John Travolta and Kelly Preston both dated numerous celebrities in the entertainment industry, but they didn’t find true love until they instantly fell for each other on the set of 1987’s The Experts. The Hollywood duo tied the knot in 1991 and went on to have three children: Ella Bleu, Benjamin, and their son Jett.
Sixteen-year-old Jett died tragically in 2009 after hitting his head on a bathtub in the family’s vacation home in the Bahamas. The family’s ordeal brought Travolta and Preston closer, but tragedy would strike again when Preston passed away in July 2020 after a battle with breast cancer. Fans of the A-List couple, however, didn’t even know Preston was sick until her death. "Choosing to keep her fight private, [Preston] had been undergoing medical treatment for some time, supported by her closest family and friends," a rep for the family told People. The late Jerry Maguire star discreetly fought the disease for two years.
Their desire for privacy extended to much of their life off-screen — and what they did share with the public often led to more questions than answers. But one thing that was never questioned was the bond the couple shared. Let’s take a closer look at some of the stranger aspects of John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s marriage.
John Travolta can’t escape gay rumors
Every Hollywood couple faces outlandish gossip, but Kelly Preston and John Travolta have seen the validity of their entire relationship called into question over persistent rumors regarding his sexuality.
In 2012, the National Enquirer (via Radar Online) published a report that accused the actor of having a six-year "gay affair" with his pilot, a man named Doug Gotterba. In the piece, Travolta’s former secretary, Joan Edwards, said she knew about the actor’s alleged affair, but his homosexuality never bothered her. "Doug told me that John was gay and they had a sexual relationship," she reportedly said.
Gotterba kept his lips sealed, neither confirming nor denying the allegations. However, a man named Robert Britz, who reportedly dated Gotterba after his alleged fling with Travolta, told the Enquirer that Gotterba broke off the affair with Travolta because he didn’t like the actor’s "hairy body."
Preston told the New York Post in 1999 (via People) that rumors about their marriage "Pisses me off. Of all the condescending … [It’s] just so insane. It’s like, how do you respond to ‘Somebody said you were having an alien’s child?’"
Kelly Preston and John Travolta are nocturnal
As we previously mentioned, John Travolta and Kelly Preston reportedly go to great lengths to maintain their privacy and avoid the pesky paparazzi. But when the Pulp Fiction star, in particular, does inexplicably pop up on the public’s radar, you can bet Travolta’s going to put in anything but a routine celebrity cameo.
"We’re like the Addams Family or the Munsters, living a sort of odd, nocturnal life," Travolta told Parade magazine in 2008 (via HuffPost.) "My kids probably stay up too late. My wife goes to bed around 3 a.m., and I follow around 7 a.m. — but it works."
Thankfully, Preston’s favorite establishments, Walmart and Denny’s, stay open 24 hours. Moral of the story? Next time you’re scoping out a great deal on dish soap or ordering up a Moons Over My Hammy, don’t be too surprised if you spot Hollywood royalty a few feet away.
They have airplane runways that lead to their front door
When you’re famous and filthy rich like John Travolta and Kelly Preston, you don’t go to the airport. The airport comes to you.
Travolta became a pilot at age of 22, and in 2001, he was named an ambassador-at-large for Qantas airlines. He reportedly has a fleet of five aircraft, including a Boeing 707 that he keeps in his yard. Yes, you read that right: Travolta is able to park his planes on the "runways that lead directly to his front door."
If we had to guess, we’d say his most memorable flight to date was probably in 1991, when he reportedly piloted the plane that whisked Preston to Paris for their Scientology-officiated wedding ceremony.
Although they’re used to jet-setting, even Preston admits their home is unusual. "It’s not something you ever really get used to," she told Health magazine. "I’ll be sitting there doing something really normal with the kids and then all of a sudden I hear, ‘Whoosh!’ and see the lights of the airplane and he’s like, ‘Honey, I’m home!’ Growing up, Johnny thought everybody would have a plane in their backyard. And he made that dream a reality."
What’s up with Kelly Preston and John Travolta’s bizarre relationship with Kirstie Alley?
In 2013, Kirstie Alley sat for an interview with shock jock Howard Stern (via HuffPost) and gushed about the "emotional love affair" she had with John Travolta, whom she referred to as the "greatest love" of her life. Wow, those are some loaded words.
Here’s the backstory: Before he married Kelly Preston, Travolta and Alley apparently fell for each other on the set of the 1989 film Look Who’s Talking, but their affection didn’t evolve past the platonic stage. Alley was married to actor Parker Stevenson at the time. Travolta married Preston two years later.
Alley said it took everything in her not to "run off and marry" Travolta. She told Stern, "It took me years to not look at John as a romantic interest." The Cheers star even admitted that Preston was justifiably on guard. "In the beginning, she would bust me," Alley recalled. "She would be, like, ‘Are you flirting with my husband?’ And the answer was ‘Yes.’"
All that, and yet Preston told Health magazine in 2013 that Alley is one of her "absolute best friends."
This obviously works for them, so who are we to judge? Still, these three hanging out like buddies is definitely the exception to the norm.
Kelly Preston stood by John Travolta as he faced some serious allegations
Over the years, this couple has endured a number of sexual assault lawsuits, and yet, they’ve shown no signs of cracking as a unit.
In 2012, a Los Angeles masseuse referred to as John Doe #1 filed a suit claiming John Travolta exposed himself and acted inappropriately while receiving a massage. Four days later, a second masseuse, referred to as John Doe #2, filed a lawsuit in Atlanta, alleging he had a similar experience with the actor, reported People.
New allegations surfaced in November 2017, when Radar Online revealed that another male masseuse reportedly filed a police report in 2000, claiming the actor groped his backside, exposed himself, and made lewd remarks. No charges were filed.
Through it all, Kelly Preston and Travolta have remained a united front. "Kelly’s not a doormat," a source told People. "She doesn’t believe the rumors and thinks they’re ridiculous. And this too will pass."
Was there a controversial reason John Travolta and Kelly Preston kept ther son’s autism a secret?
While many famous families use their struggles to raise awareness for causes close to their heart, John Travolta and Kelly Preston came under fire for refusing to publicly acknowledge son Jett’s autism diagnosis.
According to Us Weekly, Preston spoke about it for the first time nearly four years after Jett’s 2009 death. "I strongly believe as a mother, as does my husband, that there are certain contributing factors that lead to autism," she said, citing circumstances during her pregnancy and Jett’s infancy that she thinks played a role in his development.
"We would try all different things, and I felt when we were able to keep certain things at a bare minimum and do as healthy as possible, he did so much better," she said on an episode of The Doctors (via the New York Daily News.) "He was coming out of the autism," she claimed.
Of course, Travolta and Preston have every right to keep details about their son’s health private, but some believe the high-profile parents could have made a positive impact regarding autism awareness if they’d shared their experience sooner. Others "believe [Travolta] may have kept the condition a secret because of the way Scientologists view illness," reported CBS News.
John Travolta and Kelly Preston are practically ‘the same person’
It’s not uncommon for spouses to mirror each other’s habits after many years of marriage, but according to John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s friends, the couple has practically morphed into the exact same person.
After dating a series of bad boys, including actor Charlie Sheen — who accidentally shot her in the arm in 1990 — Preston said she went on the hunt for a different kind of man, and she found that in the Grease star.
"John and I both have really whacked senses of humor. Our best friends tease that we’re the same person-we fly together, we go swimming, we love to just hang out," she told Redbook (via People).
The aforementioned tale about being the "same person" would probably seem kind of cute if Travolta had not starred in Face/Off, a film about an FBI agent who gets a face transplant to go undercover as a terrorist, but the terrorist also gets a face transplant to look like the FBI agent. What if Preston is Travolta and Travolta is Preston?
We took it too far, didn’t we?