Yesterday, Cruise filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against the publishers of In Touch and Life & Style magazines.
What has him riled up? The two magazines ran stories reporting that he abandoned his daughter Suri (6) since divocing Katie Holmes (33) a few months ago.
On July 30, 2012 Life & Style ran a cover which said “SURI IN TEARS, ABANDONED BY HER DAD,” The accompanying photograph featured a teary-eyed Suri being held by her mother, Holmes.
The suit states that the story inside the magazine explains the child’s tears were “as a result of Suri being upset over not being able to take a puppy home from a pet store.”
In September, In Touch (owned by the same publisher as Life & Style) ran a cover that read “44 DAYS WITHOUT TOM … ABANDONED BY DADDY … Suri is left heartbroken as Tom suddenly shuts her out and even misses her first day of school… HAS HE CHOSEN SCIENTOLOGY OVER SURI FOR GOOD?”
In filing the lawsuit, Cruise’s lawyer, Bert Fields has this to say:
“Tom is a caring father who dearly loves Suri. She’s a vital part of his life and always will be. The say he has ‘abandoned’ her is a vicious lie. To say it in lurid headlines with a tearful picture of Suri is reprehensible. Tom doesn’t go around suing people. He’s not a litigious guy. But when these sleaze peddlers try to make money with disgusting lies about his relationship with his child, you bet he’s going to sue.”
Fields said the two letters he sent to the publications asking them to retract their stories were ignored. Hollywood Reporter has obtained the legal paperwork filed, letters sent to the publications as well as the articles themselves and you can check it out for yourself. Fields says Cruise will give the money to charity if we wins the case.
Of course this isn’t the first time celebrities have sued the tabloids. Sometimes they win, sometimes they don’t. On the losing side, David Beckham sued In Touch for $25M for a story it ran alledging he had dealings with a prostitute, but lost last year. On the winning side, Cruise has sued before and won. In 1998 he and then-wife Nicole Kidman successfully sued The Express for publishing stories alledging he was gay and their marriage was a sham.
To win this newest case, Cruise will have to prove that unequivocally, these gossip magazines knowingly published false claims regarding his abandonment of Suri.
Should he grow a thick skin and not give this any more publicity than it already received back in the summer? He has been away filming and his busy film schedule has indeed provided much gossip fodder.
Or, is Cruise right to sue?
Maybe he doesn’t want Suri reading these stories when she grows up. Is his lawsuit also his way of saying to the tabs: “You can say stuff about me, just leave my kid out of it ” ?