The attorney representing two men suing John Travolta for alleged groping apologized Friday to Travolta's attorney for how one of the plaintiffs was wrong about the date of one alleged attack.
That plaintiff, identified as John Doe No. 1, will remain in the federal lawsuit but will be represented by a different lawyer, attorney Okorie Okorocha told CNN.
Travolta's attorney, Martin Singer, has said the actor denies the lawsuit's allegations that he groped two massage therapists while on their massage tables. The suit seeks $2 million in damages for each plaintiff.
"I want to apologize to Martin Singer. It must be very upsetting," Okorocha told CNN about how John Doe No. 1 provided the wrong date of January 16 for an alleged groping incident in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
"I believed I was on solid ground or I wouldn't have given the dates on any court papers or to Mr. Singer," said Okorocha, an attorney based in Pasadena, California.
John Doe No. 1 "needs a fresh lawyer to handle the case and we're working on that," Okorocha said. "He needs someone to handle the case who hasn't made any mistakes."
The current petition will be amended once the new lawyer is hired for John Doe No. 1, and that lawyer would rewrite the section relating to that client, Okorocha said.
John Doe No. 2 will still be represented by Okorocha and remain on the same lawsuit, the attorney said.
This week, Travolta's lawyer argued a time-stamped photograph and a restaurant receipt show the actor was not in Los Angeles when John Doe No. 1 claimed the actor assaulted him.
The plaintiffs are identified in court filings only as John Doe No. 1 from Texas and John Doe No. 2 of Atlanta, a move their lawyer says is allowed by federal law to protect victims. Travolta's lawyers know their names, Okorocha said.
Singer said that Okorocha filed his clients anonymously to keep other people from recognizing them and coming forward with evidence against them.
Travolta, 58, has been married to actress Kelly Preston for 20 years. The oldest of their three children, Jett, was 16 when he died of a seizure while the family was vacationing in the Bahamas in January 2009.
Okorocha said much of his practice is focused on going after sexual predators. He said he is not intimidated by the prospect of going against Singer, a veteran lawyer known for aggressive tactics in his representation of "A-list" Hollywood clients.
But Singer came out swinging against Okorocha this week, first questioning the suit's detailed description of the first incident in which Travolta allegedly groped John Doe No. 1 repeatedly and finally masturbated during the two-hour massage session in the Beverly Hills Hotel bungalow.
The suit claimed Travolta picked up the plaintiff in a black Lexus SUV and took him to a hotel bungalow where an African-American chef was cooking hamburgers.
But Singer said that Travolta "doesn't have a black chef, doesn't own an SUV or a Lexus. He drives a sedan."
And Travolta was in New York that day to be fitted for his wardrobe for his film "Killing Seasons," Singer said. He arrived in the city on January 15, a day before the alleged assault in Beverly Hills, and remained there at least through the next day, he said.
A photograph of Travolta, which Singer said was taken at the New York fitting, bears a digital timestamp of January 16 at 4:30 p.m., although the time zone was not specified.
Singer also provided a receipt for a $382 meal at Mr. Chow, a Manhattan restaurant, apparently printed at 11:38 p.m. the same day of the alleged Beverly Hills assault. The merchant copy of the receipt does not include a signature.
Earlier this week, Okorocha had stood by John Doe No. 1's account of the alleged January 16 assault.
"My client was sexually assaulted at 10 a.m.," Okorocha said this week. "I can get there on horseback to Mr. Chow's in New York in 12 hours. That's not that remarkable." He noted that Travolta is a licensed pilot with a private jet.
The second plaintiff, who claims a similar encounter with Travolta occurred at an Atlanta hotel where he was a staff massage therapist on January 25, was added to the lawsuit Tuesday.
Okorocha said the case should be easy to prove because of documentation that was done soon after the incident. "He tells his boss, the employees all talk about it. There's e-mails going back and forth about the incident."
Responded Singer this week: "This second 'anonymous' claim is just as absurd and ridiculous as the first one."
Singer said it was "obvious" that Okorocha "checked media reports that my client was in Atlanta working on a movie" before filing the second claim about an Atlanta incident, he said.