Tom Cruise files $50m defamation lawsuit
Los Angeles - Tom Cruise filed a $50m defamation lawsuit on Wednesday against magazines that claimed he had abandoned his daughter, Suri, following his divorce from actress Katie Holmes.
The Mission: Impossible star filed the lawsuit in US court in Los Angeles against the publishers of celebrity magazines In Touch and Life & Style.
"Tom is a caring father who dearly loves Suri. She's a vital part of his life and always will be. To say he has 'abandoned' her is a vicious lie. To say it in lurid headlines with a tearful picture of Suri is reprehensible," Cruise's lawyer Bert Fields said in a statement.
Magazines not reached for comment
The lawsuit refers to two cover stories published by the magazines in July and September with the headlines "Abandoned by Daddy" and "Abandoned by her dad". The September story from In Touch claimed that six-year-old Suri, the only child of Cruise and Holmes, had gone more than 44 days without seeing him.
The magazines, owned by privately held German publishing group Bauer Media, did not immediately return calls for comment.
Holmes filed for divorce in June after six years of marriage, seeking sole custody of Suri, in a move that took Cruise by surprise when he was filming in Iceland. They swiftly agreed to a custody arrangement and settled other matters but details have been kept private.
Money will be given to charity
Fields said that despite repeated stories in celebrity media about Cruise and his personal life during his 30-year Hollywood career, the actor rarely resorted to litigation.
"He's not a litigious guy. But when these sleazy peddlers try to make money with disgusting lies about his relationship with his child, you bet he's going to sue," Fields added.
Fields said Cruise are seeking damages of $50m and would "undoubtedly give the money to charity" if he wins the case.