Though he’s a mega-successful actor, John Travolta‘s true joy in life is his family. In a recent interview, the 63-year-old star bravely opened up about his son Jett’s tragic 2009 death — and revealed his younger son, Benjamin, helped keep his family together in the wake of his eldest child’s passing. “Certainly having little Benjamin has been a beautiful kind of glue for us to re-bond after a tremendous loss,” John told Good Morning America of his six-year-old son, who was born in November 2012.
Jett sadly died at age 16 after unexpectedly suffering a seizure during a Travolta family vacation to the Bahamas in January 2009. John and his wife of 26 years, Kelly Preston, previously welcomed Jett in April 1992. “I can’t imagine what life would be like without Jett,” the Grease star told People in a 1994 interview. “After he was born and cleaned up, I held him for hours while Kelly slept. When they came to take him away for various tests, I said, ‘No, you can’t see him today. You’ll have to do it another day. I went a little nutsy.”
Ella, John, Jett, and Kelly. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Eight years after Jett’s birth, John and Kelly, 54, welcomed their second child, daughter Ella Bleu, now 17, in April 2003. Following Jett’s passing, the Hollywood couple surprised fans by confirming they were expecting their third child, Benjamin, when Kelly was in her late 40s. “We had been trying for quite a few years, and then of course there was a time when we weren’t, and then we started trying again,” the actress explained at the time. “When I found out I was pregnant, I was floored. I’d snuck out of bed and then came back and woke Johnny up in bed. We both started crying. It was wonderful.”
Though John has credited Benjamin for helping his family cope with Jett’s immeasurable loss, the actor has also said that Scientology greatly aided him during that trying time. “Oh, my god, I wouldn’t have made it [without the church’s support]. Honestly,” John said in 2015. “I’ve helped so many people through hard times. Loss of children, loved ones, physical illnesses. Through many tough, tough life situations I’ve used the technology to support them and help them. It’s always worked.”
In February 2014, John said losing his eldest child was the “worst thing” that has ever happened to him. “The truth is, I didn’t know if I was going to make it. Life was no longer interesting to me, so it took a lot to get me better. I will forever be grateful to Scientology for supporting me for two years solid, I mean Monday through Sunday. They didn’t take a day off, working through different angles of the techniques to get through grief and loss, and to make me feel that finally I could get through a day,” he told BBC News.