Bad news for anyone hoping Tom Cruise's $50 million lawsuit against In Touch and Life & Style magazines would mean tons of juicy details surfacing as they battled it out in public court.
TheWrap reports that Cruise's case against Bauer, the tabloid's publisher, has been moved to private mediation. While the move wasn't unexpected, it's somewhat disappointing, as a public trial was likely to air some dirty laundry on either side.
Cruise filed the defamation lawsuit against Bauer media in October, over a story that suggested the 50-year-old 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."
Last month, Bauer's lawyers shot back, claiming their story was "substantially true," and requested a laundry list of information about Cruise's relationship with Suri -- including intimate details about the child's mental and emotional state following her parents’ separation and divorce.
At the time, it appeared as though Bauer's legal team planned to use the case as a way to expose more information on Cruise's role in the Church of Scientology, as well as any role the organization 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.
Meanwhile, Cruise's legal team was expected to go after Bauer's "history of bigotry and hatred toward minority religious groups and their members," which was likely in reference to a report that claimed the German publisher holds assets, including at least one magazine appealing to neo-Nazis, and is involved in distributing Nazi-themed porn movies.
UPDATE: According to court documents filed on March 1, Cruise's lawsuit has been ordered to mediation, however, there is a chance the case could be heard in open court.
The actor's lawyer told The Huffington Post on Wednesday, that it's standard procedure to see if the case can first be worked out in private mediation, however the case is still scheduled to go to court in April 2014. Though it's possible the matter could be settled privately, Fields said he's "skeptical" about reaching a settlement with Bauer.