Kelly Preston, the actress known for her role in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire died on Sunday 12 June.
Her husband of 28 years, John Travolta, posted an Instagram post on Monday that said: “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.”
The couple got married during a midnight ceremony in Paris in 1991 while Preston was pregnant with their first son, Jett. They went on to have two more children; a daughter Ella Bleu and another son, Benjamin.
Jett Travolta died in 2009 aged 16 after having had a seizure at the family’s holiday home in the Bahamas.
The tragic event was shortly followed by a court case after the ambulance driver and his attorney were accused of trying to force the family to pay $25 million for not releasing sensitive information about their son’s death. John Travolta testified during a criminal trial, but stopped due to the severe strain that it was causing the family on top of the loss of their son.
Preston returned to acting, with her first role being in the 2010 movie adaption of the Nicholas Sparks book, The Last Song, which starred Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth. Travolta and Preston then went on to star in the 2018 film Gotti as crime boss John Gotti and his wife Victoria.
While the actress had chosen to keep her diagnosis private, Preston had been undergoing medical treatment for some time. Travolta added on Instagram “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.”
Their daughter, Ella Bleu, also posted on Instagram: “I have never met anyone as courageous, strong, beautiful and loving as you.” Others have continued to pay tribute to the Travolta family, such as Gladiator star Russell Crowe, who tweeted his reminiscing of an audition together with Kelly Preston and sent his love to the family.
A family representative spoke to People magazine about Preston’s choice to keep her cancer treatment private and said “She was a bright, beautiful and loving soul who cared deeply about others and who brought life to everything she touched. Her family asks for your understanding of their need for privacy at this time.”