After decades of rumored gay bath house orgies and Scientology "cures," John Travolta's sex life is back in the news with sexual battery charges from a pair of male masseurs. Running parallel to the story of John Travolta's rise to fame is the story of his allegedly gay penis' rise to infamy. Now presenting John Travolta: A Portrait of the Actor as the Sum of His Gay Rumors.
1975: TV Breakthrough, Scientology Conversion
Where His Dick Is: Submitting to its first Church of Scientology audits (essentially elaborate confessionals) as the actor converts to the religion from Catholicism. Travolta joined the Church the same year that Welcome Back, Kotter premiered. "Scientology put me into the big time," he said. Years later, Time magazine will report that "high-level [Scientology] defectors claim that Travolta has long feared that if he defected, details of his sexual life would be made public." The Church of Scientology is rumored to peddle homosexuality "cures."
Where His Head Is: Amibitious. Before Welcome Back, Kotter's final season, Travolta will star in 1977's Saturday Night Fever and 1978's Grease.
1983: Totally Hetero in Playgirl
Where His Dick Is: On the cover of Playgirl, in disco movie sequel Staying Alive, and trying to prove it prefers having sex with women. After one film critic says Travolta is on the verge of "turning into a laughing stock," Travolta discusses his gay rumors with Rolling Stone: "They say that about everybody. That's a notorious rumor. They say that about me, Marlon Brando, every male, epecially the first year that you become a star."
Where His Head Is: Successful. In 1983, Travolta dances with Princess Diana at the White House. His star is on the rise.
1990: Gay Bath House Sex, Part I
Where His Dick Is: In the orifices of porn star Paul Barresi from the years of 1983 to 1985, according to a tell-all interview Barresi gives to the National Enquirer five years later. Barresi says he met Travolta at a gym in L.A.: "He wanted to know how much I made for starring in porno movies. I told him four hundred dollars a day. He said, 'Then that's what I'll pay you to be with me.'"
Where His Head Is: Wooing actress and fellow Scientologist Kelly Preston, whom he will marry shortly after the bath house rumor breaks. She will be pregnant during the wedding ceremony.
2006: Male Nanny Kiss
Where His Dick Is: Yearning, one would presume, for male nanny Jeff Kathrein in this photograph depicting the supposedly heterosexual men locking lips on the stairs of Travolta's jet. Six years after this photo is taken, Kathrein's role as a caretaker will be questioned in the wake of the tragic accidental death of Travolta's 16-year-old son Jett. Kathrein discovered the boy after his fatal seizure; the National Enquirer points out that Kathrein—a wedding photographer by profession—participated in a Scientology drug program and was in close proximity but unaware during the teenager's death seizure.
Where His Head Is: In the locker room of Australia's 2006 World Cup team, posing for pictures with superfine specimens of hot male soccer ass, while his PR team issues irate statements insisting Travolta is heterosexual and happily married.
Nov. 2007: Kirk Douglas Kiss
Where His Dick Is: As if to prove that Travolta really does platonically kiss hetero men on the lips, all the time, totally non-sexually, John Travolta's penis does its best to remain flaccid during an on-stage award show liplock with Kirk Douglas.
July 2007: 'Plays It Straight' in Drag
Where His Dick Is: Inside a fat suit, pantyhose, and a dress for the gender-bending role of Hairspray's Edna Turnblad. The role of Edna has traditionally gone to gay male drag queens; consequently, Travolta faced a new wave of sexual speculation and accusations Scientology homophobia. The result, according to New York Times film critic Jesse Waters, is a performance that "explores the exhibitionistic and sensual sides of [Edna's] personality."
Where His Head Is: "I'm not playing gay in this," Travolta explained. "I'm playing a woman…. I guess, maybe, if I was in Brokeback Mountain, we'd have another kind of discussion. But this is not that."
2009–2010: Outed Repeatedly by Princess Leia
Where His Dick Is: Getting dragged out of the closet by Hollywood pal Carrie Fisher. In a 2009 column for Out magazine listing ten things gay men should know about straight women, Fisher wrote, "We don't really care that John Travolta is gay." A year later The Advocate asked again about Travolta. "I mean, my feeling about John has always been that we know and we don't care," she replied. "Look, I'm sorry that he's uncomfortable with it, and that's all I can say. It only draws more attention to it when you make that kind of legal fuss."
Where His Head Is: Mourning. Teenage son Jett's death forces Travolta in 2009 to confirm longstanding rumors that Jett suffered from autism—a diagnosis that the Church of Scientology rejects on principle.
Nov. 2010: Gay Bath House Sex, Part II
Where His Dick Is: A tell-all about the gay bathhouses of Los Angeles alleges that Travolta is a frequent and indiscreet participant in homosexual spa sex. Interior designer Robert Randolph describes watching Travolta giving and receiving oral sex, receiving anal sex, and initiating mutual masturbation. Randolph says Travolta visited sex spas "several" times a week: "His taste has changed over the 15 years that I've seen him visiting spas. First he strictly liked black guys. For the longest time if you weren't black, he didn't want you. Then he was into Middle Eastern men. Then it was Mexicans and other Hispanic guys. Then he moved on to Koreans."
Where His Head Is: Socially in flux. Kiss-fectionate nanny Jeff Kathrein ceases to work for the Travoltas, amid reports that he was never identified as a "nanny" before Jett's death, anyway.
Jan. 2011: Boys Only Hotel Party
Where His Dick Is: Less than a month after 49-year-old wife Kelly Preston gives birth to her miracle baby Benjamin, The National Enquirer reports that Travolta has abandoned a "heartsick" Kelly to spend time with three "male pals" at a luxury ski resort. The all-male foursome is spotted "getting the works" at the hotel spa.
Where His Head Is: Occasionally without its wig.
May 2012: 'Reverse Massage' Penis- and Ass-Touching
Where His Dick Is: "Semi-erect," "eight inches," and "unkempt" while grabbing a male masseur's genitals for a "reverse massage," according to a lawsuit made public on Monday. On Tuesday a second masseur came forward with a similar claim: "While he was massaging near Travolta's buttocks area, Travolta would open his legs and spread his butt cheeks open and had a full erection and would maneuver in a way to try to force Doe Plaintiff No. 2 to touch his anus and around his anus."
Where His Head Is: Lawyer-to-the-stars Marty Singer characterizes the accusations as "complete fiction and fabrication."