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John Travolta Has 'A Heavy Heart' Over Son's Death

John Travolta Has 'A Heavy Heart' Over Son's Death
John Travolta
Kevork Djansezian/AP

10/22/2009 AT 02:50 PM EDT

A mistrial was not the result John Travolta expected when it came to the alleged extortion plot surrounding the death of his son Jett.

"He was upset as he wanted closure," says his attorney Mike Ossi, who informed the actor of the Bahamian court decision late Wednesday. "The family wants to privately begin the long and difficult healing process – as well as to properly honor Jett's memory – without the cloud of this litigation over their heads. But he said he is committed to cooperating with authorities so justice can be served."


Those close to Travolta, 55, say that although the trial was difficult for him and his wife, Kelly Preston, it's the loss of Jett that remains immeasurable.

"He's got a heavy heart. There is a hole," the actor's longtime friend and assistant Ronnie Zupancic tells PEOPLE. "They think about Jett every day, they never stop."

Zupancic, who was present in the Bahamas the morning Jett died and later testified for the prosecution, adds, "It doesn't wear off. Jett is still with them. It's like it was yesterday."

Family Bonding

These days he says of Travolta and his family, "They recognize the fragility of life, and they all hold each other a little tighter now."

Travolta cherishes every moment his wife and their 9-year-old daughter Ella Bleu. "They are spending all their time together," says Ossi.

In fact, promoting their new movie, Old Dogs – which stars Travolta, Preston and Ella – has given them something positive to anticipate. "It's Ella's first film and it's a family affair," says Ossi. "She is every excited, but John and Kelly are even more excited. They are very proud."

Travolta is expected to do a limited amount of press for the movie. "He will do as much as he can," says a source. "He's trying to stay busy, and that helps them cope."

As for Ella, the source says, "They are giving her lots of attention. She always has a friend with her. They keep her busy with friends and hobbies, especially horseback riding."

Strength from Belief

Meanwhile, Travolta's faith in Scientology has also given him strength. "John goes to Clearwater, Fla., [where Scientology has a center] four days a week," says a source. "He flies [the 15-minute distance] in his little plane every night, and it's helped him.”

It is in the skies, perhaps, that the actor feels closest to Jett. According to the source, "Flying gives him a sense of comfort. John would take Jett up in his Ultralight all the time. Now, when John flies, it gives him solace. He's in the air, and he can reflect and be peaceful."

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