US actor John Travolta (2ndR), his wife US actress Kelly Preston (L) and their children Ella Bleu Travolta (R) and Benjamin Travolta pose as they arrive on May 15, 2018 for the screening of the film "Solo : A Star Wars Story" at the 71st edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE / AFP) (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

The rumors over the years that John Travolta had male lovers never really went away, even prompting the irrepressible Carrie Fisher to tell Out magazine in 2009: “We don’t really care that John Travolta is gay.”

But Travolta, 68, also managed to mostly keep those rumors in the background of his larger Hollywood narrative, while upholding the public image that he was strictly devoted to his wife Kelly Preston until her death in 2020 at age 57.

The positive PR that Travolta and Preston enjoyed as one of Hollywood’s few longtime married couples didn’t just benefit them, it also was important for the Church of Scientology, according to Mike Rinder, a former church executive who has become one the church’s premiere whistleblowers.

Behind Tom Cruise, Travolta and Preston were two of the most powerful and loyal Scientologists in the world, the Daily Beast reported in 2019. Rinder writes that he was tasked with helping the “Saturday Night Fever” heartthrob and his wife combat the occasional rumors about Travolta’s sexuality.

“Gay allegations are land mines for Scientology,” Rinder writes in an excerpt from his new memoir, “A Billion Years: My Escape from a Life in the Highest Ranks of Scientology.” The  excerpt was published by The Daily Beast Thursday.

Rinder continues: “Scientology publicly claims it is not anti-gay (despite founder L. Ron Hubbard’s writings to the contrary), yet the threat of a story describing a Scientologist as gay would cause panic internally because for a Scientologist, not being ‘cured’ of homosexuality would indicate that the tech doesn’t work.”

As head of the church’s Office of Special Affairs and often serving as the public face of Scientology before defecting in 2007, Rinder was often called upon to help Travolta with “public relations issues,” he writes.

The Daily Beast does not include a response from the …read more

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


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