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John Travolta faces PR crisis following sex lawsuits by men, cross-dressing photos

» Posted by on May 28, 2012


First it was a naked rubdown that allegedly resulted in John Travolta’s hands on the private parts of a male massage therapist.

John Travolta had a lawyer respond with a vehement denial and a vow to bury the accuser legally.

Along came more claims from other male message therapists.

Then more threats from Travolta’s legal team.

Now a John Travolta cross-dressing photo has resurfaced and so has a strange claim from the late Jeff Conaway’s ex girlfriend (Conaway, an actor, starred with Travolta in “Grease”) who says Travolta attacked him sexually while he was sleeping.

Even Hollywood would be hard-pressed to make this up.

There is clearly a lot of smoke. But that doesn’t mean ANY of the accusations are true.

So where does this leave John Travolta?

The public does not want to believe the allegations because this behavior does not jive with the John Travolta they know.

The accusers are unknowns and could be easily written off by the public as being out for money.

John Travolta PR Crisis cross dressing photo

John Travolta, wearing makeup and women's clothing, is featured in the 'National Enquirer.' Travolta, through his attorneys, denies the allegations.

And people may easily believe that the cross-dressing photos are remnants of a role he played.

But with each claim, public opinion will begin to shift with people believing there is at least some truth to the stories about John Travolta.

Some of these claims involve sexual harassment. This is not simply about whether John Travolta is gay. The fact that the claims of unwanted sexual advances are from men just adds to the drama.

Travolta is a big star. He has money, power and influence. He as many friends in Hollywood. And while the tabloids may have a field day, and pundits chime in on the John Travolta scandal, the mainstream networks and print outlets will be reluctant to report on this stuff for fear they will suffer the wrath of Travolta in the future and they don’t want to take that chance. He’s become an ‘untouchable.’

However, there are enough tabloids and entertainment blogs, plus tabloid style media oversees, that will stay on top of every salacious detail of the John Travolta scandal. The Internet has made it difficult for the media to bury or kill stories.

I do not believe that this story will just go away or simply die out.

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.

Then watch out.

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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Glenn Selig founded The Publicity Agency in 2007 and has represented some of the biggest newsmakers and most influential business leaders and companies nationwide. He is a frequent guest on MSNBC, Fox News Channel and on CNN. Reporters call him for an expert PR opinion on high profile cases to offer perspective. He also appears on air to publicly defend his clients. View the PR firm website and follow him on Twitter @GlennSelig