It’s the question the tabloids can’t get enough of: Did Tom Cruise abandon seven-year-old Suri in the wake of his divorce from Katie Holme? I’m sure most of us think it’s a ridiculous question to be asking in the first place, but just for the record, according to the actor himself: Of COURSE he didn’t, you silly people, you!
FYI, Tom is currently suing Bauer Publishing $50 million in damages over a story they released in In Touch Magazine claiming the actor “abandoned” Suri after the divorce. During a deposition taken on September 9 (with records filed publicly and now available to view), Tom was questioned by Bauer’s lawyer, Elizabeth McNamera, about the abandonment issue; here’s what he had to say:
While it’s true that Tom didn’t see Suri for 100 days after their summer trip to Disney World, he stated that “Unfortunately in this situation it was nearly impossible.” At the time, he was filming All You Need Is Kill in London, while Suri was beginning school in New York. In lieu of visits, he noted that he spoke to Suri on the phone nearly ever day. “Talking to a young child on the phone, you have to work at it,” he said. “I’ve gotten very good at it. I tell wonderful stories. I also find that, you know, Suri is a very happy child, and confident, and has a good sense of herself.”
The thing that often gets forgotten in the glitz and glamour of showbiz is that underneath all that it’s a LOT of work. Shooting a movie can take months, you’re working incredibly long day, and it can take you all over the world. When actors are shooting overseas, a lot of times families will make an effort to go to them—sometimes they’ll take their families with them for the whole process (see: Orlando Bloom during the shooting of The Hobbit—sniff sniff, sob sob!) or arrange for them to visit during part of it—because generally, it’s a lot easier that way around. It’s MUCH more difficult for an actor to get enough time away from the set to go to their families.
If, therefore, we’re looking at the fall of 2012, we have these two pieces to consider: A) Suri was just starting school for the very first time and therefore couldn’t be traveling to the ends of the world to visit Tom on set; and B) Tom’s shooting scheduling involved him being rather far away, and odds are he couldn’t get enough time off to leave. The bottom line? Making a visit work during a time when neither party can leave their respective locations just isn’t possible. It’s worth noting, too, that while Tom wasn’t there to see Suri off to her first day of school, “If she had asked me to be there, I would have been there. I would have worked it out in any way I could.” And you know what? I believe him.
There’s a reason Katie became Suri’s primary caregiver, and I’m sure part of it has to do with each parent’s respective work schedules and how it affects their day-to-day life. Katie has spent a lot of time over recent years putting down roots in New York; this sort of stability is essential for a child. Tom, meanwhile, has been working almost nonstop, so he’s on the road a lot—not so great for a kid. It makes sense, then, that Suri would reside with Katie in New York, where she can have a place she definitely calls “home.”
Interestingly, though, McNamara also quizzed Tom about whether Katie’s reason for the divorce was to keep Suri away from Scientology. At first Tom sort of filibustered—“I find that question offensive,” he said; “There is no reason to protect my daughter from Scientology”—but he did admit, “That was one of the assertions, yes” before going on to say, “There are many other aspects to the divorce.
Is it kind of weird that out of all the weird-o headlines that have run about him, this is the one that Tom is choosing to go after? A little, but he’s done stranger things in the past. Besides, if there’s one thing that’s worth setting straight among all the lies the tabloids tell, it’s anything pertaining to your child. Seriously, tabloids—don’t go after the kids or their relationships to their parents. That’s kind of below the belt.
Anyhoo, there’s your latest Tom Cruise update. How’s your Friday going, Bettys?
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s senior editor.