A mistrial has been declared in the case of two people accused of trying to blackmail Hollywood actor John Travolta following the death of his son.
The judge ordered a retrial after an MP publicly declared that one of the defendants, Pleasant Bridgewater, had been cleared while the jury was still debating.
Supreme Court Justice Anita Allen said she was reluctant to order a new trial.
But she said she had to do so "in the interests of justice" after Picewell Forbes made the announcement at his party's annual convention.
She said she was concerned about a possible "communication" from the jury room to the outside world – raising the possibility of misconduct within the jury.
The news will come as a blow for John and his wife Kelly, who lost their 16-year-old son Jett in the Bahamas – where the trial is taking place – in January.
John bravely testified in the original case against Pleasant Bridgewater and Tarino Lightbourne, who are accused of trying to extort £15 million from the star.
His attorney said his client would fully co-operate with the prosecution and do whatever was asked of him.
Photo: ę PA