Great Britain

John Travolta says he’s ‘taking time out’ to spend time with his children after the death of their mother Kelly Preston

JOHN Travolta announced he's "taking time out" to spend time with his two children after the death of their mother Kelly Preston.

The Grease actor's wife passed away yesterday following a long battle with breast cancer aged 57.

The Jerry Maguire actress had been battling the illness for two years, but chose to keep her diagnosis private.

Kelly leaves behind her famous actor husband John and their daughter Ella, 20, and nine-year-old son Benjamin. Their eldest son, 16-year-old Jett, died in 2009.

Heartbroken John took to Instagram to announce her passing and thanked everyone for their outpouring of support.

He wrote: "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.

Adding: "My family and I will forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Center, all the medical centers that have helped, as well as her many friends and loved ones who have been by her side.

"Kelly’s love and life will always be remembered."

The Hollywood star told his fans that he would be stepping away from the limelight to focus on his children.

He continued: "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. All my love, JT".

The star received a flood of supportive messages from fans and famous faces, who shared their sympathies with him.

Singer Mariah Carey penned: "Sending so much love to you and your family in this heartbreaking moment. 💔"

John's The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story co-star Sarah Paulson wrote: "💔💔💔💔💔 love you so".

A family representative released a statement to People, saying: "On the morning of July 12, 2020, Kelly Preston, adored wife and mother, passed away following a two-year battle with breast cancer.

"Choosing to keep her fight private, she had been undergoing medical treatment for some time, supported by her closest family and friends.

"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."

In September, Grease actor John and Kelly celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary.

The couple suffered a shocking tragedy in 2009 when their eldest son Jett, 16, after he had a seizure on a family vacation to the Bahamas at Christmas.

Actress Kelly enjoyed success in films such as 1986's SpaceCamp, Twins (1988), Jerry Maguire (1996) and For Love of the Game (1999).

She last starred on-screen in the 2018 film Gotti as Victoria Gotti, the wife of Mafia boss John Gotti, alongside husband John.

The couple married in September 1991.

In an emotional message to her husband online celebrating their anniversary last year, Kelly said: "To my dearest Johnny, the most wonderful man I know.

"You have given me hope when I have felt lost, loved me patiently and unconditionally… made me laugh harder than any other human being possible… shared the most beautiful highs and at times low.

"You're a dream Daddio and make life so much fun!!

"I trust my love with you implicitly… with you I know I will always be okay no matter what happens… I love you forever and completely. Happy 28th Anniversary @johntravolta."

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