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A tabloid article is claiming John Travolta is leaving the Church of Scientology in the aftermath of wife Kelly Preston’s tragic death. Gossip Cop can debunk this story.

There really is no decency when it comes to tabloid news. On July 12, Preston passed away at the age of 57 after a two-year battle with breast cancer. Preston’s half-brother told the Daily Mail, “We’re still really grieving so I don’t have anything eloquent to say right now.” Her family and friends are still in the midst of processing this terrible loss and will continue to grieve for some time.

In the wake of her tragic death, In Touch saw an opportunity to sell some magazines. In an article about how Travolta is trying to “stay strong for his kids as he reels from the death of his wife,” the tabloid asserts that Travolta is now considering leaving the Church of Scientology. Under the headline “Keeping The Faith?”, the tabloid spoke to a critic of the controversial church, who said the church “might be afraid that John is having second thoughts about Scientology. They want to keep him in their clutches.”

Gossip Cop can debunk this story as exploitative and completely untrue. Saying the term “might be afraid” is vague speculation at best. The paper is using this horrible loss as a reason to speculate about Travolta’s personal life.

The tabloid continues to credits an additional “source” who says that Travolta’s children are his biggest focus right now: “He’s going to be stepping away from everything for a while,” the source claims. First off, that’s not news or a shocking insight. After a loved one dies, it’s important for the bereaved to take a step back so they can process the loss, and Travolta himself already made this clear in his announcement.

This so-called “source” offers no proof that Travolta has left Scientology behind. Travolta has practiced Scientology since 1975. Preston, too, was a steadfast member of the church. After their 16-year-old son Jett’s sudden death, the two remained devout followers of the Church of Scientology — Travolta even credits the organization for helping him move on after the tragedy. There is no evidence that Travolta would suddenly have a change of heart now. This story is false.

This tabloid has used Scientology to sell magazines before. Earlier this year, the very same tabloid reported that Tom Cruise was planning a tell-all interview about his relationship with the organization. Gossip Cop debunked that story. Cruise never does interviews like that, so there’s no reason for the tabloid to have any such scoop.

Tabloids don't appear to have any insight into the Travolta family. OK!, a sister magazine of In Touch, once reported that Travolta was barring his daughter Ella from becoming an actor. Gossip Cop spoke to a rep for the actor, who told us this story was false.

It’s terribly common for tabloids to publish stories like this whilst people are grieving. Last year, the National Enquirer, another sister outlet of OK! and In Touch, reported that Jane Fonda was suffering a nervous breakdown after her brother, Peter Fonda, died. Gossip Cop spoke to a source close to Fonda, who denied the story. It’s as if losing a loved one gives these magazines carte blanche. It’s sickening.

Another similar story from Star, another publication under the same ownership, claimed that Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas’ marriage was in jeopardy after the death of Michael’s father Kirk Douglas. Reps for both Douglas and Zeta-Jones told Gossip Cop the story was false and the marriage is solid.

These tabloids need to learn about common decency and let the grieving grieve.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop believes there to be elements of truth, but the story is ultimately misleading.

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