Tom Cruise files lawsuit against magazine over 'vicious' Suri lies
Tom Cruise filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday against Life & Style Magazine seeking $50 million in damages for falsely claiming he had "abandoned" his 6-year-old daughter as his split with Katie Holmes became public.
The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against Bauer Publishing Co. alleged the publisher put him in a false light -- at least twice -- by falsely trumpeting he had "abandoned" daughter Suri. His attorneys alleged in the lawsuit that Cruise's representatives tried to correct the record by providing the "true facts" before the story went to press. The magazine went forward with a cover story entitled "Abandoned by Her Dad."
Cruise attorneys received a copy of the July 30 edition of the magazine July 18. His counsel, according to the suit, pointed out that the story did not provide any facts of abandonment and noted that Cruise had been shooting a film but spoke to Suri regularly. Cruise's lawyer, Bert Fields, wrote a letter to the editor demanding a retraction, but the request was rejected.
"Tom is a caring father who dearly loves Suri," Fields told The Times. "To say he has 'abandoned' her is a vicious lie. To say it in lurid headlines with a tearful picture of Suri is reprehensible."
Fields said the lawsuit was needed because the article went way too far.
"He's not a litigious guy," Fields said. "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. ... Having to pay a libel judgment may slow them down."
Cruise and Holmes separated last summer and eventually divorced amid heavy covering by the tabloids and entertainment media. Cruise spent some of the summer filming a movie in Iceland but spent a large chunk of time in New York with his young daughter.
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Tom Cruise , Katie Holmes and their daughter, Suri, visit Schenley Plaza's carousel Oct. 8, 2011, in Pittsburgh. Credit: James Devaney / WireImage