Groping on the High Seas? John Travolta - Fabian Zanzi Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Over, Finally

Fabian Zanzi - Royal CaribbeanA year ago. Cruise Law News was the first one in the U.S. to report that a Royal Caribbean crew member, Fabian Zanzi, claimed that movie celebrity John Travolta sexually harassed and assaulted him during a cruise.  We had first heard of the alleged incident several years ago from a crew member client who worked on Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas cruise ship. 

We were told that a Royal Caribbean crew member claimed that Travolta came-on-to-him during a cruise on the Enchantment in 2009.  

Zanzi's lawsuit claims that after he served Travolta room service, Travolta disrobed, "forcibly embracing" Zanzi while naked, and engaged in "nonconsensual, inappropriate, extreme and outrageous" contact. 

Zanzi reported the incident to his supervisors at the cruise line. Royal Caribbean then punished Zanzi and kept him confined to his cabin. Travolta ended his cruise early and took a jet back to the U.S.    

Travolta denied everything of course. 

Travolta's lawyers responded to Zanzi's lawsuit by moving to dismiss it and to send the case to arbitration. This way Travolta could avoid the publicity of a jury trial. Arbitration usually results in lower damages awarded to the aggrieved party. This is how cruise lines respond to lawsuits by injured crew members.

A federal court judge recently denied Travolta'a motion to arbitrate the case. You can read the well reasoned opinion here. This means that the case would head toward a jury trial.

But yesterday, the Hollywood news reporters said that Zanzi's lawsuit had been "dropped," after the John Travolta - Fabian Zanzi - Cruise Shipparties had stipulated to a dismissal.  Sounds to me like Travolta paid a settlement, after losing his arbitration motion, in order to avoid the prospect of all of his dirty laundry being aired out before a jury in Los Angeles. The parties probably agreed to keep the settlement terms secret.  A good move by Travolta to put this spectacle to bed.

Meanwhile, Zanzi is proceeding with his claim against Royal Caribbean that it falsely imprisoned him in retaliation for reporting the alleged sexual harassment.

The Zanzi - Royal Caribbean false imprisonment claim is in arbitration, so there will be no jury trial for the Hollywood reporters to attend. My prediction is that eventually the cruise line will agree to a settlement, subject to a confidentiality agreement.

Then the case will end like it began, with everyone trying to keep what happens on cruise ships secret. 

 

Photo credit - John Travolta - WENN

Royal Caribbean Crewmember Sues John Travolta For Sexual Harassment

Fabian Zanzi - Royal Caribbean  - John Travolta - Sexual Harassment?This week there has been a whirlwind of media attention surrounding allegations by a masseur that John Travolta sexually harassed and assaulted him in Hollywood earlier this year.  TMZ posted the lawsuit on line. The lawsuit reads like a pornographic paperback.  Travolta denies the lurid allegations in what is being called the "massage lawsuit."    

A second masseur also came out with allegations of similar conduct by Travolta. 

Now, there's a third sexual harassment allegation (actually made before the first two) involving another similar lawsuit recently filed against Travolta - this time by a cruise line employee.

Chilean Fabian Zanzi (photo left via facebook), a former employee of Royal Caribbean Cruises, alleges that in May 2009 Travolta was cruising aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship as a guest.

As reported by ABC.es,  Zanzi was working as a manager on the unidentified Royal Caribbean cruise ship and was responsible for taking care of VIP's. Travolta "said he had something on his neck. I thought it was a fuzz. As I approached, he took off his white coat and was naked. He hugged me and asked me to do a massage."  Zanzi said that Travolta offered him $12,000 to have sex with him, but he refused. 

According to Zanzi, he reported the incident to his supervisors at Royal Caribbean who not only did not believe him but confined him to his cabin.  Royal Caribbean later fired him.

Zanzi originally told his story to Peru's 24 Hours. The allegations have been circulating in newspapers in South America.

I suppose it's only a matter of time before TMZ or another TV tabloid picks up on the John Travolta-harasses-cruise-employee lawsuit story.

I have heard rumors over the years about John Travolta sexually harassing crew aboard Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas cruise ship, although this is the first I have heard of a lawsuit filed by a crewmember.  

Travolta is one of my favorite actors.  He was great in Civil Action.  But I find these allegations quite, shall we say, travolting . . . 

You can hear Zanzi's allegation in the video below: 

 

 May 10, 2912 Update:

Perez Hilton, Huffington Post and a hundred other media outlets have picked up the story.  (It's strange to think of Perez Hilton linking to Cruise Law News).

Travolta's lawyer, Marty Singer, issued a statement that "this is just another ridiculous claim by someone hopping on the bandwagon to get his 15 minutes of fame with a story about something that supposedly happened over three years ago.”  Mr. Singer apparently does not realize that Zanzi made his allegations public before the two other allegations.

May 11, 2012 Update:

A reader of Cruise Law News brought to my attention that Travolta cruised with Royal Caribbean, on the Enchantment of the Seas, in June 2009, out of Miami.  He apparently did not finish the cruise and return with the cruise ship  to Miami.  Instead, he disembarked the ship in Belize and flew a jet back to the U.S.  

May 14, 2012 Update:

TMZ has a link to certain cruise line documents indicating that Travolta was on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship in June 2009.