Tom Cruise has filed a $50 million lawsuit against Life & Style and In Touch magazines for publishing stories that he abandoned his 6-year-old daughter Suri.
Over the summer, following Cruise's divorce from Katie Holmes, celebrity magazines ran a flurry of articles speculating about the divorce and the fallout. In one story, Life & Style reportedly ran a story with the headline "Suri in Tears: Abandoned by Her Dad," reports Examiner.com.
In Touch also ran a story that proclaimed Suri was "Abandoned by Daddy," according to TMZ. Both magazines are owned by Bauer Publishing, TMZ reports.
Cruise's attorney says the actor typically does not file lawsuits against magazines, but claims the publications crossed the line when they tried "to make money with disgusting lies about his relationship with his child."
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes split in June. The divorce was notable due to the speed with which it happened. Oftentimes, celebrity divorces can drag on for months. However, Cruise seemingly agreed to Holmes' demands and the divorce settlement was finalized in a few days, according to Examiner.com.
Holmes had asked for primary custody of Suri, and she was awarded her request. The speed with which Cruise agreed to the child custody arrangement fueled gossip that Cruise either "abandoned" his daughter or simply did not care.
Cruise is now seeking $50 million in a lawsuit for defamation of character, reports Examiner.com. The actor indicated that any amount he wins in the lawsuit will likely be donated to charity.
To win a defamation lawsuit, Cruise will have to prove that the published statements were untrue -- that he did not abandon his daughter. He will also have to prove that Life & Style and In Touch were careless in publishing the stories. And because Cruise is a public figure, he will have the additional burden of proving that the magazines acted with malice, meaning that they knew the defamatory stories were false, but published them anyway knowing that it could hurt Cruise's reputation.