washed up child star turned tabloid superstar Dana Plato died of an overdose (possibly accidental, possibly suicide) in her RV while visiting her boyfriend’s mother in a small town in Oklahoma. The boyfriend, a swell guy named Bobby Menchaca, did what most people would do in his situation- he started hawking pictures he took of her last days and her dead body to all tabloids. None bit, implying he wanted too much for a fairly limited interest story or that they had a conscience… could happen.
The National Enquirer ran instead a morally indignant story about what a sleaze Menchaca was, how he mooched off her for the money she got from a small trust fund and some K-list celebrity appearances and then had the nerve to try and sell pictures of her dead body, which they proudly announced they did not even consider buying. Instead they ran an artist’s rendering of Menchaca taking a picture of Dana Plato’s dead body.
I wish I had a copy of that article, because at the time I almost choked, thinking this was satire right out of Fellini or an Evelyn Waugh novel.

Factual question. Sorry to be seen as if I am siding with the slime.

I got this picture. It is lawful to sell to the Weekly Slime, but illegal to offer the family to buy the thing first? Why?

They wouldn’t do it if there weren’t a huge market for the work. They may be bottom feeders, but we are the scumbags.

I think, and I may be over simplifying, that they weren’t simply offering Travolta a chance to buy the photos, but asking for payment to not sell them. “If you don’t buy them I’ll do something you don’t want done with them” is different and far shadier than “Would you like to buy these?” The money isn’t for a good or service.

I’d like to think that there wouldn’t be a huge market for these, since Jett himself was not really a celebrity, except as an extension of his parents being famous, and since he was a kid, and since it would be even creepier thatn the typical level of creepiness to print them.

I don’t know about Bahamian law, but in the US, a healthcare provider photographing a patient without consent is illegal. Even with consent, photos of patients can be used in very limited ways. (such as teaching material.)

Here in Seattle a few years ago, an odrerly photographed the body of an executed prisoner. He went to jail.

Extorting a grievang parent is low alright. But a new low in human behavior? I think ethnic cleansing is still number one.

Speak for yourself, Cervaise.