Tom Cruise Wednesday filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against the publisher of Life & Style magazine over a story that said he had abandoned his daughter Suri, 6, after the end of his marriage to Katie Holmes.
"Tom is a caring father who dearly loves Suri," Cruise's attorney, Bert Fields, said in a statement. "To say he has 'abandoned' her is a vicious lie. To say it in lurid headlines with a tearful picture of Suri is reprehensible."
He added, "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." Of any monetary judgment Cruise might win, Fields said, "Tom will undoubtedly give the money to charity. He always has."
Bauer Publishing's Life & Style, based in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., was unreachable by phone yesterday afternoon. The company did not respond to a Newsday email requesting comment.
Fields contacted Life & Style in July regarding the story, whose cover line read "Suri in Tears: Abandoned by Her Dad."
The lawsuit said the article "does not remotely purport to provide any facts indicating or suggesting that Tom 'abandoned' Suri, as proclaimed on the cover. The reference to 'Suri in tears' on the cover . . . are described in the internal story as a result of Suri being upset over not being able to take a puppy home from a pet store."
The lawsuit also mentioned a story in the Oct. 1 issue of In Touch Weekly, another Bauer publication, featuring headlines suggesting that he abandoned his daughter.