20+ Stunning Photos & Things to Know About the Tennis Star Maria Sharapova

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Hello, fellow tennis enthusiasts! Today, we will deep dive into the incredible career of Maria Sharapova, the Russian-born tennis sensation who captured hearts (and trophies) worldwide. From her stunning good looks to her fierce fighting spirit on the court, Sharapova is one of the most iconic athletes of our time. But did you know she’s also a savvy businesswoman, fashionista, and philanthropist? We’ve got 45 juicy tidbits about this multi-talented star that will have you saying “game, set, match” to anyone who tries to challenge your knowledge. So, please put on your tennis gear, and let’s get ready to serve up some serious facts about Maria Sharapova!

Who Is Maria Sharapova?

Maria Sharapova is a retired professional tennis player who hails from Russia. She won her first Grand Slam title at the age of 17 and went on to become one of the most successful players of her generation, earning five Grand Slam titles and countless other accolades throughout her career. Sharapova was known for her powerful serve, fierce competitive spirit, and striking good looks, which made her a fan favorite both on and off the court.

Instagram // @mariasharapova

Despite facing setbacks and injuries throughout her career, Sharapova remained a formidable opponent until her retirement in 2020, leaving a lasting legacy as one of the greatest players in tennis history.

The Net Worth of the Tennis Sensation

Maria Sharapova’s net worth is estimated to be around $180 million, making her one of the wealthiest athletes in the world. Much of her wealth has come from her successful tennis career, which saw her win millions of dollars in prize money and endorsement deals. She has also been a sought-after endorser for companies like Nike, Porsche, and Evian.

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Her net worth reflects her athletic achievements, determination, and business acumen. As one of the most iconic figures in tennis history, Sharapova’s legacy will continue to inspire future generations of athletes and entrepreneurs.

Maria Sharapova Started at an Early Age

Maria Sharapova’s journey to becoming a tennis superstar began at an early age. Born in Siberia in 1987, Sharapova started playing tennis at the age of four, coached by her father, Yuri. Recognizing her talent, her family moved to the USA when she was just seven years old, in order to give her the best chance of success.

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Sharapova quickly rose through the ranks of the junior tennis circuit, earning her first professional victory at just 14 years old. Her early start in the sport allowed her to hone her skills and develop the determination and discipline that served her well throughout her career.

The Year She Got Injured

In 2007, Maria Sharapova suffered a shoulder injury that would plague her for the rest of her career. Despite the injury, she continued to play through the pain for several years. Finally, in 2011, Sharapova took a year off from tennis to undergo surgery and let her injury heal.

Flickr // Justin Smith

During that time, she focused on rehabilitation and strengthening her shoulder, eventually returning to the court with renewed energy and a fierce determination to reclaim her place among the top players in the world.

Sharapova and Sasha Vujacic

Maria Sharapova was romantically involved with Sasha Vujacic, a basketball player who used to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. Their relationship reportedly began in 2009 and lasted for several years before it ended. Although the reasons for their split remain unknown, both Sharapova and Vujacic have since moved on with their respective lives and careers.

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Sharapova has always kept her personal life private, but her high-profile relationship with Vujacic garnered media attention and speculation. Despite the scrutiny, she remained focused on her tennis career and continued to achieve impressive feats on the court.

The Commercial Queen

Maria Sharapova’s success on the court has been matched only by her success off the court as a highly sought-after endorser and spokesperson. Sharapova has represented a variety of top brands throughout her career, including Nike, Motorola, Lacoste, Tag Heuer, Tiffany and Co., Canon, and Land Rover.

Newsroom.Porsche // Maria Sharapova to represent Porsche

These lucrative endorsement deals have made Sharapova one of the highest-paid female athletes in the world. Her partnership with Nike alone has resulted in multi-million dollar deals, including The Maria Sharapova Collection and an eight-year extension worth a reported $70 million. With her talent and marketability, Sharapova truly deserves the title of “Commercial Queen.”

Sharapova’s Married Life

Maria Sharapova welcomed her first son, Theodore, on July 1st, 2022. Theodore’s father is British businessman Alexander Gilkes, who proposed to Sharapova in December 2020 after two years of dating. Gilkes co-founded the online auction platform Paddle8 and attended Eton College alongside Princes William and Harry.

Instagram // @gilkesa

Sharapova has been relatively private about her personal life but has shared some details about her relationship with Gilkes on social media. The couple appears to be happy and in love, and fans have expressed excitement and well wishes for their new family.

Sharapova Moved to America for Training

Maria Sharapova moved from Russia to the USA to pursue her tennis career at just seven years old. Sharapova’s father recognized his daughter’s talent and potential in tennis and believed that she would have more opportunities to succeed in the sport by training in America.

Twitter // @MariaSharapova

Sharapova and her father moved to Florida, where she began training with famed tennis coach Nick Bollettieri. The move proved to be a wise choice, as Sharapova became one of the most successful tennis players ever.

Trained by Yuri Yuktin

Maria Sharapova began her tennis training at just four years old, under the guidance of her father, Yuri Sharapov. However, Sharapova’s talent and potential became more evident, so her father sought additional coaching.

Wikimedia Commons // Peter // CC BY-SA 2.0

Yutkin recognized Sharapova’s potential and quickly became her primary coach, helping her to develop a robust and aggressive style of play. Yutkin’s coaching proved instrumental in Sharapova’s early success in tennis.

Sharapova Conquered Wimbledon

At just 17 years old, Maria Sharapova made a historic victory at Wimbledon in 2004, becoming the third youngest woman to win the prestigious tennis tournament. Her success surprised many, as she was unseeded and had only played in three Grand Slam tournaments before Wimbledon.

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Sharapova’s victory marked the start of a successful career, as she went on to win four more Grand Slam titles and numerous other tournaments. Her Wimbledon win cemented her place in tennis history and helped to launch her into international stardom.

Aggressive on the Court and Beyond

Maria Sharapova was known for her aggressive style of play on the tennis court, which earned her several Grand Slam titles. However, her aggression was not limited to her game, as she displayed it off the court too. A notable example was during the 2012 Australian Open, where Sharapova’s opponent Agnieszka Radwańska criticized her trademark grunt as annoying.

Flickr // Christian Mesiano

Sharapova did not take this comment lightly and retaliated in the press conference by making a snarky remark about Radwańska’s performance in the match. This incident showcased Sharapova’s fierce and competitive spirit on and off the court.

The Sharapova-Williams Feud

The Sharapova-Williams feud began when Maria Sharapova entered the tennis scene as a rising star. She overcame the then-undefeated Serena Williams in a match, but some claimed this was only possible because Serena was injured.

Twitter // @TheTennisLetter

It led to a decade-long rivalry between the two tennis stars, with Sharapova frequently losing to Williams in subsequent matches. Despite the drama, both players remained at the top of the tennis world and were admired for their talent and competitive spirit.

Highly Paid Tennis Star

Maria Sharapova was not just a dominant force on the tennis court but was also one of the highest-paid tennis players of her time. Despite having fewer Grand Slam titles than her contemporaries like Serena Williams, she consistently earned more money in endorsement deals and sponsorships.

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It can be attributed to Sharapova’s marketability and popularity among fans, which translated into lucrative deals with brands like Nike and Porsche. Sharapova’s off-court earnings and business ventures continue to make her a successful entrepreneur and a role model for young athletes.

The Most Searched Athlete on Yahoo

Maria Sharapova was one of her generation’s most successful tennis players and one of the most searched athletes on the internet during her peak years. In 2004-2005, Sharapova topped Yahoo’s list of most searched athletes.

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Her stunning looks, aggressive playing style, and marketable personality made her an instant fan favorite, and her success on the court only added to her popularity. Sharapova’s influence on the sport and global appeal cemented her status as one of the most recognizable names in tennis history.

The Initial Losses

Maria Sharapova, the former world No. 1 tennis player, faced initial setbacks in her debut matches at the French Open and the Australian Open. Sharapova struggled to adapt to the French Open clay surface and Australia’s extreme heat.

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However, she used these early losses as a learning experience and became a five-time Grand Slam champion. Her dedication and hard work enabled her to overcome early disappointments and succeed in her career.

The Arrogant Victim

Maria Sharapova’s autobiography Unstoppable: My Life So Far garnered attention for how it portrayed Serena Williams. Sharapova described Williams as physically intimidating, with a muscular build that belied her TV appearance.

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Sharapova also claimed their relationship was irreparable and took credit for Williams’ success in the sport. Despite the controversy, Sharapova’s autobiography offered a glimpse into the life of a successful tennis player and entrepreneur and the intense rivalries and pressure that comes with the sport.

An Avid Reader

Maria Sharapova is a successful athlete, entrepreneur, and avid reader. She’s been known to carry books on tour and has even credited reading with helping her improve her mental game on the tennis court. Sharapova has also recommended books to her fans on social media and has spoken about her love for classic literature.

Twitter // @NewsSharapova

She even attended Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program, where she studied negotiation and innovation. Sharapova’s dedication to learning and personal growth has contributed to her success on and off the court.

Born in Nyagan, Russia

Maria Sharapova was born in Nyagan, a small town in Russia, on April 19th, 1987. Her parents, Yuri and Yelena, were both athletic, with Yuri working as a tennis coach and Yelena working as a swimmer. Sharapova began playing tennis at four years old and showed promise from a young age.

Wikimedia Commons // P R // CC BY-SA 2.0

When she was six years old, her family moved to Sochi, where she began training with her father. By the time she was a teenager, Sharapova had become a rising star in the world of tennis, eventually winning multiple Grand Slam titles and becoming one of the sport’s most recognizable names.

A Businesswoman

Maria Sharapova is a former professional tennis player and a successful businesswoman. Along with Candy veteran Jeff Rubin, she founded a candy line called Sugarpova. This sweet venture was launched in 2012 and has become a hit among candy lovers worldwide.

Facebook // Sugarpova

Sugarpova offers a variety of flavors in gummy candies, chocolates, and even premium gift sets. Sharapova’s involvement in the brand is not just limited to a name; she’s played an active role in developing flavors and packaging. With her business acumen, Sharapova has shown that she’s a force to be reckoned with beyond the tennis court.

First Place

In 2005, Maria Sharapova achieved a significant milestone in her tennis career by becoming the world’s No. 1 player. She had already won two Grand Slam titles – the 2004 Wimbledon and the 2005 US Open – before reaching the top of the WTA rankings.

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Sharapova’s aggressive playing style, powerful serve, and mental toughness helped her win multiple titles that year, including the 2005 Australian Open. She became the first Russian woman to hold the world’s No. 1 ranking, cementing her status as one of the greatest players in tennis history.

An Art and Music Lover

Maria Sharapova is a multi-talented individual interested in the arts and music. In her free time, the former tennis star often attends concerts and visits art galleries. She has a deep appreciation for classical music and has even played the piano since childhood.

Instagram // @mariasharapova

Sharapova also loves modern art, citing her admiration for artists such as Marc Chagall and Salvador Dali. Her interest in the arts reflects her creative side, and she continues to explore new forms of expression beyond the tennis court.

A Spy Fiction Fan

Maria Sharapova is a fan of spy fiction and detective stories, with a particular affinity for the classic works of Arthur Conan Doyle. She’s expressed her love for the original Sherlock Holmes novels, which she enjoys reading in her spare time.

Twitter // @MariaSharapova

While she may appreciate spy films and TV series, her passion for the genre is primarily based on literature. Sharapova’s fascination with the genre speaks to her love for intrigue and mystery, and she continues to explore the works of other notable authors in the field.

A Fan of the Men’s Circuit

Maria Sharapova has often expressed her fondness for watching men’s circuit matches. She has stated that she enjoys the power and speed displayed by male players and appreciates the aggressive and physical nature of the men’s game.

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Sharapova has also noted that she finds studying male players’ techniques and strategies helpful, which she can incorporate into her own game. Sharapova’s career is a testimony to that, as she won multiple Grand Slam titles and was ranked No. 1 in the world.

Calm on the Court

Maria Sharapova is known for her intense competitiveness on the tennis court, but she’s always been a calm and composed player. Unlike many of her peers, Sharapova doesn’t believe in throwing tantrums or breaking tennis rackets, even when things don’t go her way.

Flickr // Yann Caradec

Instead, she channels her emotions into her game, using her mental toughness and focus on coming back from behind and winning matches. Sharapova’s sportsmanship and professionalism have earned her the respect of her fans and fellow players, making her one of the most admired athletes out there.

Sharapova’s Mentor, Mary Joe Fernandez

Maria Sharapova has attributed much of her success to her mentor, Mary Joe Fernandez. Fernandez played an instrumental role in guiding Sharapova during her early career, providing her with advice, motivation, and support.

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Fernandez’s vast experience as a top-ranked player, and her success in the sport, undoubtedly positively impacted Sharapova’s development. Sharapova has often spoken fondly of Fernandez and her impact on her career.

Sharapova’s Idol in Tennis, Monica Seles

Maria Sharapova has often cited Monica Seles as her idol in tennis. Seles, a former world No. 1 player, was known for her aggressive playing style and ability to hit the ball with incredible power and precision. Sharapova has stated that she was inspired by Seles’ fearlessness on the court and her willingness to take risks.

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Sharapova has also praised Seles’ mental toughness and ability to overcome adversity, including her recovery from a career-threatening injury. Seles’ legacy as a tennis icon has undoubtedly influenced Sharapova’s approach to the sport and her success on tour.

Sharapova Loves to Take an Afternoon Nap

Maria Sharapova has spoken about her habit of taking afternoon naps as part of her daily routine. She’s noted that napping helps her recharge and rejuvenate her body, allowing her to perform at her best during training and matches.

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Sharapova has acknowledged the importance of rest and recovery in maintaining her physical and mental health and has made napping a regular part of her schedule. While some may view napping as a luxury, Sharapova sees it as a necessity for maintaining her high level of performance and achieving her goals in tennis and in life.

The Torch Bearer for the Winter Olympics

Maria Sharapova was the first torchbearer at the lighting ceremony of the Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia, in 2014. The ceremony is a significant event, marking the start of the games. Sharapova was selected to carry the torch in recognition of her tennis achievements and contributions to Russian sports.

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With the world watching, Sharapova ran through the streets with the Olympic torch, passing it on to other athletes, symbolizing the unity and spirit of the games. It was a proud moment for her and her country.

A Fan of London

Maria Sharapova has repeatedly expressed her love for London, as both a tourist and a tennis player. Sharapova has competed in the prestigious Wimbledon tournament numerous times – which is held near London – and has always spoken fondly of the city’s rich history, culture, and charm.

Twitter // @MariaSharapova

She’s noted that she enjoys exploring the city’s many museums, parks, and restaurants and has cited London as one of her favorite cities worldwide. Sharapova’s appreciation for London reflects her curiosity, open-mindedness, and appreciation for new experiences, both on and off the tennis court.

Martina Navratilova’s Influence on Sharapova

Martina Navratilova played an instrumental role in recognizing Maria Sharapova’s talent as a young player. At age six, Sharapova attended a tennis clinic in Moscow that Navratilova was running. The tennis legend was immediately struck by Sharapova’s natural ability and advised her father that she should be enrolled at the IMG Academy in Florida. Sharapova ultimately was enrolled three years later under a full scholarship.

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Navratilova’s early recognition of Sharapova’s potential was crucial to her development as a tennis player. It helped set her on the path to becoming one of the greatest players in the sport. Sharapova has often expressed gratitude to Navratilova for her encouragement and support.

Sharapova’s Career Grand Slam

Maria Sharapova’s win at the 2012 French Open was a historic moment for her career. It made her only the 10th woman in tennis history to achieve a Career Grand Slam, which involves winning all four major tennis tournaments: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.

Flickr // Fred Romero

Sharapova’s victory at the French Open was significant, as it was the only Grand Slam tournament she had yet to win. With her achievement, Sharapova cemented her place in tennis history as one of the sport’s most accomplished and successful players.

A UN Goodwill Ambassador

In 2007, Maria Sharapova was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). As a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, Sharapova has traveled to many countries to raise awareness of poverty, inequality, and sustainable development issues.

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She’s also advocated for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Sharapova has often spoken about the importance of using her platform and influence to impact the world positively.

Sharapova’s Dream of Becoming a Bond Girl

Maria Sharapova has long dreamed of becoming a Bond Girl since she first saw James Bond films as a child. In several recent interviews, Sharapova has expressed her desire to play a Bond Girl in a future film. She’s even joked that her professional tennis experience would be helpful in any action scenes.

Shutterstock // Kathy Hutchins

Despite her aspirations, Sharapova has yet to make her Bond Girl debut on the big screen. Nevertheless, her love for the iconic spy franchise, and her desire to be a part of it, remain strong.

The Richest Female Athlete of 2015

In 2015, Forbes magazine named Maria Sharapova the world’s highest-paid female athlete. With over $29 million in earnings that year, Sharapova surpassed her peers in on-court winnings and off-court endorsements.

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Sharapova’s success on and off the court has made her a role model for many young athletes. Her entrepreneurial spirit and business savvy have earned her respect and admiration from fans and colleagues alike.

The First Russian to Win Wimbledon

Maria Sharapova’s win at Wimbledon in 2004 was significant because it was her first Grand Slam title, and she became the first Russian woman to win the prestigious tournament. This achievement was an important milestone in Russian tennis history and helped to cement Sharapova’s status as a national hero in her home country.

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Her victory at Wimbledon paved the way for a new generation of Russian tennis players, who have since followed in her footsteps and continued to make their mark on the sport at the highest levels.

One of the Tallest Female Tennis Players

Maria Sharapova is known for her height, which sets her apart from many female tennis players. Standing at 6’2″, Sharapova is one of the tallest female tennis players to ever compete professionally.

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Her height gives her a significant advantage on the court, allowing her to serve and hit the ball with greater power and reach than many of her opponents. Sharapova has used her height throughout her career, and it’s helped her become one of the most dominant players in women’s tennis history.

The Nike Contract

Maria Sharapova signed her first Nike contract when she was just 11 years old. In a move that would prove to be both bold and prophetic, the sportswear giant saw something special in the young tennis prodigy and decided to invest in her early on.

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The deal reportedly involved a five-year agreement worth $500,000 and included a clause that promised additional funding if Sharapova achieved certain performance milestones.

The Youngest Girl to Reach the Finals of the Junior Australian Open

In 2002, Maria Sharapova made history by becoming the youngest girl to reach the finals of the Junior Australian Open at age 14. Despite losing in the final to her compatriot, Ksenia Milevskaya, Sharapova’s performance marked her as a rising star in tennis.

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Her success at the junior level would be the beginning of a remarkable career, which would see her win five Grand Slam singles titles and become one of the greatest female tennis players of all time.

Maria’s Name Decoded

Maria Sharapova’s last name is the feminine version of her father’s last name, Yuri Sharapov. In Russian, last names change depending on gender, with the masculine form ending in ‘ov’ and the feminine form ending in ‘ova.’

Twitter // @NewsSharapova

While the origins of her last name may be relatively commonplace, Sharapova’s career and legacy in tennis have been anything but ordinary, and her name has become synonymous with talent, grace, and success.

Sharapova and Aleksandr Kafelnikov

Maria Sharapova’s father and Aleksandr Kafelnikov’s son Yevgeny was the first Russian to be ranked No. 1 in the world in the game of tennis. At the age of four, Sharapova got a tennis racquet from Aleksandr and began her passion for the game.

Prabook // Maria Sharapova

Sharapova’s stint in the sport was rather long and consistent, and Kafelnikov played a significant role in this. Sharapova won multiple titles and made her name in the history of the sport.

Sharapova Won Championships at Age 13

At the age of 13, Sharapova made a mark in tennis by winning the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships in the girls’ 16 division, in November 2000. This victory showcased her immense talent and potential as a young player.

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Sharapova’s win at this prestigious tournament established her as a rising star in the tennis world and set the stage for her future successes. Her victory at such a young age was a testament to her determination and passion for the sport, and a sign of the incredible career to come.

Sharapova Turned Pro at Age 14

In 2001, Maria Sharapova turned pro at 14 years old, becoming the youngest female tennis player in over a decade. Despite her young age, Sharapova quickly established herself as a formidable player with her powerful serves and fierce competitiveness.

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Her breakthrough came in 2004 when she won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. This victory not only cemented her position as one of the top players in the game but also marked the beginning of a long and successful career.

Sharapova’s Retirement

In February 2020, Maria Sharapova announced her retirement from professional tennis at the age of 32. She cited persistent injuries as the reason behind her decision to retire. Sharapova, who turned pro at age 14, reached the peak of her career in 2005 when she became No.1 in the world.

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Throughout her career, Sharapova won 36 WTA titles and represented Russia in three Olympic Games. She’s known for her powerful serve, fierce competitiveness, and elegant style on and off the court. Her retirement marked the end of an era in women’s tennis.

The Forbes Celebrity 100 List

From 2005 to 2011, Maria Sharapova was listed in the Forbes Celebrity 100, which ranks the world’s highest-paid celebrities. Sharapova’s lucrative endorsements with major brands like Nike, Porsche, and Evian, combined with her on-court success, contributed to her significant earnings.

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In 2008, Sharapova was the highest-paid female athlete in the world, and she remained in the top 10 for several years. Her strong presence in the Forbes Celebrity 100 list cemented her status as one of the world’s most recognizable and marketable athletes.

Sharapova’s Autobiography

Maria Sharapova’s autobiography, titled Unstoppable: My Life So Far, was released on September 12th, 2017, and published by Sarah Crichton Books. In the book, Sharapova tells the story of her life from her childhood in Russia to her rise to fame as a tennis player, as well as her experiences and personal struggles both on and off the court.

Facebook // Maria Sharapova

She discusses her injuries and her ultimate retirement from tennis. The book provided a unique insight into the life of one of the most successful female tennis players in history and was well-received by both fans and critics.

John Travolta Opens Up About Family Life for the First Time

Making An Announcement

Travolta has been at the center of many rumors surrounding his personal life, making it extremely hard to keep up with his romantic entanglements. But the actor has recently made a big announcement to set things straight, once and for all…

Twitter // @TAFJKGroup

High School Dropout

John Travolta became rich and successful without ever receiving a high school diploma! He started his high school education at Dwight Morrow High School but ended up dropping out as a junior when he was just 17 years old. Another notable alumnus of the same high school was Sex In The City favorite Sarah Jessica Parker. However, due to the age gap between the two, they did not attend at the same time. It wouldn’t take long before Travolta’s fortunes turned around…

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Twitter // @skeleton_fiend

A Love for a Lifetime

Kelly Preston met John Travolta back in 1987 while they were filming The Experts.The timing was off for the future couple because Kelly was still married at the time. Then in 1990, both actors were filming separate movies in Vancouver, Canada and decided to give the relationship a shot. Kelly was divorced and both adults were ready. Travolta proposed and Preston eagerly accepted. 26 years ago in 1991, the couple flew to Paris to get married at the Hotel de Crillon.

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Love Before Kelly

Travolta also had an interesting romantic past before her met and married Kelly Preston. During the filming of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble back in 1976, Travolta fell madly in love with Diana Hyland, who played his mother in the film. She was 18 years older than him. A year after they started dating, Hyland was diagnosed with breast cancer. 22-year-old Travolta was with her in her final moments before she passed away at the young age of 41.

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Kelly and Clooney

Kelly Preston also dated a slew of interesting men before she married the love of her life, John Travolta. Preston was married once before Travolta to actor Kevin Gage. Even though the couple has a lavish wedding in Hawaii, the marriage only lasted two short years. She was also in a serious relationship with George Clooney for two years from 1987-1989! Clooney even gave her a pet pig named Max that Preston got to keep after the couple called it quits.

Twitter // @newsoneplace

He Was a Loner

Back in high school, Travolta was not popular or a ladies man like he is today. Unfortunately, the actor did not fit in. In an interview with The Phoenix, Travolta shared, “Not too many of my friends identified with what I was doing. I participated in football and basketball and did what they were doing, but not many kids understood my going to acting studios at night.” Sadly, acting separated Travolta from peers during school and he often found himself alone.

Twitter // @JERICHO

They Married Twice

John Travolta and actress Kelly Preston had to deal with marriage problems right after their first wedding! The couple first officially tied the knot in 1991 in a small ceremony in France. A French Scientologist minister officiated their wedding in France, but upon returning home to the United States, Travolta and Preston found out that their marriage was not legal. Shortly after their first wedding, they decided to get married again a few days later on Daytona Beach in Florida. This time the marriage was legal.

Twitter // @ClassicHitsRdio

Family Tragedy

Tragically on January 2, 2009, 16-year-old Jett Travolta, John and Kelly’s youngest son, passed away. The Travolta family was on a family vacation in the Bahamas when Jett suffered from a seizure at the family vacation home at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel. Jett hit his head on a bathtub that morning and was declared dead shortly after. The devastating death left John, Kelly, and sister Ella completely heartbroken. The family attorney told People, “To bury your son is the worst thing you can ever do.”

Twitter // @kellyptravolta

Youngest of Six

John Travolta had an interesting upbringing, as he was the youngest of six children. The family grew up in Englewood, New Jersey.  His dad, Salvatore Travolta, was a semi-professional football player and a tire salesman while his mom, Helen Travolta, was an actress. All of his siblings, Joey, Ellen, Ann, Margaret, and Sam, acted at some point in their lives or chose acting, directing, or producing as a career. Ellen Travolta is also well known for her role in Happy Days as Fonzie’s aunt.

Twitter // @RalphMichaels6

He’s a Pilot

Travolta loves planes so much that he got a private pilot’s license. Not only is he a skilled pilot, he also owns a fleet of planes. The Grease star owns five private planes including a Boeing 707 aircraft that he loves to take his friends and family around the world on. John even built a home in a residential airpark in the Jumbolair Aviation Estates that has a runway straight to his front door so he can fly off whenever he wants.

Instagram // @johntravolta

Net Worth

Over the years, John Travolta has made quite a fortune for himself. From Grease to Hairspray, Travolta has made a name for himself in Hollywood and racked up a large sum of cash. Right now, it is estimated that his net worth is around $170 million. The Saturday Night Fever star is one of the highest paid actors in the business and he does not hesitate to flash some of that well-earned cash with his multiple mega homes and airplanes.

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Saturday Night Fever

In 1977, John Travolta captured the audience with his incredible dance moves in Saturday Night Fever. However, becoming a killer dancer did not happen over night. Travolta trained intensively for nine months. Growing up, John loved to dance and modeled his dancing for the film after Soul Train. In an interview with Vanity Fair, he said, ” I liked black dancing better than white dancing. I used to watch Soul Train, and what I wanted to create was a Soul Train feel in Saturday Night Fever.”

Twitter // @floridanow1

Oprah’s Best Friend

Oprah Winfrey is obsessed with John Travolta and says he is her favorite movie star. The two are so close, that John is always doing favors for Oprah. In 2010, Oprah made a huge announcement on the first episode of the final season of her talk show. She surprised her entire audience with an 8-day all-expenses-paid trip to Australia and Travolta agreed to serve as the pilot for the trip. Travolta worked with Winfrey for more than a year to plan the trip!

Twitter // @CasaDLosEspejos

John Gets Personal

John Travolta and Kelly Preston never seem to shy away from opening up about their personal life. Well, back in 1996 the couple shared that their son, Jett Travolta, was conceived one special weekend while they were staying at the home of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, according to Premiere. The couple has also been very candid about moments in their marriage that have been difficult. Both have opened up about their work with a Scientology marriage counselor.

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Pregnant at 47

16 months after the tragic death of their son, Jett, Kelly and John Travolta found out they were pregnant again with their third child! At 47 years old, Kelly could not believe that she was expecting another child. The famous couple could not wait to officially announce the great news, “it’s impossible to keep a secret – especially one as wonderful as this. We want to be the first to share this great news with everyone that we are expecting a new addition to our family.”

Twitter // @PageSix

Baby Benjamin

In 2011, John Travolta and Kelly Preston introduced their third son Benjamin to the world. Their miracle baby changed their lives for the better after the devastating loss of their son, Jett. Travolta told Hello magazine, “He’s given the house a renewed spirit and purpose. He’s brought us a new beginning.” Having a new baby was very healing for the family. John continued, “for us it’s been uplifting, especially when he smiles at me and seems contented in my arms.”

Pinterest // @jojoanoai6628

Kelly and Charlie Sheen

We can’t forget to mention that Kelly was also engaged to Charlie Sheen for a short period of time in 1990. Her relationship with Sheen ended after she was shot in the arm accidentally. According to Biography, Sheen’s gun went off when Kelly was moving a pair of his jeans that had a gun in the pocket. After Sheen and Preston called off the engagement, Kelly sold the 2.5 carat ring Sheen proposed with, and they decided to split the profit.

Twitter // @KinoVinoandMore

Behind The Scenes

Just four days after finishing filming with Saturday Night Fever, Travolta began filming for Grease, the highest earning movie of 1978. The time period was especially stressful for Travolta as he was very busy and had just lost his girlfriend, Diana Hyland. The stress was so distracting that the actor kept lip-syncing “heap lap trials” instead of “heat lap trials.” According to the director, Randal Kleiser, Travolta struggled with the scene after he read an article about Hyland’s death.

Twitter // @Phil_Lewis_

Turned Down Splash

In 1984, Travolta read for the male lead role in the popular film, Splash. Unfortunately, Travolta’s agent discouraged him from taking on the role which ultimately went to Tom Hanks. It is easy to see a resemblance between the two actors. Interestingly, Travolta was not the only major actor to turn down the role. Actors Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Dudley Moore, and Michael Keaton all turned down the part of Allen Bauer too. The 1984 film became a huge hit in the box office.

Twitter // @OscarRunnerUp

Qantas Ambassador

John Travolta became the “Ambassador-at-Large” for Qantas Airways, the airline of Australia in 2001 after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The actor wanted to encourage people to travel and fly after 9/11.  Travolta was fascinated by aviation at a young age and impressed by “Qantas’ safety record and the fact that it flew the longest routes in the world,” according to Qantas website. Eventually, John even purchased one of their planes, the ex-Qantas Boeing 707, after extensive training with the airline company.

Twitter // @dallasnews

Travolta’s Mansions

The multimillionaire owns homes in California, Florida, Maine, and Hawaii. His main home is in Ocala, Florida where he owns his largest house, which also doubles as an airport. Kelly and John purchased their extravagant home in the residential airpark so they could use their five airplanes anytime. The home has two runways that lead right to the front door. Travolta told Australia’s Today, “We designed the house for the jets and to have at our access the world at a moment’s notice.”

Twitter // @Billionaires3

Dream Co-Pilots

Travolta is passionate about flying planes, and nothing is better than sharing your passions with a friend. Travolta has already been able to fly with Marlon Brando, but he has some more people on his bucket list to co-pilot with. Sadly, his dream co-pilot experiences will remain dreams, as they themselves already kicked the bucket. His top two are Howard Hughes, the OCD-ridden genius portrayed in The Aviator by Leonardo DiCaprio, and Charles Lindbergh, who made the first lone, non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

(Left) Twitter // @clark_aviation | (Right) Twitter // @OldPhotosBacon

Kirstie Alley and Travolta

It’s no surprise that John Travolta and Kirstie Alley are best friends, considering they both love Scientology. They got to know each other when they both starred in Look Who’s Talking and have remained close since.  Before they were besties, Alley had romantic feelings for Travolta that she could not act on because she was married to Parker Stevenson the time. In an interview with Howard Stern, Kristie revealed, “It took me years to not look at John as a romantic interest.”

Twitter // @TooFab

Cruise vs. Travolta

Even though most fans would assume that Tom Cruise and John Travolta are good friends, that is not the case. According to Leah Remini’s tell all book Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, even though both actors are committed Scientologists, they are not close at all. Apparently, Tom Cruise does not like Kirstie Alley either. Remini shared that she heard “that Tom didn’t like them,” and Travolta and Alley were not invited to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ wedding back in 2006.

(Left) Twitter // @tomcruise_de | (Right) Twitter // @TAFJKGroup

After Tragedy

Before Jett Travolta tragically passed away at the young age of 16, John and Kelly had a very normal family life.  Ella Bleu, the couple’s only daughter, was eight years old when her brother died after suffering a seizure. Days after the tragedy, John and Kelly put out a statement that said, “Jett was the most wonderful son that two parents could ever ask for and lit up the lives of everyone he encountered.” Both parents said they think about Jett every day.

Twitter // @startalktv

Moving On

After Travolta and Kelly lost their son, they received support from friends, family, and fans which helped them move forward in their lives. The couple shared on their website that receiving an outpouring of love “has meant so much to us. It is a beautiful reminder of the inherent goodness in the human spirit that gives us hope for a brighter future. The couple’s third child, Benjamin, was born in Florida on November 23, 2010. He was a healthy baby and weighed 8 lbs. 3 oz.

Pinterest // @usweekly

Marriage Secrets

John and Kelly opened up about how they make their marriage work in Closer Weekly. Travolta shared that he and Preston are always working on their 25-year marriage to make their relationship stronger. In an interview with Closer, Travolta shared, “We really care deeply about each other and we protect each other — and we keep [our relationship] up to date” Kelly agreed and added, “Keep checking in and keep growing and changing. Keep doing things, just the two of you.”

Twitter // @enews

Major Pushover

Daily Mail revealed John Travolta is a total pushover with his kids. Kelly shared,  “Daddy says yes to everything. He is that dad.” Travolta responded with, “You have to! [I’m] worse with Ben [than Ella].” Kelly continued, “They come to me first. [Ben] comes to me and says, “Can I have ice cream?” at midnight and I say, “No, no, you have to go to bed” — and, mind you, it’s midnight and he’s 5. And Dad’s like, “Sure! Do you want hot fudge on that?”‘

Instagram // @johntravolta

Ella Travolta Now

While most actors in the business are not too fond of their children getting involved in Hollywood, Travolta does not have a problem with his daughter Ella Bleu becoming an actress. John and Kelly’s oldest daughter, Ella is now 1a young adult and ready to become an actress. While at the 2017 SAG awards, John was asked if Ella should pursue acting and he said, “Yes, I want her to because she is so good at it. She is such a good performer.”

Twitter // @AndyVermaut

Facial Hair

It’s no secret that John Travolta is high maintenance with his hair. From dying it different colors to adding in weaves, Travolta cares about how his hair looks. When it comes to facial hair, the actor is not afraid to experiment with different and interesting styles on his face. He loves to rock interesting facial hair. To be fair, we have to give him the benefit of the doubt, because many of his facial hair choices were chosen for acting roles.

Twitter // @MarkMaira

Dance With Princess Diana

In 1985, while at President Reagan’s White House gala, John Travolta got the opportunity of a lifetime. Princess Diana asked him for a dance! In an interview with Good Morning America, Travolta said “Yes, I danced with Princess Diana in 1986, I believe. That was one of the highlights of my life.” Nancy Reagan said that Diana wanted to, so Travolta asked her to dance and they “were off for 15 minutes of dancing. I’m so honored that I was able to experience it.”

Twitter // @WhiteHouseHstry

You’re The One That I Want

One of Travolta’s most beloved on-screen crushes was Australian singer/actress Olivia Newton-John. The pair’s most memorable hour came when they starred as Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson in the musical Grease. Rumors spread surrounding the pair’s potential off-screen relationship. This was not silenced by their numerous collaborations in other movies such as Two of a Kind. Nowadays though, Travolta and Newton-John remain close friends and keep their friendship purely plutonic, hanging out at numerous Hollywood events together.

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Facebook // Il cinema è la domanda, il cinema è la risposta

The Hiatus

After starring the movie Urban Cowboy, Travolta’s following roles were failures from both a commercial and critical standpoint. As a result, his reputation as one of Hollywood’s finest was dented considerably. And despite being offered roles for multiple box office smash hits, he wrongfully turned them down. It would prove to be a quiet, difficult few years for Travolta. However, the actor would eventually reclaim his mojo and be back in the spotlight once the nineties came around…

Twitter // @RetroCoast

The “John-aissance”

Travolta’s resurgence was kickstarted by his role alongside Kirstie Alley in 1989’s Look Who’s Talking. After making $297 million at the box office, it became Travolta’s biggest movie since Grease. After a couple of sequels, the “John-aissance” was in full effect when he starred alongside Samuel L. Jackson in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 classic Pulp Fiction, which granted him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. But this was just the start of Travolta’s newfound success and more fortune was to come…

Twitter // @KinoVinoandMore

A-List Actor

Pulp Fiction was the first in a long line of A-list movies for the actor. He starred in numerous hit nineties movies, starring as a loan shark in Get Shorty, an FBI agent alongside Nicholas Cage in Face/Off and as an attorney in A Civil Action. Also, before the turn of the millennium, Travolta portrayed a presidential candidate reminiscent of Bill Clinton in the political drama Primary Colors. The measures that Travolta had to go to for this role are absolutely staggering…

Twitter // @FilipMili4

Weight Gain

In 1998, when John Travolta signed on to act as the lead in the film Primary Colors, a movie about former President Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign in 1992, the actor was encouraged to gain thirty pounds to play the character, Jack Stanton. The heftier version of Travolta was a stark contrast to the thin and fit body type he displayed in Grease. In order to put on weight for the role, John ate plenty of cheeseburgers. Travolta admitted, “it’s been fun gaining it.”

Twitter // @SetTheTape

Oscars Embarrassment

When it comes to the Oscars, Travolta is known for his embarrassing moments. In 2014, the actor received a lot of flack after he introduced Idina Menzel as “Adele Dazeem”. The incident got a lot of attention from comedians. Travolta apologized to the singer and sent her flowers. Menzel was a good sport and got revenge at the Oscars by introducing him as “Glom Gazingo.” Then when Travolta joined her on stage, he excessively touched her face and embarrassed himself again!

Twitter // @Boy4ME

Another Oscar Oops

After the Idina Menzel embarrassing moment, John Travolta had another Oscars mishap. While Scarlett Johansson was taking pictures on the red carpet, John Travolta surprised her with a kiss resulting in very awkward looking photos. Even though the internet criticized John, Johansson was quick to defend. The actress told AP, “The image that is circulating is an unfortunate still-frame from a live-action encounter that was very sweet and totally welcome. That still photo does not reflect what preceded and followed if you see the moment live.”

Facebook // Philippine Star

Gere’s Indebted to Travolta

Richard Gere owes his acting career to John Travolta because Travolta turned down every role that Gere ended up starring in. For example, Travolta turned down the lead roles for the films Days of Heaven, American Gigolo, An Officer and a Gentleman, and Chicago. All of those films that Travolta rejected ended up going to Richard Gere. American Gigolo put Gere on the map in Hollywood and his performance in Chicago earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor!

Twitter // @framefound

Nick Young Stole Travolta’s Swag

Nick Young, a shooting guard who played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 2013-2017. Nick has some quirks, including a nickname called Swaggy P, which stands for “the Prophet of Swag.” One other notable quirk is that after he hits three-pointers, he will swing his hips and point in the air. This came to him in a dream, where God instructed him to be, “a man going back and forth like John Travolta.” Travolta said it was “awesome,” and that he “loves it.”

Twitter // @_Barnburners

OJ Simpson Criticisms

2016 saw a resurgence of interest in OJ Simpson, through both O.J.: Made in America, and The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Travolta played Robert Shapiro in the latter. Shapiro was one of the lawyers on OJ’s so-called “dream team.” Shapiro himself said he “wish[ed] [Travolta] would have talked to [him],” as the preeminent lawyer apparently was not consulted at all. Shapiro did not find Travolta’s portrayal accurate, and it is a shame because he said he would have helped Travolta.

Shutterstock // Everett

Cutting Some Bangs

John loves not only flying planes but aviation in general. When astronaut Buzz Aldrin started ShareSpace, a non-profit focused on teaching science and math, Travolta was happy to help by being part of a celebrity auction. Travolta offered to let one lucky person re-create the iconic dance from Pulp Fiction that he and Uma Thurman carried out. The bidding got intense; eventually, one woman won. She had one caveat, though, she wanted bangs, like Thurman’s character, so Travolta helped her cut her hair right then and there!

Shutterstock // Alberto Terenghi

Gotti Get Me Some Travolta

Travolta is going strong still in the movie business, with the starring role in Gotti, as John Gotti, head of the Gambino crime family. The movie has an A-list cast, as clearly none of the scandals that sometimes plague Travolta in the press has affected his role in Hollywood. The film also stars Stacy Keach from Prison Break. Gotti was one of the most infamous and powerful mob bosses ever, and the movie looks to be full of all the legal and emotional drama of his life.

Twitter // @czar0406

Freak Accident

The Travolta family has gone through horrible tragedy when Jett sadly passed away. John has had some amazing resilience, but this next awful news just added insult to injury. In 2010, the Travoltas flew into an airport in Maine. The dogs were then taken for a walk by “a liaison” on the tarmac, where they were accidentally struck by an airport truck and sadly passed away. A city official said the “Airport has sent a floral arrangement and card to the Travolta” family.

Twitter // @moviesinfocus

Good Vs. Evil

The psychology of an actor is just amazing, as you have to embody a whole other person. As a veteran actor, Travolta has thought about this a lot, especially when it comes to playing protagonists versus playing antagonists. “Playing a bad guy is always a freeing experience, because you don’t have the same envelope of restrictions as you have playing a good guy. Good guys restrain themselves; they kind of have their moral fiber cut out for them in varying degrees,” Travolta pontificated.

Twitter // @PopCrave

He’s an Author

Many fans don’t know that the actor is also an author. After Travolta had leading roles in Grease and Saturday Night Fever, he decided to publish a book in 1984, John Travolta Staying Fit: His complete program for reshaping your body through weight resistance training and modern dance techniques. His first book did well, so he decided to write another book in 1997 about a young boy who wants to fly planes called, Propeller One-Way Night Coach, A Fable for All Ages.

Twitter // @Millionbookread

A Career of a Lifetime

Over the course of Travolta’s career, he has had incredible success. At least ten of John’s films have grossed over $100 million in the US.  Eight of his films have grossed more than $200 million worldwide, making him one of the most sought-after actors in the world. His main achievements were in films such as Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Hairspray, Look Who’s Talking, Wild Hogs, Bolt, Phenomenon, Pulp Fiction, and Phenomenon. Shockingly, Travolta has never received an Academy Award!

Twitter // @OldLadyReacts

Romantic Scandal

Rumors and accusations erupted all over the internet in 2014 when Travolta’s former pilot, Douglas Gotterba made claims that he had a six-year romantic relationship with the Travolta. Gotterba shared his story with the National Enquirer and alleged that the intimate relationship occurred while he was working for John’s aircraft company. Gotterba also claimed that he was not tied into any confidentiality agreement during his time with the actor. Since the allegations were exposed on National Enquirer, the Travolta camp has labeled the rumors as “ridiculous.”

Twitter // @LivingMagazineW

Scientology Involvement

Even though John grew up Roman Catholic, he converted to Scientology in 1975. In an interview with Good Morning America Travolta said, “Forty years for me, I’ve been a part [of it], and I’ve loved every minute of it. My family has done so well with it. It’s been a beautiful thing for me. I’ve saved lives with it and saved my own life several times. Through my loss of my son, it helped me every step of the way for two years solid, and here I am.”

Twitter // @ScientologyNews

Living In Fear

However, Travolta’s Scientology hasn’t always been kind to him. In 1991, Church of Scientology Executive Director William Franks believed that the actor was cautious to leave the institution. This is because he feared the Church would expose details about his personal life. Other Scientologist defectors such as Lawrence Wright and Marty Rathbun claimed to have been associated with Travolta’s attorneys to make sure that his secrets weren’t revealed to the press. His relationship with the faith is complicated, to say the least.

Twitter // @TalkBeliefs

Still Defends Scientology

Despite his complex relationship with Scientology, he still defends it. When asked his opinion on HBO anti-Scientology documentary Going Clear, he said he could not speak out about the alleged negative aspects of Scientology. “I haven’t experienced anything that the hearsay has [claimed], so why would I communicate something that wasn’t true for me?” he reasoned. Travolta said that the people in the film were simply “disgruntled with their experiences” with the religion. Travolta says Scientology “been so beautiful for me, that I can’t even imagine attacking it.”

Twitter // @CocaColaOfish

His Breakthrough

Once Travolta dropped out of high school, he decided to fully commit and focus on his acting career. The high school drop out moved to New York City to start his career and scored a gig touring with a company of the musical Grease. Shortly after he toured with Grease, he scored an incredible opportunity on Broadway in the show Over Here!. Once John realized he could make it in the industry, he picked up and moved to Los Angeles to further his career.

Facebook // John Travolta

Lawsuits and Assault

In May of 2012, Travolta was hit with another scandal after an anonymous masseur filed a lawsuit against him. The lawsuit consisted of claims against Travolta for unwanted advances.  The report from the masseur came days after the first allegations against Travolta claiming he had a relationship with a man. Two men, represented by Gloria Allred, sued Travolta for “assault and battery” at a Beverly Hills Hotel in 2012 and a hotel in Atlanta. Travolta’s lawyer proved the men fabricated the story and eventually, both cases were dropped.

Twitter // @heardsstan

Another Assault

Travolta cannot seem to avoid scandal. When he was on a 2009 Royal Caribbean cruise, Travolta allegedly made unwanted advances on one of the workers. Allegedly, he called him “beautiful,” and that Travolta would “take care of” him. Travolta admitted he was on the cruise, but his lawyer said, “this is another ludicrous lawsuit with inane claims. It is obvious that Mr. Zanzi and his lawyers are looking for their 15 minutes of fame.” Eventually, before the trial, the cruise worker dropped the suit.

Facebook // John Travolta

Alleged Misconduct

Jeff Conaway, a former co-star of Travolta’s in Grease, made headlines in 2012. Conaway, who played Kenickie, has an ex-fiancée called Vikki Lizzi. She claimed to the National Enquirer that Travolta made unwanted advances on Conaway during the 1990s. Apparently, according to Lizzi, this incident ended their friendship. Travolta’s lawyer denied the claims, saying it was, “a malicious tabloid agenda to boost lagging sales by running outrageous defamatory stories about my client sourced by people seeking notoriety or a payday.”

Facebook // John Travolta

His Romantic Preference

Travolta rarely responds to about allegations about his romantic interests, but after the lawsuit, he decided to stand up for himself. The actor told The Daily Beast, “I found it most offensive with the loss of my son. I felt like that was the lowest I’d ever felt. [That] stuff is always going to be interesting to somebody, but you stay away from family. This is every celebrity’s Achilles heel. It’s just about people wanting money. That’s all. It happens on many levels.”

Twitter // @nybanner