Travolta dragged into bizarre gay lawsuit

Scientology claimed it could make me straight too, charges homosexual

Star/August 18, 1998
By Martin Gould

John Travolta has been dragged into a court battle between a gay artist and the powerful Church of Scientology.

Michael Pattison says he turned to the sect to "cure" his homosexuality after it used 44-year-old Face/Off star Travolta to illustrate how the church could turn gay people straight.

Now Pattison is suing the church and 22 of its members for fraud, claiming he spent 25 years and half a million dollars trying to deal with his own homosexuality-but is still gay.

His lawyer, Graham Berry, tells STAR: "Michael was in a Scientology center in Clearwater, Florida., with Travolta and they used him as an example of someone who could be cured of what they referred to as his 'ruin.'"

"However, after 25 years and $500,000 Michael is still gay."

In a massive 166-page complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles, Pattison, 49, is seeking millions of dollars in damages from the church, whose members also include Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, Kirstie Alley and Priscilla Presley.

Pattison, a Beverly Hills artist, claims in court papers that he was seduced into joining the church in the early 1970s-around the same time Travolta became a member- because it promised a cure.

He became more convinced of the church's supposed powers when Travolta married his pregnant bride Kelly Preston in 1991. The marriage came after a male porn star had given graphic details of an alleged two-year gay affair with Travolta.

At the time Travolta was romancing co-stars Olivia Newton-John from Grease, Marilu Henner from the Broadway production of the same musical and Debra Winger from Urban Cowboy, the porn actor said, adding that the affair had finished before Travolta started dating Preston.

"That contributed to my continuing belief in the misrepresentations that Scientology processing and courses would 'handle' my own homosexuality," says Pattison in his suit.

Travolta is a staunch defender of Scientology, saying it is a viable religion. "But it is only 50 years old. I'm sure Christianity had some problems too in its first 50 years," he says.

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