UPDATE: 1:30 PM EDT: The former cruise ship staffer FABIAN ZANZI who claimed John Travolta assaulted him with a naked, "gay" hug has dropped his lawsuit against the actor.
The surprise reversal came just three days after a federal judge denied Travolta's request to force the matter into private arbitration — that would've led to a VERY public trial. Lawyers for Zanzi and Travolta signed paperwork dismissing the action Monday, according to court records. The voluntary action includes a clause that prevents Zanzi from refiling the case, the paperwork states.
PREVIOUSLY: Hard core judicial decision slams JOHN TRAVOLTA’s request to arbitrate gay cruise assault & battery lawsuit.
The plaintiff, Fabian Zanzi, not only filed the lawsuit for assault and battery but for infliction of criminal distress in June 2102.
In the allegations, Zanzi, said he gave Travolta a neck massage while at seas on the cruise ship. Then, the suit alleged, Travolta disrobed, exposed himself and then "forcefully embraced" him.
The Hollywood superstar has denied the allegations, and his attorney Marty Singer threatened to sue the plaintiff for malicious prosecution, The Hollywood Reporter said.
But, in attempt at legal maneuvering, Team Travolta tried to compel arbitration by pointing to the small print on his cruise ticket.
On Friday, a California federal judge rejected Travolta's arguments in a 31-page ruling saying that anytime anybody buys a ticket — whether it's for a concert, a ballgame or a cruise ship — the purchaser agrees to certain things that are usually printed on the ticket.
Naturally, THR noted, the stipulations are written by lawyers for the protection of the seller much like the warning labels on anything and everything.
Travolta attempted to flipped the as defendant in the lawsuit by saying the "Cruise Tour Ticket Contract” was an agreement to send any dispute between a passenger and a cruise employee into arbitration.
Of course, abribtraon is usually done behind closed doors, and often rends a speedy verdict.
Unfortunately for Travolta, the judge isn't buying the arbitration gambit made by Travolta's legal pitbull.
In the ruling, Judge Stephen Wilson wrote, "This argument misses the mark."
In other words, the contract was between Caribbean and Travolta, and the judge adds there is no evidence that Caribbean was authorized to legally bind Zanzi, an employee, to the Cruise Tour Ticket Contract.
Meanwhile as Zanzi, the most vocal in a long line of accusers, challenges Travolta in open court over an alleged neck massage gone south, Zanzi is also in the middle of arbitration against Royal Caribbean, saying he was falsely imprisoned by his employer.
Zanzi claims that after he reported the Travolta incident to his cruise ship superiors in June 2009, Zanzi alleges in the legal filing he was ordered to stay in a "segregated room" for five days until Travolta departed the vessel.
The judge ruled that the two cases were separate — ruling against another attempt by Team Travolta to arbitrate his case.
"There is no evidence that Defendant's assault and Royal Caribbean's subsequent response were interdependent or concerted,” Judge Wilson ruled.