Broken-hearted actor John Travolta summoned all his strength to return to the Bahamas for a blackmail trial relating to the death of his son Jett, 16, friends said.
"Going back was hard for him," a source told People. "The memories were too painful."
The movie star is expected to testify at Nassau Supreme Court where a paramedic – who treated the teenager after a seizure at the family's island home – is accused of extortion.
Ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne and another defendant are alleged to have threatened to publicise a sensitive document about the youngster's treatment unless the screen hero paid £18 million.
The plot allegedly centred around "a refusal of medical attention" form.
This was signed by the desperate father in the frantic minutes shortly after Jett was taken ill at his luxury villa on Grand Bahama island.
A police officer at the scene told the court that John - a qualified pilot, who regularly flies his own jets on the short journey to the Bahamas from his Florida home - wanted his son to be transported to the island's airport rather than a clinic.
This type of form releases emergency workers from liability whenever a patient or his family refuses medical assistance.
In the event, for reasons that have not been made clear, the plan changed. Jett was eventually taken to the local Rand Memorial Hospital rather than being flown back to the US for treatment as his dad reportedly initially wanted.