Published May 22, 2012
The drama surrounding John Travolta's sexual battery litigation escalated Tuesday after the lawyer who originally represented the "Grease" star's two male accusers sued their new lawyer, Gloria Allred, for allegedly poaching his client -- and she promptly claimed she would countersue him for defamation.
Okorie Okorocha filed separate federal lawsuits against Travolta in Los Angeles earlier this month on behalf of two massage therapists, officially known as John Doe No. 1 and John Doe No. 2.
However, Okorocha dropped John Doe No. 1 as a client after it emerged that 58-year-old Travolta was in New York at the time his accuser claimed he was groped in Beverly Hills.
John Doe No. 1 claimed that he had mixed up his dates and hired celebrity lawyer Allred -- who Okorocha claimed in a civil suit filed Monday then went onto "steal" his other client, John Doe No. 2.
The complaint alleges intentional interference with contractual relations, intentional interference with prospective economic relations and unfair business practices. Okorocha is seeking unspecified compensation, as well as noneconomic damages for "emotional distress," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In his lawsuit, Okorocha included text messages between himself and John Doe No. 2, in which Okorocha wrote, "I can't believe f***ing Allred called you ... She ain't been in a courtroom in 20 years. Just doing stupid ass press conference side shows."
Allred denied that she solicited Okorocha's client and claimed that both John Does contacted her.
"Mr. Okorocha's lawsuit will be dismissed, and we will ultimately recover a judgment against him," she said.
The suits against Travolta, which both claim the actor tried to initiate sexual contact during private massage sessions this year, were dropped but may be refiled by Allred in a different court.
John Doe No. 2 was identified Monday as John Truesdale, a 40-year-old married father from Atlanta who worked at the city's Mandarin Oriental hotel, the New York Daily News reported.
The 250lb masseur, who is also a certified black belt and a former US Army medic, told the paper, "I can't talk about [the case]. I'm not allowed to give any comment."