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"I'm going to tell you the truth." How John Travolta spoke to his son about losing Kelly Preston.

John Travolta was walking around his neighbourhood alongside his 10-year-old son Ben when the boy began a difficult conversation.

"He said to me once, 'Because mum passed away, I'm afraid you're going to,'" Travolta told Kevin Hart on his talk show series Hart to Heart.

Travolta's wife, and Ben's mother, actress Kelly Preston died on July 12, 2020 following a private two-year battle with breast cancer.

READ: "A loving soul." Kelly Preston has died at 57 after a two-year battle with breast cancer.

In response to Ben's fear, Travolta explained the unexpected nature of life and death.

"I said, 'Well, it's a very different thing.' And I went through the differences about my longevity and her limited life.

"I said, 'But you know, Ben… you always love the truth and I'm going to tell you the truth about life. Nobody knows when they're gonna go or when they're going to stay.'"

He referenced Ben's brother Jett, who died at age 16 after suffering a seizure when he hit his head on a bathtub during a family holiday in the Bahamas. 

"'Your brother left at 16. Too young. Your mother left at 57. That was too young. But who's to say? I could die tomorrow. You could. Anybody can. So let's look at it like it's part of life. You don't know exactly. You just do your best at trying to live the longest you can'."

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Travolta also said his son asked him what it felt like to be in his 60s.

"My son has always wanted truth, and he's only accepting truth so I said, 'You know what, Ben? I can't believe it. I can't believe I'm in the last chapter of my life. I can't believe it,'" he recalled.

"'I'm like, eternally 21, I don't understand being in my 60s.'"

Travolta said over the next couple of decades, he was most looking forward to passing down his gifts to his children.

His daughter Ella, 21, is following in his acting footsteps, and Ben may do the same.

"I want to leave this world with them doing great, and they already are," Travolta said.

"That's my main thing, is to pay it forward to them."

Watch: Kelly Preston on how she met her husband, John Travolta. Post continues below. 


Video via Kelly and Ryan.

John Travolta paid tribute to his wife of 28 years on social media following the announcement of her death in 2020.

"It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer," the 66-year-old said.  

"She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many. My family and I will forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Center, all the medical centres that have helped, as well as her many friends and loved ones who have been by her side."

Travolta continued: "Kelly's love and life will always be remembered. I will be taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother, so forgive me in advance if you don't hear from us for a while. But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal."

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View this post on Instagram









It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that my beautiful wife Kelly has lost her two-year battle with breast cancer. She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many.  My family and I will forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Center, all the medical centers that have helped, as well as her many friends and loved ones who have been by her side. Kelly’s love and life will always be remembered. I will be taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother, so forgive me in advance if you don’t hear from us for a while.  But please know that I will feel your outpouring of love in the weeks and months ahead as we heal. All my love, JT

A post shared by  John Travolta (@johntravolta) on

The 57-year-old's death followed a devastating series of events for their family, including the death of the couple's eldest son, Jett, in 2009. 

Here's what we know about the private lives of John Travolta and Kelly Preston. 

Kelly Preston's accidental gunshot wound in 1990.

Prior to her relationship with Travolta, Preston was engaged to actor Charlie Sheen in 1990. Their relationship ended after Preston suffered an accidental gunshot wound. For years following their relationship breakdown, the details of the incident remained cloaked in secrecy. 

In 2011, Sheen revealed what happened, which was later corroborated by Preston. 

"I was downstairs early in the morning making coffee and I thought she was still asleep upstairs," he said, according to E! News. "And I heard a f*cking gunshot go off. I thought, 'She did it, she finally f*cking did it. She killed herself and they're going to f*cking blame me.'

"So I abandoned the coffee, because a gunshot in the morning will wake you up better than a nice cup of coffee," he continued.

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Kelly Preston and Charlie Sheen in 1989. Image: Getty.  

"I come around the corner and there's naked Kelly Preston at the top of the stairs, holding her wrist, staring at me, covered in blood.

"She explained to me when she lifted my pants off the scale in the bathroom... the tiny revolver I used to carry... it fell out of the back jeans pocket and hit the floor and shot a bullet right between her legs. So she got hit with shrapnel from the toilet bowl.

"The oddest moment... when I picked up the phone, I looked at the phone, completely perplexed, and I didn't know whether to call 911 or 411. But for years people thought, there was always this conversation, this discussion about the time I tried to kill Kelly Preston."

Preston later confirmed Sheen's version of events, saying it was a "complete accident". 

Death of Jett Travolta.

On January 2, 2009, John Travolta and Kelly Preston lost their eldest child, Jett Travolta. At 16 years old, Jett suffered a seizure at his family's holiday home in the Bahamas.

After falling and hitting his head in the bathtub, Jett was found unconscious on the bathroom floor.

The teenager was pronounced dead after being taken to the Rand Memorial Hospital.

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In April 2020, Travolta and Preston celebrated what would have been his 28th birthday. 






View this post on Instagram









Happy Birthday Jetty! We love you! ❤️

A post shared by  John Travolta (@johntravolta) on

Prior to his death, Jett had regularly suffered seizures and had been diagnosed with a heart condition, Kawasaki disease, at two years old. He had also been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Since his death, both Travolta and Preston were open about the struggle of losing their son.

In a 2012 interview with Lifetime, Preston said: "Nobody should have to lose a child. It's unfathomable. But I'm here to say that you can get through it. You can live again. You can want to live again."

Speaking in an interview in 2014, Travolta echoed Preston's words, describing the death of their son as the "worst thing that's ever happened in my life".

"The truth is, I didn't know if I was going to make it," the actor told BBC. "Life was no longer interesting to me, so it took me a lot to get me better."

Jett Travolta was 16 years old when he died. Image: Getty.  

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In the period following Jett's death, Travolta said the Church of Scientology, of which he has been a member since 1975, helped him during the most difficult grieving period.

The 67-year-old said the controversial organisation "never left our sides for two years".

"I don't know if I would have made it through without their support."

The death of John Travolta's previous partner.

Prior to his marriage to Kelly Preston, Travolta was in a relationship with actress Diana Hyland. In 1976, the pair met on the set of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.

In the film Travolta played the role of Tod, a boy whose fragile immune system meant he was forced to live his life in a plastic bubble. Hyland played his mother in the movie. 

Despite their 18-year age difference, the pair fell in love and formed a high-profile relationship.

John Travolta and Diana Hyland in 1976. Image: Getty. 

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"I have never been more in love with anyone in my life," he told People in 1977. "I thought I was in love before, but I wasn't. From the moment I met her I was attracted. We were like two maniacs talking all the time on the set of Bubble. After a month it became romantic."

In 1977, Hyland was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy.

On March 23, 1977, she died in Travolta’s arms at 41 years old.

"I felt the breath go out of her," Travolta told People.

Over four decades later, Travolta would lose another partner, Preston, to breast cancer.

This article was originally published on July 13, 2020 and has been updated.

Feature Image: Instagram.

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