Private Memorial for Jett Travolta Thursday

miércoles, 7 de enero de 2009 |

A memorial service for Jett will be held Thursday for family and close friends in Ocala, John Travolta's publicist said. The location has not been disclosed.

Meanwhile, the media coverage of this family tragedy continues.

"There is so much to this story -- it's a family tragedy about one of our most loved celebrities," said Alisandra Puliti of US Magazine, who was in Florida this week to cover the story.

But the reporters were not always welcome. "It's hard to talk to reporters at a time like this," Cheryl Hime, a local whose 19-year-old stepson died last January, said. "You don't want to talk to anyone. You can't express the grief of losing a child. It's such a private thing, I just hope people will remember that John and Kelly are human beings."

Kerry Sanders of NBC-TV, who had initially planned to be in Ocala all week covering the story for the "Today" show and MSNBC, left Florida yesterday. One reason was that there was no hint of foul play or negligence in this case. "The story is just about over," said Sanders.

"This was about the death of a child, and there weren't a lot of questions about his death," said Al Tompkins, of the Poynter Institute for journalists in St. Petersburg. "It's an open-and-shut case. What else is there to learn by [media] intruding?"

"You're not L.A.," Tompkins said. "I guarantee you, if this was happening in L.A. it's a different story with different coverage."

The Marion County Sheriff's Office sent patrol cars in and around the grounds of Jumbolair on Tuesday. One car helped chase two photographers off the grounds on the private property near Travolta's house.

Mayor Randy Ewers said the city sent the Travolta family condolences and would give them space and privacy. "They're fantastic people, really family oriented," Ewers said. "We want to respect their privacy as much as possible."

Our thoughts are with the Travolta family in this difficult time.


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