Hollywood A-lister John Travolta and his late wife Kelly Preston welcomed three children together, two sons and a daughter. Their eldest son, Jett, who tragically died, was diagnosed with a disorder and a disease that causes swelling.
Renowned actor John Travolta met his future wife, actress Kelly Preston, at a screening test for their 1989 comedy film, "The Experts."
However, Preston was still married to character actor Kevin Gage, then. The pair wed in 1985 but later divorced in 1987, following two years of marriage.
Actor John Travolta and actress Kelly Preston at "One World, One Child Benefit Concert" for the Children's Health Environmental Coalition (CHEC) at the home of Cindra and Alan Ladd in Beverly Hills on October 10, 2002 in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images
When speaking about her divorce from Gage, the model admitted that she was unhappy in their marriage, adding that she was merely married to the wrong man:
"Well, I was not that happily married, let's put it that way. I was really with the wrong person."
Meanwhile, Travolta has always said that meeting her for the first time was love at first sight for him. But during her appearance on "Watch What Happens Live," Preston stated, "Kinda," when asked if she felt the same.
John Travolta and Kelly Preston photographed at Deauville film festival on September 8, 1991 in Deauville, France. | Source: Getty Images
Still, she said 'yes' to Travolta's proposal when he asked for her hand in marriage on New Year's Eve in 1991. He popped the big question at the Palace Hotel restaurant in Gstaad, Switzerland, with a six-carat yellow-and-white diamond ring.
The lovebirds tied the knot on September 5, 1991, in a ceremony officiated by a Scientology minister. Preston and Travolta exchanged wedding vows in an unannounced ceremony at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris.
They later had a second wedding in the US in Dayton Beach, Florida. The couple was happily married, but their union had its issues.
John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston sitting in the cockpit of an Airbus A380 at Brisbane International Airport on November 15, 2005 in Brisbane, Australia. | Source: Getty Images
Travolta told the Irish Examiner in 2005 that they went through counseling to keep their marriage going. He admitted that if they had not done counseling, they would have parted ways:
"I know for a fact that we wouldn't be together if we hadn't had counseling. We used to have counseling every six months for 12 years."
John Travolta and Kelly Preston during amfAR's 21st Cinema Against AIDS Gala at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 22, 2014 in Cap d'Antibes, France. | Source: Getty Images
The "Grease" star explained that because partners grow apart as years go by and relationships evolve, both parties need to work on the relationship together to avoid such.
"So we updated our needs and wants from each other every six months. As we've evolved and got to know each other over the years, we don't use counseling as much," he said.
Kelly Preston and John Travolta attending the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre 45th Anniversary Gala on August 9, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images
Travolta and Preston built a good life together and welcomed three kids within their union. When they tied the knot, Preston was already two months pregnant with the couple's first child, their son, Jett.
Jett was born in April 1992, followed by his sister, Ella, eight years later in April 2000. The duo's youngest child, their second son, Benjamin, arrived in November 2010.
Notably, their oldest, Jett, was born with autism and had had seizures all his life. Moreover, he was also diagnosed with Kawasaki syndrome, "an illness that causes blood vessels to become inflamed," per WebMD via Closer Weekly.
TRAVOLTA & PRESTON REMAINED MUM ON JETT'S AUTISM
Kelly Preston pictured with her husband John Travolta and their son Jett while on location filming the 1997 movie "Addicted to Love." | Source: Getty Images
Preston and Travolta never disclosed Jett's autism until his untimely death in January 2009 at age 16. The pair got heavily criticized for keeping the disorder under wraps as they only spoke about how he suffered from Kawaski syndrome as a toddler.
Those criticizing them suggested they should have publicly divulged sooner to help raise awareness about autism. Travolta only admitted to Jett's condition months after his passing as two men blackmailed him and Preston.
The said individuals wanted to extort precisely $25 million from the couple "with private information about his son's rescue effort."
Meanwhile, Preston only publicly acknowledged her son's chronic illness four years following his passing during an appearance on "The Doctors." The Hawaii native also delved into the medical conditions that she and her spouse believed contributed to their child's disabilities:
"He was autistic, he had seizures, and when he was very young, he had Kawasaki syndrome. I strongly believe as a mother, as does my husband, that there are certain contributing factors that lead to autism."
These included food poisoning when she was pregnant, "fast and hard" labor, and taking antibiotics while breastfeeding, which gave Jett thrush (a common yeast infection in the mouth).
JETT'S ACCIDENTAL DEATH
Jett Travolta, son of actor John Travolta and Kelly Preston, who died at the family's vacation home in the Bahamas on January 2, 2009.┃Source: Getty Images
Sadly, Jett passed away after suffering a seizure at the family's vacation home at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel on Grand Baham Island.
The teenager hit his head in a bathtub and got declared deceased at Rand Memorial Hospital, a police spokeswoman, Loretta Mackey, told the Associated Press at the time.
John Travolta spotted leaving the 'Relais Plaza' restaurant with his daughter Ella, his son Jett and his wife Kelly Preston on November 3, 2008 in Paris, France. | Source: Getty Images
Law enforcement revealed that a caretaker discovered Jett unconscious in the bathroom at 10 a.m. Jett suffered from seizures that lasted "from 45 seconds to minutes."
Travolta testified against a Bahamian medic whom he allegedly threatened to state that he was the one responsible for Jett's passing. However, the case later got thrown out of court because the singer could not "bear to testify again."
TRAVOLTA WENT INTO DEEP DEPRESSION
Amidst all the drama and losing his beloved son, Travolta sunk into a deep depression. He described the tragedy as the worst thing that had ever happened in his life.
In an interview at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in February 2014, the "Hairspray" star said he was unsure whether he would make it as life became less interesting. "So, it took a lot to get me better," said Travolta.
John Travolta with his wife Kelly Preston and their children Jett and Ella posing in an undated photo. | Source: Getty Images
The father of three disclosed that he "didn’t want to wake up " after his son's death. The media hounded him consistently during that inopportune period of his life, which he said was "the lowest I'd ever felt." Travolta told Complex UK that the media went too far then.
He credited the Church of Scientology for helping him pick up the pieces in the following weeks and months. Travolta said he received support for two solid years.
TRAVOLTA & PRESTON HAD THEIR SON BEN A YEAR LATER
Travolta and his wife welcomed yet another son just a year after losing their firstborn. Their child Benjamin was born in a Florida hospital, weighing 8 lbs., 3 oz.
The couple had tried to conceive for three years, so discovering that they were expecting after such a long time left them stunned. The proud dad told People in January 2011 that his third child brought rejuvenation into the household:
"He's given the house a renewed spirit and purpose."
When the Travoltas announced the new baby's arrival, they said, "John, Kelly, and their daughter Ella Bleu are ecstatic and very happy about the newest family member."
Heartbreakingly, their happiness was short-lived. Preston was diagnosed with breast cancer and succumbed to it after a two-year battle in July 2020. She was 57.
A family representative revealed to People at the time that the "Twins" star had been taking treatment for a while and received unwavering support from friends and family.
TRAVOLTA IS A SINGLE DAD
After losing his wife, Travolta revealed in August 2021 that his youngest son Benjamin was now fearing that he would be next to leave him and his sister behind:
"(Ben) said to me once, 'Because mom passed away, I'm afraid you're going to.'"
The doting dad revealed during his appearance on "Hart to Heart" that because he loves the truth, he leveled with him. Travolta said he told Benjamin that no one ever knows when they would die.
He made an example about his later brother, who passed while still in his teen years, and his mother, who died in her fifties, and that they were both young.
The "Pulp Fiction" star emphasized that anyone could die any day, so they should try to perceive it as part of life and live "the longest you can."
In May 2022, Travolta remembered his wife in a poignant Mother's Day post, writing: "We love and miss you Kelly. Happy Mother's Day," alongside a montage for Preston.
The clip features several pictures of the couple and their brood. It also included a throwback to their wedding day in 1987, as they had been married for 28 years when she passed away.
"My dearest Jetty, I miss you more than words can say. I think about you every day. Happy Birthday. Love, your Dad."
On his Father's Day post on July 18, 2022, the loving father marked the special day with an Instagram post accompanied by a photo of him and his two kids, Ella and Benjamin.
Travolta wrote that being a dad was an honor: "It's a privilege to be a father. I love you, my babies. Happy Father's Day to everyone."
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