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John Travolta likely to settle with masseur in sex assault case

60th San Sebastian Film Festival: Donosti Awards

60th San Sebastian Film Festival: Donosti Awards

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Updated: March 7, 2013 6:38AM

J ohn Travolta’s “Masseur-Gate” problems have been out of the headlines for a number of months, but that all has changed with the decision by a federal judge in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

The judge ruled that Fabian Zanzi’s case can move ahead to a public trial unless a settlement is reached between the actor and the masseur, who alleges Travolta sexually assaulted him on a Royal Caribbean cruise in 2009.

Attorneys for Travolta, who vehemently deny Zanzi’s claims, had moved to have the case decided in a private arbitration. Now that the judge has dismissed that motion, sources close to Travolta say the “Savages” star will quickly settle with Zanzi.

“I can’t believe John will allow this to drag on and cause him and his family even more grief,” said a longtime Travolta friend Tuesday. “He’s got to put this behind him — and quickly.”

However, another source who has maintained a close relationship both with Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, has a very different take on things. “I think John will fight this all the way. After all, it’s just the masseur’s word against John’s. I think John has to fight this one ... and I think he can win.”

We shall see who’s right.

MORE TROUBLE: Chris Brown is again in hot water, charged by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey with faking some of his 1,400 court-ordered community service hours. Prosecutors noted “significant discrepancies” and asked a judge to demand Brown fulfill the obligation mandated as part of his 2009 sentence for assaulting girlfriend Rihanna.

Brown had been allowed to perform the community service in Virginia, where he maintains a residence, but it’s thought his mother and others actually performed the time due, in place of the entertainer. Brown’s mother, Joyce Hawkins, previously the director of the community center where the R&B superstar was scheduled to do a lot of his community service, continues to be involved with the Tappahannack Children’s Center and has keys to the facility.

If Brown cannot fulfill the obligation himself — and prove that he has — he could be sent to jail.

ARE YOU ON THE LIST? Note to all those who think they are best buddies of Michael Jordan: You may not be as close to His Airness as you believe if you haven’t already received a hush-hush save-the-date card for Jordan’s April marriage to fiancée Yvette Prieto.

LOOPY LAWSUIT: I’m pretty sure something said in jest on the “Tonight Show” couch is widely considered to be a joke — and not liable to be binding in a courtroom — but that hasn’t stopped Donald Trump for suing HBO’s Bill Maher for $5 million.In case you missed it, during a recent appearance on

Jay Leno’s show, Maher quipped that he’d pay the 5 mil to the Donald’s favorite charities if he proved he wasn’t the offspring resulting from his mother mating with an orangutan.

After filing the lawsuit in a California court, Trump harrumphed that he “felt a major obligation to bring [the suit] on behalf” of five charities including the American Cancer Society and the March of Dimes.

Trump stated he had provided the “appropriate documentation” confirming his parentage is completely human, and was suing Maher since he had ignored his previous demands he make good on the bet.

Seems to me someone doesn’t have a sense of humor, or is merely looking for another dose of publicity.

Guess who?

STAR POWER: Rare is the occasion when the previous year’s Oscar winners in the major acting categories have been on hand to present the newly minted Academy Awards to the new winners. But this year, all four 2012 honorees — Meryl Streep, Jean Dujardin, Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer — are scheduled to be on the Oscar stage Feb. 24 to hand the famous little golden trophies to their successors.

The race for the best supporting actor Oscar is said to be particularly close this year, with many Academy insiders thinking the front-runners are Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”), Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln”) and Alan Arkin (“Argo”) — with nobody counting out Robert De Niro (“Silver Linings Playbook”) or Philip Seymour Hoffman (“The Master”).

Waltz might get a last-minute boost since he’s hosting “Saturday Night Live” on Feb. 16 — just a few days before the Feb. 19 deadline for Oscar voting.

FAMILY TIES: Bruno Mars’ sisters — J aime Kailani, Tiara, Tahiti and Presley, members of the pop band the Lylas — have inked a development deal with WEtv to create a reality series. The proposed show would follow the strong-willed sisters’ journey from Hawaii to Los Angeles, where they are working on their debut album. The group recently released their first single, “Come Back.”

BRITNEY BIT: Britney Spears’ manager Larry Rudolph confirmed to “Extra” that the singer is about to sign a big contract for a long-term show at one of two casinos in Las Vegas. Reportedly one of them is part of the Caesars Entertainment group. An official announcement is expected very soon.

TOOTHY TYPES: Not only are some of Our Town’s top chefs whizzes in the kitchen, but according to a poll of Chicago Dental Society dentists, they have great smiles as well. Topping the list with a crushing 60 percent of the vote is Girl & the Goat’s Stephanie Izard, trailed by these other grinning gourmet gurus: Grant Achatz (Alinea), Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, XOCO), Graham Elliott and Art Smith (Table Fifty-two).

SEEN ON THE SCENE: Angels & Kings Chicago partner and co-founder Pete Wentz, joined by girlfriend Meagan Camper, was front and center for the nightspot’s second anniversary. He was joined by Fall Out Boy bandmate Joe Trohman for the big bash at the popular club in its Hard Rock Hotel lobby locale.

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