In testimony this week, Travolta relived the painful aftermath of the death of his son, Jett, who was 16 when he died in January after having a seizure at the family's vacation villa in the Bahamas.
Bahamian authorities say they unraveled a bizarre plot to extort Travolta by paramedic Tarino Lightbourne and former Bahamas senator Pleasant Bridgewater. Prosecutors assert the pair threatened to embarrass Travolta with a document that said he didn't want medical care for his son -- unless Travolta forked over the $25 million.
Both defendants say they're not guilty. "There's no case," defense attorney Murrio Ducille told reporters.
But People Magazine says a video exists that seems to show the defendants trying to carry out their plan.
"People has watched videotape of conversations recorded by the Royal Bahamas Police between Travolta's attorney and the two defendants," the magazine reports, " ... that appear to be an attempt to secure a multi-million payment from Travolta for the return of a form the star signed when considering whether to have his son be taken to an airport rather than to the nearest hospital."
The normally outgoing Travolta has been reclusive since his son's death, canceling interviews and reportedly flying his planes alone around the country, observes CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella. He's made only one public appearance, with wife Kelly Preston and daughter Ella to promote a film they made together.
"John Travolta's sparkle is gone," People's Mike Fleeman remarked to CBS News. "That spark, that star power is gone. You're looking at a man who is grieving."
Travolta was composed when speaking about his son's death for the first time in public when he testified, Cobiella says, adding Travolta showed little emotion, even while describing his frantic efforts to revive his son with CPR.
When he's called back to the stand, it's expected Travolta will be asked about who tried to extort him, and how.
During his testimony, Travolta, a revelation Fleeman calls "jaw-dropping."
Scientology watchers, Cobiella points out, believe Travolta may have kept the condition under wraps because of the way Scientologists view illness.
Bruce Hines, a former Scientology minister, says, "They believe that the only reason a person can get ill is because they are in some way connected to a suppressive person and a suppressive person is someone who is opposed to Scientology."