Katie Holmes Could Use Tom Cruise's Bitter Divorce with Nicole Kidman to Win Sole Custody of Suri, Says Lawyer
The soon-to-be ex-Mrs. Tom Cruise can expect a call from another member of the actor's former wives club, according to a prominent Hollywood lawyer.
Nicole Kidman's bitter divorce battle with Cruise, 49, could become ammunition for Katie Holmes in her quest to win sole custody of the couple's six-year-old daughter Suri, lawyer Catherine Lombardo told Celebuzz.
Kidman, 45, split from the Mission Impossible star in 2001 after nine years of marriage.
“Previous court orders can be produced as evidence for a judge to look at,” said Lombardo, who previously represented oft-troubled Party of Five actor Jeremy London.
“Whatever evidence was produced during a custody battle that shows Tom in a bad light, I am sure Katie would want to get her hands on.”
When the Rock of Ages star, 49, split with his former Australian-born wife Kidman, the couple fought very publicly over custody of their adopted children Isabella, now 19, and Connor, 17.
Like Holmes, 33, Kidman initially asked for primary custody so she could raise the children in her native Australia.
In the nine months that followed the serialized Eyes Wide Shut couples' split, Kidman and Cruise went head to head in a court of law and the court of public opinion. Their divorce proceedings became a publicity slinging match.
At one point, things got so bad that intimate details about the notoriously private couple were revealed -- including when they last were intimate and the sad news that Kidman had been pregnant but lost their child after Cruise walked out on her.
According to Lombardo, Holmes could use how three-time Golden Globe star Cruise raised Isabella and Connor, as evidence in the current case.
Cruise has been criticized for allowing his older children to live very adult lives; Isabella lives in the high crime area of Downtown Los Angeles, Calif., with her Scientologist boyfriend, while Connor has become a fixture on the Hollywood nightclub scene, DJ'ing at various venues despite being underage.
“How he raised or related to his older children from his previous marriage is admissible evidence,” Lombardo told Celebuzz.
She added, “He would fight, I am sure, for joint custody. The truth is we don’t know what goes on within their home and within their private life as well and that is where she will have to prove to the judge, to the court, with competent evidence why she should be the primary caregiver."
“The moving party, Katie, would have to prove the child is not safe with the father."
"She would need to prove to the court through reliable evidence that he was a bad father, the father is violent, the father uses drugs or the father has been neglectful."
If Holmes cannot prove those accusations -- indeed, if they even exist -- Lombardo said the Jack and Jill actress would have to prove she was Suri's primary caregiver, to win sole custody.
Ironically, despite the couples long held dislike for the paparazzi, photographs of Holmes being constantly with Suri could also end up as evidence.
Lombardo is not, however, predicting an easy win for the mother-of-one.
“She is the moving party and therefore it is her burden to that it is in the best interest of her child to be with her and not with the father,” the entertainment lawyer said.
“I predict the court will give Tom at least generous visitation if not 50 per cent custody.”
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Divorce: Celebuzz's Complete Coverage