The Real Reason Tom Cruise May Settle That Nasty Tabloid Suit

50 Tom Cruise Facts
Things didn't know about the actor.
Tom Cruise has good reason to keep his lawsuit against a German publishing company out of a public courtroom — it could blow the lid off of virtually every detail of his personal life.

In October, the Top Gun star sued Bauer Publishing — publisher of U.S. magazines Life & Style and In Touch — for defamation after its tabloids claimed he “abandoned” his 6-year-old daughter Suri after his divorce from Katie Holmes. Cruise adamantly denied the allegations.

Now, according to court papers filed March 1, it’s been ordered that both Cruise and Bauer participate in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) — which means  a settlement could be in the works.

“This brings it into a private court. They are looking for a neutral mediator,” entertainment attorney Mychal Wilson, told Celebuzz. “At this point, they are looking to settle it and keep it out of the spotlight for his reputation and his daughter, Suri.”

It’s not just Suri that Cruise may want to protect: According to court documents filed last month, lawyers started the grueling pre-trial process, with Bauer requesting a multitude of personal details about the notoriously private star. Many of them involved his relationship with Suri — plus his work, travel and social schedules; how much he was in contact with Suri during his separation and divorce from Holmes; his visitation schedule with Suri; his past lawsuits; his role with the Church of Scientology and how much that affects his relationship with Suri; and Suri’s emotional state after Cruise and Holmes’ divorce.

“For Bauer, they’ve done a risk assessment for their exposure, and they probably think it’s better to do an ADR and to settle the matter as opposed to facing $50 million in damages,” Wilson added.

“Neutral mediation means each side will submit briefs on their position. The mediator will review and meet with the parties and most likely in separate rooms to negotiate. And it’s best that Tom is there.”

“The goal is to amicably resolve the dispute. If they go through a nasty discovery process, it will stay in the public eye. And that could be detrimental to the mental state of Suri, and it can adversely affect any box office draw for Tom.”

Not everyone is optimistic that the suit will be settled so easily — including Cruise’s attorney, Bert Fields.

“There will be a mediation as there is in almost every pending case…but I am very pessimistic about their being a settlement,” he told E! News. “We will go to trial.”


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