Tom Cruise's $50 million lawsuit against Bauer Media Group is going to get nasty, and Suri Cruise is right in the middle of all of it.
In October, the 50-year-old actor filed a defamation lawsuit against the publisher of Life & Style and In Touch magazines, over a story that suggested the actor had abandoned his 6-year-old daughter Suri, since his divorce from actress Katie Holmes. Cruise's attorney, Bert Fields, called the story a "vicious lie," adding, "Tom is a caring father who dearly loves Suri. She's a vital part of his life and always will be. To say it in lurid headlines with a tearful picture of Suri is reprehensible."
Bauer Media has stood by its story, claiming the reporting was "substantially true," and they plan to fight the libel suit by proving there were no false statements made.
In court documents filed on Feb. 14, lawyers for Bauer are requesting a laundry list of information about Cruise's relationship with his daughter.
Bauer's lawyers have requested a complete rundown of Cruise's schedule; the extent to which he was in contact with Suri after his separation and divorce from Holmes; the expectations for Cruise's contact and visitation schedule with Suri and the terms of the divorce agreement; his history of separation from Suri since her birth; Suri Cruise’s mental and emotional state following her parents’ separation and divorce.
Lawyers have also requested information about the role Cruise's membership in the Church of Scientology may have played in his decisions regarding his visitation and communication with Suri, as well as the history of all the lawsuits the actor has filed over the years.
The extensive discovery process is poised to possibly expose personal information the actor doesn't want made public, and lawyers for Cruise shot back with an equally lengthy list of discovery demands for Bauer Media about its policies and practices with regard to publishing stories about the actor, his family and the Church of Scientology.
In documents filed on Thursday, Cruise's legal team has requested that Bauer release the identities of the magazine's sources and disclose its policies and practices for obtaining information, paying sources and verifying the credibility of said sources.
Cruise's lawyers have also requested that the media company detail its "history of bigotry and hatred toward minority religious groups and their members," which The Hollywood Reporter notes is likely in reference to a recent report from The Wrap, which claims the German publisher hold assets, including at least one magazine appealing to neo-Nazis, and is involved in distributing Nazi-themed porn movies.
A briefing is scheduled for Feb. 28 for both sides to plan addition hearings pertaining to requests.