Fact Check

Does John Travolta Have a 'New Wife'?

Unscrupulous online advertisers claimed that the Hollywood star had remarried after the death of his wife, actor Kelly Preston, in 2020.

Published Apr 8, 2021

 (Georges Biard/Wikimedia Commons)
Image Via Georges Biard/Wikimedia Commons
As of April 2021, John Travolta had remarried after the death of his wife Kelly Preston.

In 2021, an online advertisement claimed the Hollywood star John Travolta had remarried after the death of his wife Kelly Preston in 2020, and now had a "new wife."

The ad, which invited internet users to "meet John Travolta's new wife," led those who clicked on it to the website MissPennyStocks.com, and a 211-page slideshow with the headline "Loveliest Celebrity Couples in Hollywood — They Are Still Going Strong Through Thick & Thin":

We clicked through all 211 entries in the slideshow, and found that Travolta was not mentioned at all in any of them. Despite checking a news archive and Travolta's own Instagram account, we found no evidence that the actor had married again, or even entered into a relationship, since his wife, the actor Kelly Preston, died of breast cancer in July 2020.

The claim that Travolta had remarried was false, and the "new wife" ad appeared to be a particularly distasteful example of what's known in online advertising as "arbitrage," whereby an advertiser pays for an ad — often with a salacious or sensationalist "clickbait" headline — and then aims to recoup that expense with earnings from individual ads on multi-page slideshows.

Snopes has debunked multiple examples of fake celebrity-themed tidbits that lead unwitting readers down a futile slideshow rabbit hole such as the one that resulted from the fake "John Travolta's new wife" ad in 2021.

Snopes debunks a wide range of content, and online advertisements are no exception. Misleading ads often lead to obscure websites that host lengthy slideshow articles with lots of pages. It's called advertising "arbitrage." The advertiser's goal is to make more money on ads displayed on the slideshow's pages than it cost to show the initial ad that lured them to it. Feel free to submit ads to us, and be sure to include a screenshot of the ad and the link to where the ad leads.

Dan Mac Guill is a former writer for Snopes.

Article Tags