Tom Cruise may have more to lose than previously imagined in a nasty divorce with Katie Holmes. Now he may have to reveal details of his family’s life–as well as his own behavior– in a nasty lawsuit.
Cruise reportedly entered into a quick–and private–divorce with wife Katie Holmes to avoid extended and likely negative publicity about the Church of Scientology, of which he’s a fervent believer.
But a new report in the National Enquirer blows the lid off his six-year marriage with details about alleged humilation, abuse and bizarre punishments suffered by both Katie and the couple’s daughter Suri Cruise.
The article has produced an angry reaction from Cruise through his lawyer Burt Fields, who is threatening to sue the publication and its owner American Media Inc., for “hundreds of millions of dollars.” It claims the article, entitled “House of Horrors,” full of vicious lies.
The letter Fields sent to America Media was published today in The Hollywood Reporter.
“As you were notified in advance, your current issue of National Enquirer makes numerous false and defamatory assertions about our client Tom Cruise,’ the three-page letter asserts.
While the tabloid has a spotty history when it comes to accuracy, it has also been dead-on about subjects that other tabloids have refused to touch. It was the first to break the story about Tiger Woods’ sex scandal and blew the lid off John Edwards’ affair and child with Rielle Hunter, while his wife lay dying of cancer.
While Cruise may be outraged by what the magazine printed, a lawsuit would be directly counter to the privacy he sought in his divorce. The publication would have virtual free rein to discover evidence to support its article, which could become public at trial.
Under U.S. libel law, Cruise would have to prove that the publication knew the allegations were false and reckless but printed them anyway as an act of malice.
In his letter, Fields zeroes in on the cover headline. “Your cover announces, as a fact, that ‘THE REAL TOM CRUISE IS A MONSTER.’ Mr. Cruise is certainly not a ‘monster.’ He is a caring father, a hardworking actor and, above all, an honest, decent man,” he wrote.
The article alleges that Holmes led a “tortured life” during her marriage. In one instance, the tabloid claims Suri was forced to stay for five months in a tiny, windowless room, a claim which the lawyer denied.
Fields asked the publication to retract the allegations, and threated to “call the Court’s attention to your long record of printing and publishing malicious lies about celebrities in order to enrich yourselves at their expense.”
But Cruise has also been known for some bizarre behavior, and all of that would be fair game in a trial.