The latest controversy in the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes divorce stems from the National Enquirer's coverage of the split. The tabloid labels Cruise a monster who subjected Holmes to a house of horrors during their five-year marriage.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Cruise's lawyer, Bert Fields, has sent a letter to the scandalous tabloid asking it to retract all false reports about the actor.
As you were notified in advance, your current issue of [the] National Enquirer makes numerous false and defamatory assertions about our client Tom Cruise, Fields writes.
The letter also asserts that Cruise is set to lose millions as a result of the story, and that American Media is responsible for Cruise's unfavorable image.
Your trumpeting these false and vicious lies about Mr. Cruise will cost him hundreds of millions of dollars [in] personal and professional damages...
It's unclear how a story released by one of the most gossipy guilty-pleasure publications on newsstands will put a dent in Cruise's $250 million net worth. Cruise's lawyer seems to believe that the public takes its cues from a tabloid. Is Team Cruise implying that audiences will take the report into consideration before buying a ticket to one of his films?
The magazine's report claims that Cruise engaged in relentless verbal abuse, emotional punishment, humiliation and intimidation, which his lawyers counter by claiming the actor is a caring father, hardworking actor, and above all, an honest, decent man.
The letter takes the time to refute the mag's claim that the couple's daughter, Suri, was kept in a windowless bedroom.
Suri was not forced to stay ... in a tiny windowless room, the letter argues. She slept in a nursery adjoining their bedroom. It has a window.
Since Holmes filed for divorce on June 29, speculation as to why the fairytale marriage ended has been rampant. According to numerous reports, Cruise's staunch Scientology beliefs were what strained the relationship. There have also been whispers that the union between the two actors was nothing more than a contractual agreement -- meant to dispel gay rumors that have followed Cruise for much of his career.
This is not the first time that Cruise has threatened legal action to protect his reputation.
In 2005, Cruise threatened to sue the creators of South Park if the episode Trapped in the Closet, which spoofed Scientology, wasn't pulled from the airwaves. When a repeat was schedued to air at the same time as his publicity tour for Mission Impossible 3, Cruise refused to promote the film unless the Comedy Central changed it's line-up. Since Viacom owns both Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures (which was releasing MI3) the network pulled the plug on the repeat.The incident, dubbed closetgate didn't stop the episode from wining an Emmy award.
The 50-year-old actor also threatened legal action against author Andrew Morton, who penned Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography. The book purported that Holmes became pregnant with Suri after being inseminated with the late L. Ron Hubbard's (the founder of Scientology) seed.
Cruise was actually taken to court in 2009 for tapping the phone of a man claiming to be his ex-lover. Michael Davis Sapphire alleged that he filmed a sexual encounter between himself and Cruise in 2001. According to the suit, which was settled out of court, Cruise hired a private investigator to tail Sapphire after he threatened to come forward with the tape.
Cruise justified the preservation of his image in a May interview.
They know I mean it, that if I have to, I will sue, he told E! You start with a letter saying, 'Okay, you know it's not true. Apologize.' There is a point with a lot of things when you just go, 'You know what? I don't want to waste my time with this. I'm busy. I'd rather spend this time with my kids and my wife, at home or on our movies, creating a life together. If you have kids, it is the most important thing to create good times.'
Unfortunately for Tom, it looks like the good times are over.