The 'Pulp Fiction' actor is thought to have been hiding out at a vacation home in the Bahamas since being accused of sexual misconduct from a number of male masseurs but he put on a brave face last week to honor actress Shirley MacLaine as she received the 40th AFI Life Achievement Award.
Taking to the stage in a black tuxedo, John appeared calm and composed as he made a speech in front of guests including Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Katherine Heigl and Meryl Streep.
He said: "Several years ago, Warren Beatty was talking about a young actress. And I said to him, 'What was she like?' And he said, 'She filled the room with presence like I've never seen before.' And I said, 'You know your sister, Shirley? She fills the room with presence'. She fills the world with presence like no one I've ever seen before. And that's my Shirley. And I love you.
"Shirley MacLaine is first a dancer, and when you move from Broadway to film to television to writing to directing, you have to move to these things with the grace of a dancer. To train and push harder than you ever thought you could."
John was among a number of stars, including Jack Nicholson, her brother Warren Beatty, and Morgan Freeman, in paying tribute to Shirley, 78.
The 'Grease!' star reportedly jetted off to a vacation home in the Bahamas with wife Kelly Preston and children Ella, 12, and 18-month-old Benjamin to ride out the sex scandal, although new claims have emerged in the past few days that he enjoyed a six-year gay affair with a male pilot.