In a 31-page ruling issued last Friday, February 1, a California federal court judge denied actor John Travolta's appeal for the lawsuit filed against him by a cruise ship attendant to be litigated in secret. Judge Stephen Wilson ruled no arbitration for Travolta, slamming his lawyer Marty Singer's unusual arguments about why the case should be tried in private.
The "Saturday Night Fever" star is facing assault and battery and infliction of emotional distress charges since the lawsuit was filed against him by Fabian Zanzi, a Royal Caribbean cruise liner steward, in June 2012. Zanzi claims the actor allegedly disrobed, exposed his penis and then forcibly embraced Zanzi after he obliged to Travolta's request for a neck massage.
Travolta has since denied the allegations, and through his attorney, has threatened to counter-file malicious prosecution charges against Zanzi. After the case was filed in court, he and his lawyer argued that as part of his legal rights as a passenger aboard the cruise which he has entitled himself to following the purchase of the ticket, he has entered into an agreement between the cruise operator, and therefore also with Zanzi as its employee, to settle all disputes in arbitration.
In deciding the arbitration plea, Judge Wilson, despite acknowledging that the cruise operator and Travolta had a valid contract between them, said there's no evidence that the plaintiff (Zanzi), being a non-signatory to the agreement, can be compelled to agree to the more speedy and private arbitration.