John Travolta scandal: Sex lawsuits, cross-dressing photo, should the star get PR counsel?

Crisis management PR expert says Travolta should prepare a strategy that goes beyond a courtroom defense.

(PR NewsChannel) / May 29, 2012 / TAMPA, Fla. 
John Travolta scandal
John Travolta should prepare for the scandal with PR counsel, a crisis management expert suggests.

Despite ardent denials, John Travolta, who’s married with kids, continues to be dogged by scandal with stories surfacing in the tabloids and popular entertainment blogs that he’s made sexual advances toward men.

The allegations against John Travolta are salacious, even by Hollywood scandal standards, leaving some public relations experts and observers to wonder what, if anything, Travolta is doing to handle the bad press beyond blatant denials from his lawyer. 

“Some of these claims involve sexual harassment. This is not simply about  whether John Travolta is gay–so this is a legitimate news story. The fact that the claims of unwanted sexual advances are from men just adds to the drama and to the scandal,” says Glenn Selig, founder of The Publicity Agency, a crisis management PR firm. “I do not believe that this story will just go away or simply die out.”

Though Selig says the story has has largely been absent from mainstream media, that likely will change.

“Once it becomes clear John Travolta is either going down or the story  is ridiculously unavoidable, the mainstream media outlets also will jump on it to. Once one does it, the rest will follow,” says Selig on his PR blog.

New York based comedian Juliet Jeske makes light of some of what John Travolta faces.

“John Travolta is far from the only high-profile personality who has dealt with these types of accusations,” writes Jeske on The Huffington Post. “Ultimately, someone’s sexual orientation is his or her own business.  Travolta should be free to love and have sex with whomever he wants and not need to broadcast it to the world.  However, if he is hiding his true nature and living in the closet, he is setting a horrible example for young gay men and women. Moreover, if he is using a straight spouse as cover, he is sending the message that to survive, you must hide and take others down with you.”

According to the New York Daily News, John Travolta has been riding out the scandal at his home in Ocala, Fla. and has spent some time at the Scientology center in Clearwater, Fla. According to the newspaper, he has recently been hiding out at a home in the Bahamas.

Twitter is abuzz with comments on John Travolta and the sex scandal.

“I’m not offended if John Travolta is gay – I’m offended if he’s touching people without permission,” writes Joe Dunn (@joedunn721).

Ultimately, says PR crisis management expert Glenn Selig, Travolta ought to “PR up” and prepare a strong public relations defense.

“Travolta faces a public relations crisis of monumental proportions that cannot be handled strictly through his legal team. Just ask Tiger Woods how well a legal strategy worked for him in the court of public opinion. If there is any truth to these allegations, and even if there is none, it would be wise for John Travota and his team to prepare a crisis PR strategy that goes beyond categorical denials because it could very well come to that.”


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SOURCE:  The Publicity Agency

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