John Travolta’s ex lover is writing a tell-all: scandalous or everyone knows already?

Back in the 1980s, John Travolta had a six year love affair with a pilot named Doug Gotterba, according to Gotterba. Gotterba is fighting Travolta’s legal attempts to block a book he’s written about their relationship, which he claims lasted from 1981 until 1987. Gotterba states that the relationship ended because Travolta was oversexed and that his constant come-ons started to bother him, at which point he quit working as Travolta’s pilot. Radar Online has a video interview with Gotterba from their sister publication, The Enquirer, and he comes across as very believable and matter-of-fact. He’s cashing in on his long-over relationship with Travolta, but given all of the sexual harassment lawsuits against Travolta and everything we’ve heard over the years, it’s not like his story is coming out of left field.

Radar has been releasing details from Gotterba’s book and they have a lot of exclusive photos of Travolta, taken during their affair. Travolta was in his early 30s at the time and what surprises me is how incredibly hot he was. This was before he married Kelly Preston in 1991 but after he became a Scientologist in 1975. (Tom Cruise’s little buddy, David Miscavige, took over Scientology after L. Ron Hubbard died in 1986. I assume that after Miscavige took control there was more pressure on Travolta to appear straight.) Gotterba says that he had some minor contact with Travolta after he married Kelly Preston, and that Travolta told him he still preferred men. Here’s more:

In a preview to his shocking book, Doug Gotterba tells The Enquirer that he began a sexual relationship with Travola, now 60, when the Grease actor interviewed him for a pilot job in 1981.

During their first intimate encounter in a Monterey, Calif., hotel room, Gotterba claims Travolta offered to massage him — which then lead to sex.

“John was gentle, but very passionate,” the 62-year-old claims. “The next day, he told me, with a big smile on his face, ‘I really enjoyed last night.’ And I told him, ‘So did I.’”

The two quietly became a gay couple, with Gotterba acting as the star’s pilot as a cover.

“I’d stay in the room next to John in luxury hotels,” he says. “Sometimes he’d bring women along as beards. But he would ask me to join him in his suite and we’d spend the nights together. It was our little secret.”

After six years together, Gotterba says he couldn’t keep up with the actor’s extreme sex drive, and soon ended the relationship.

“John was oversexed, and I knew that he had many other lovers on the side. Some of them I’d hear about, others he told me about himself,” he claims.

“John demanded that I come to his house at all hours of the day and night [for sex],” the pilot explains.

In 1987, Travolta met actress Kelly Preston, now 51, and the pair wed four years later.

“I feel sorry for Kelly. She’s a lovely person,” Gotterba insists. “She’s in the middle of all this, and it’s unfair to her.”

Gotterba claims he ran into Travola the year after his blowout wedding.

“We were making small talk when I blurted out, ‘So John, tell me. Now that you’re married, do you still prefer men — or women?’ He looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘Well Doug, I still prefer men!’” he recalls. “That’s the last time we saw each other.”

[From Radar Online]

I would feel sorry for John Travolta if he wasn’t (allegedly) abusing masseurs and numerous other people and if he wasn’t such a litigious person. I would feel sorry for Kelly Preston if she wasn’t continuing to spout Scientology nonsense and continue to advocate for the cult. She’s brainwashed beyond belief though, I’ll never forget the ridiculous interview she did after her baby was born. I think that she definitely knows her husband cheats on her with men but that she chooses to ignore it, and that all that auditing helps her forget.

In terms of this book, it’s not exactly news that Travolta enjoys the company of men but it may be an interesting story about a closeted actor at the peak of his fame. I want to know how much influence Scientology had on him in the early years too.

The 67th Cannes Films Festival



photos are of John Travolta at a Quantas event in 2002, with Kelly at Cannes this year, and in 1997 and 2001. Credit:

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61 Responses to “John Travolta’s ex lover is writing a tell-all: scandalous or everyone knows already?”

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  1. Chris says:

    Feels like the Geico commercial: “Everybody knows that”.

    • Gea says:

      All those rumors for years ok…so what . What if chooses this or that? Personally I think, that is a nobodies business. He have a right to live the way he wants to and that obsession with his persona/ sexual life is absurd. Kelly knows I am sure, who she is married to and she is not naive in any way. I think they are publicly scrutinized because of their strong religious believes. I don’t know so much about Church of Scientology but obviously there is big movement out there against the church and their visible members. There are people out there who are hunting for celebrities.and trying to cash in big time , clamming bla bla sexual abuse. Gotterba is trying to cash in and make some money with his stories, how pathetic.

      • rudy says:

        Scientology is a cult. David Miscavige is promoting a ‘religion’ that hunts down parishioners if they leave, empty their bank accounts if they stay, and insist that cult members disconnect from their kids, their parents, their family and friends, unless they also join the cult. It is a very dangerous organization that is currently hiding sex abusers as well as mistreating, torturing and kidnapping people. It is NOT a church.

        John Travolta has every right to privacy but as a public figure, but it is disgusting that he is a part of this dishonest, violent organization. Narconon is being sued all over the world. This is the Scientology branch that supposedly helps addicts, instead it makes them worse and at times, has been responsible for the death of their clients.

        This is not a church that helps the homeless. THis is a church that creates the homeless.

      • Bridget says:

        Not to mention all of the allegations of sexual assault.

  2. Kiddo says:

    As rumor has it, Kelly Preston had some type of traumatic event involving Charlie Sheen and a gun (maybe she was shot, maybe they were both high?), Travolta was about to be outed by a gay porn star at the top of his career when he was considered ‘hot’ property, especially by female admirers, and then the two rapidly married, and the scandalous stories disappeared. I think CoS had a lot more influence and power in Hollywood back in those days. I recently read all this somewhere, but don’t recall the source. *(It may have been the original archived pieces, after seeing something on d-listed or radar. Down the rabbit hole).

    It seems to me that these stars were truly in vulnerable circumstances when they made the commitment to the church. Even Kirstie Alley had an admitted dangerous drug addiction that she feels was cured by membership.
    It’s my opinion that many organizations benefit from people being vulnerable and in bad circumstances when they get caught up in something, in general.

    • kri says:

      Holy crap, @Kiddo!! Wow. That is some crazy stuff. The COS scares the hell out of me-I’m glad that they are being exposed for the awful things they do to vulnerable people and they way they treat members who leave. They are, in my opinion, a dangerous cult. I am sorry if anyone here is a member, but I really feel this way. As for JT-sigh. This is why I hope more actors come out. No one can hold anything over you if you are brave enough to be who you are.

      • Kiddo says:

        I’m trying to find the source of that info. It might have been archived Vanity Fair or Time mag, can’t seem to find it. Maybe it was already linked in a story that I read.

      • AG-UK says:

        Just found something that Charlie claimed she shot herself by accident happened in 1990 in the arm. NOW I haven’t handled a weapon but seems to be really tricky to shoot ones self in the arm if the gun is semi heavy and recoil and all.

    • AG-UK says:

      She did get shot it went off accidentally.

      • Kiddo says:

        “accidentally”…with Charlie Sheen, as we know him today, what the hell were they doing with a loaded gun AND how freakin’ high was he?

      • eliza says:

        Accidentally! Lol. That is the “story” but I believe it not to be the truth.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        LOL @ the gun “accidentally” going off.

      • Lady Macbeth (Hiddles F.) says:

        Yes, Oscar Pistorius also accidentally shot his girlfriend. This ‘accidentally’ thing must be trendy as an excuse.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s what I’ve always suspected about CO$ – they prey on the vulnerable, confused, struggling, etc and promise them the moon…so long as they empty out their bank account. I can see how someone who is lost in life and scared finding comfort in someone telling you they know how to make it all better, but at some point, you’d think they’d realize how messed up the organization is. I guess by then it’s too late, they have dirt on them and threaten to cut them off from everyone if they leave.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        Scientology is a dangerous cult. They definitely prey on the vulnerable and teir sole aim is to squeezes as much cash out of their members as possible. They have also been linked to a rather large number of suspicious deaths. There’s a reason they illegal in Germany.

        They stance in mentall illness is also really troubling. They don’t believe in mental disorders and encourages members on medication to stop. There have been some horrific tragedies where mentally vulnerable members have committed suicide and murder/suicide. There was a case years back in Denmark where a couple (CoS) had a nanny, also, CoS who have severe mental problems (psychosis) – she murdered their infant children, put them in a stroller and walked around with them. The couple blamed psychiatry for the tragedy.

  3. Freebunny says:

    Even if Travolta is a douche I feel a bit bad, not specially for him but for all these actors or actresses who, somehow, must fear that someone they love, will, maybe, one day write a book about what they’re living together.

  4. in_theory says:

    I’m not sure why they call the book “shocking” – Travolta just had a male lover, that is all. I hope they would also call it “shocking” if he was revealed to have had a secret affair with a woman.

    • Kiddo says:

      It’s shocking that the book would make it to press without the guy being stalked by CoS.

      • Dinah says:

        Maybe he will just disappear like Miscavige’s (? sp) wife.
        But then that wouldn’t be so shocking now, would it?

      • holly hobby says:

        John sued to stop the book but I read in the trade newspaper that the 9th Circuit Ct of Appeals allowed the book to be published. I think JT sued on grounds of a confidentiality agreement. So yeah, the courts ruled against JT.

  5. GeeMoney says:

    I’ve read that the reason why he doesn’t come out has to do with Kelly Preston wanting him not to.

    I wish he would just do it already… he’d probably would be happier. And I bet the public wouldn’t love him any less. I know I wouldn’t.

    • Kiddo says:

      I think people would love him more, and he wouldn’t have to be a creeper with men who might not be interested.

      • paola says:

        I think at this point both Tom Cruise and John Travolta belong to the creepy department and they are beyond salvation.
        Nothing could drag me into a cinema watching one of their movies and I’ll never like them again.

    • eliza says:

      It is his church that does not allow him to come out. I doubt Kelly would care if the truth came out but the CO$ would.

      • GeeMoney says:

        Why wouldn’t she care? She’s been perpetuating the myth with him that he’s a straight man. I’d like to think that everyone knowing that she willingly married a gay man for whatever reasons (probably for her career) would bother her somewhat…

    • FingerBinger says:

      I don’t think Travolta wants to come out. I think he likes the secrecy and the clandestine sexual encounters he has with men.

    • Adrien says:

      Public would love him more but Hollywood would’nt be as accepting. Scientology won’t be happy. Remember that they can “cure” homosexuality.

  6. Greata says:

    Whether Travolta is gay is irrelevant to me . What bothers me about this man is his sleazy behavior, and recklessness in the way he goes about trying to procure his lovers. Kelly Preston must know the truth, but dear God in heaven do these people give any thought to their children? He seems to be concerned only with sating his obviously HUGE appetites for sex and food.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      ITA. Also, why do we all automatically assume he’s a closeted gay? He might just be a bisexual dude with a roaming dong.

      • MrsBPitt says:

        Thats what I think…..He is a bisexual man….none of my business, but sad to say, I may have to read this book if it ever gets published (hangs head in shame)…

      • VavaVoom says:

        laughed hard at your last comment ☺

  7. eliza says:

    I really have zero respect for Travolta. I think I soured on him when Jett passed away. I am one of “those” that fully believe IF Travolta had not been mind screwed by $cientology, his son might still be alive today. So many questions about what really happened and who was watching Jett.

    I also have no respect for anyone who publicly lives a lie and tries to make everyone else out to be the liar in the situation. The fakery of this heterosexual marriage irks me. Maybe there is a type of love between Kelly and John but it is not the love either one really wants. I think it is unfair to their children and family living a lie, but I suppose it isn’t my life, so……..

    This book won’t tell the world anything we have not long suspected.

    • RedWeatherTiger says:

      I agree. I believe those two allowed their son to die, and Jett is the only one I feel sorry for in this group. God help their other two children if they develop some condition the Cult doesn’t approve of.

    • JennySerenity says:

      Check. I think the primary reason Co$ trains their cult members to mistrust prescriptions, Dr.’s and any part of the medical establishment is bc it completely isolates them. People you would ordinarily turn to for help are demonized by Co$. The more I’ve learned about this cult, the more certain I am that they let Jett die. I worry about their other children, too.

    • Valois says:

      What questions do you mean? Honest question.

  8. Ellie66 says:

    So did they have their children artificially? Didn’t Kelly live with George Clooney back in the 80s and Charlie Sheen.

  9. Christin says:

    John was a big deal in the late 1970s and early 1980s. From what I recall reading and hearing at the time, he was portrayed as being heartbroken for years over the 1977 death of Diana Hyland. Diana was nearly 20 years older and died of cancer. She was filming the early episodes of Eight is Enough when she died.

    She had a little boy and John seemed happy with her. Maybe it was all a smokescreen, who knows. It was a sad story nonetheless. She died in his arms.

    • FingerBinger says:

      They also starred in the movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble where she played his mother.

    • Jayna says:

      I used to think he was gay. I think he’s probably bisexual, but on the spectrum probably likes guys more than women sexually, but can be attracted to women. Although, I think he loves being in a relationship with Kelly, though, and why it works. I think he loves Kelly and is probably very loving to her as he’s an emotional man anyway. Emotionally, I think he would be lost without her. Otherwise, I don’t think she would stay. I do think if he and Kelly broke up, he would just be with men, though.

      Kind of like Fran Drescher’s husband. He came out gay years after she left him. She said in their marriage the sex was great and he loved her and she left him and broke his heart. He was involved in her career, and they had been together forever. She felt suffocated by their relationship and outgrew it, but never left because she thought he was gay. I think he just really loved Fran and it was a real relationship. Without her, he faced his homosexuality and moved on.

    • holly hobby says:

      Yes, I’m old enough to remember this story. She died in his arms. It was all very sad. I really think he’s bisexual, not that I care. Anyway on a side note, John was introduced to $ci by Joan Prather, who played David’s wife on Eight is Enough. I think Joan was in the movie Carrie. I read this in one of the Sci books that are currently circulating out there.

      Yes he was great looking in the 70’s and 80’s. He pulled himself together somewhat in the 90’s but it’s now all gone to seed. I really think $ci has something big on him. For awhile he strayed after Jett’s death but then all these “sexual harrassment” lawsuits came out of the wood work (what’s the status on this? No one knows).

  10. aenflex says:

    Travolta is such a lovely and talented actor. His story, and apparent real-life persona is just sad.

  11. M says:

    Travolta has been irrelevant for a long time except when he did the whole “Adele Dazeem” which people spoke about for a couple days then forgot about it. He was cool in the 80’s and early 90’s and now he isn’t. Rumors of him being gay have been around for so long and he is in that cult of a church so it’s a whatever to me.

    That being said, this guy outing him just to make money is shady.

  12. original kay says:

    Everybody knows that you love me baby
    Everybody knows that you really do
    Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful
    Ah give or take a night or two
    Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
    But there were so many people you just had to meet
    Without your clothes
    And everybody knows

    ~~ Leonard Cohen

  13. jenny12 says:

    I remember having a Vinny Barbarino shirt back in the day…. Wow. I’d feel for him feeling like he needs to hide himself (though I remember Marilu Henner writing about their intense sexual relationship and she’s not CoS, so I wonder what was up with that) except for that he’s harassing other people. If he’s that oversexed, I wonder if drugs are involved.

  14. Adrien says:

    Just come out, John. We want you to be happy.

  15. pnichols says:

    I don’t know why in this day and age someone’s sexual orientation is newsworthy. If he is gay or not, it makes no difference to me. I grew up watching his movies and loved him. Sad if this guy does this. What will he gain?

  16. Dinah says:

    Is it just me, or does Kelly in the sunglasses photo resemble Katie whatsherface who married Tommy Boy?

  17. FrenchLily says:

    I kind of like him. And I feel sorry for him and for all the closeted actors in Hollywood. It’s something I just don’t understand. They say being gay can have an impact on the way actors are received, on their fanbase, but it just doesn’t make sense to me. I mean if I have a crush on an actor, I don’t care if he’s straight or gay, it doesn’t change anything for me. For exemple, I’ve had a huge crush on Wentworth Miller since the beginning of Prison Break and when he finally came out I was happy for him and it didn’t lessen my crush.

    • Claire says:

      Whenever I have a crush on a gay guy, everyone always tries to discourage me. I don’t care, I do what I want!

    • lucy2 says:

      LOL, like if a gay male celeb were straight, any of us would have a chance! Reminds me of that line from Friends “Yeah, that’s why you won’t get Isabella Rosselini. Geography.”

      I see your Wenworth Miller and raise you a Matt Bomer.

  18. Jayna says:

    This guy has been schilling his story for years. It’s nothing new and nothing John’s wife doesn’t know already about John. They’ve lasted this long. She obviously accepts it and seem to love one another. She’s aged so beautifully, one of the prettiest woman in her 50s in Hollywood and whatever she does, it’s minimal, not that done look or pillow face cheeks or lips.

    I don’t understand her Scientology ties and never will.

  19. G says:

    Dammit he was crazy HOT in the eighties…that’s really all I got.

  20. Bread and Circuses says:

    Were it not for the sexual assaults on masseurs, I’d feel very sorry for Travolta.

    He had his career start in a time when a sexy young male actor COULDN’T have a career if he was openly bi-sexual or gay, and now he has kids and a wife and a creepy cult acting as more reasons for him to stay dishonest — on top of whatever stigma still exists in Hollywood.

    It’s a tragic story — except for the assaults.

  21. lucy2 says:

    It feels like John has had to live a lie, or at the very least not be honest about part of himself, for a long time, and CO$ is a big part of that. For that I’ve always felt bad for him, but not once I heard about all the spa problems.
    Whatever their situation, I think Kelly has always known all of it, and doesn’t care. I always got the impression she wanted a celebrity husband and high ranking CO$ guy, and the rest is just swept under the rug.
    This guy trying to cash in is kind of gross.

  22. Kelly says:

    I always liked that he was such good friends (it seemed) with Olivia Newton-John. I feel like they had a good relationship and she knew that he was gay. I don’t know them of course but just what it appears to me. Kelly Preston, don’t know what her deal is.

  23. LovesGossip says:

    Carrie Fisher already outed John as gay (not bi). I personally could care less if the usual suspects ( Tom Cruise, Will Smith, George Clooney,Hugh Jackman, Bradley Cooper etc. etc.) are gay or bi or whatever. I’m more intrigued by the lengths/lies they will go through to appear straight. I have never understood why liberal/anything goes Hollywood is imo just as homophobic as conservative middle America (maybe even more so). It makes no sense.

  24. Martha's Armrest says:

    The only thing about Travolta that I can’t understand is Kelly Preston. How can you be in denial about this? But then she’s a scientologist….

  25. Vilodemeanus says:

    Don’t forget that as a parent he ignored any meaningful treatment for Jett’s autism and no doubt did terrible cures that CO$ subscribes to which must have been like torture for that poor kid. I don’t pity anyone gay, there is nothing wrong with them at all. What I pity is your best acting is done to maintain a lie, and while Kelley gets a lifestyle she never could have earned on her own, it’s a very high price to pay and no doubt confusing and dysfunctional for the kids in their home. It’s the damage the lie does to everyone around you that makes you a bad person.

  26. Elba Spangenberg says:

    JT is a very talented actor. He deserves to live his life as he likes it. His private and intimate life belongs only to him and his wife.