NASSAU, Bahamas — A judge in the Bahamas dismissed charges Monday against two people accused of trying to extort money from John Travolta after the actor decided that he no longer wanted to face the pain of a new trial stemming from the death of his teenage son on the island chain.

Prosecutor Neil Braithwaite submitted a motion to drop the case just as a retrial was about to start for the two defendants.

“The Travolta family has said that this matter has caused them unbelievable stress and pain and they wish to put this whole thing behind them,” Braithwaite told the court after a jury had been picked to hear the case.

Ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne and his attorney, politician Pleasant Bridgewater, were accused of threatening to release private information about the January 2009 death of Travolta’s 16-year-old son, Jett, at the family vacation home in Grand Bahama.

Lightbourne, who was among the medics who treated Jett, allegedly sought $25 million from the actor with the assistance of Bridgewater, who resigned her seat in the Bahamas Senate after she was charged in the case.

A judge declared a mistrial in October after a Bahamian lawmaker suggested the still-deliberating jury had acquitted one of the suspects.

Travolta had testified during that trial – describing how he desperately tried to save the life of his seizure-prone son – and his attorneys said in October that he was prepared to return to the stand if necessary.

But the actor said Monday that the passage of time had changed his mind.

Jett Travolta suffered a seizure and collapsed at the family’s home. The actor testified that he performed CPR on the teenager after a nanny alerted him and his wife, actress Kelly Preston.

John Travolta told the court – apparently for the first time in public – that his 16-year-old son was autistic, confirming speculation that had swirled for years. The developmental disorder is frequently accompanied by seizures.

Travolta testified that Lightbourne, one of the paramedics who responded to the home on Grand Bahama island, threatened to sell stories to the news media suggesting the movie star was at fault in the death of his son.

Jagger’s ex, Jerry Hall, to auction art

LONDON — Model Jerry Hall plans to auction some of her art collection next month, including a famous portrait by Lucian Freud that shows her nude when she was eight months pregnant, Sotheby’s said Monday.

The auction will also include works by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and other prominent artists collected by Hall, ex-wife of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger

The works will be sold Oct. 15-16 as part of a larger contemporary art sale, Sotheby’s spokesman Simon Warren said.

Sotheby’s specialist Oliver Barker said the Lucian Freud portrait called “Eight Months Gone” is the centerpiece of the auction and is expected to fetch more than $460,000.

“It’s a very tender, loving painting,” he said.

Barker said Hall was willing to sell part of her collection because she has entered a new phase in her life.

“She’s turning a new leaf,” he said. “She’s not afraid of change, she’s happy to let them leave and have other art lovers enjoy them.”

Hall said the unusually intimate painting came about after she and Freud were seated at a dinner together when she was eight months pregnant with her son Gabriel. The artist asked her if she would pose for him and said they had to begin immediately because she was so close to giving birth.

The collection also includes two other works by Freud, often acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest living painters.

Hall has worked in the theater since her separation from Jagger in 1999. Several of her daughters have followed her into modeling, becoming prominent in England.

Former wrestler arrested

THONOTOSASSA, Fla. — Authorities say former WWE wrestler Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart has been arrested on drug charges in Florida.

A Hillsborough County sheriff’s arrest report said that Neidhart, 55, was arrested Sunday. The report said Neidhart was yelling outside a gas station and was seen swallowing several pills. He had OxyContin pills and methadone that were prescribed to someone else, according to the report.

The Tampa Tribune reported that Neidhart is being held on charges of possession and trafficking in a controlled substance and burglary.