Inside Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ tug of love over Suri: How pair’s bitter divorce left Top Gun star estranged from the 16-year-old who he’s not seen in 10 years
On June 29 2012 Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes sensationally revealed they were divorcing after five years of marriage – marking one of the most high profile breakups the celebrity world has ever seen.
Their daughter Suri, now 16, was just five at the time of the split and Tom has been estranged from her since 2013, one year after he and Katie, 44, divorced.
And it was reported on Monday Suri has now started applying to colleges with the help of her mother – but the teen’s famous father Tom won’t have a hand in helping her, because the actor ‘has no part’ in his child’s life.
Katie was given ‘sole custody’ of Suri and according to their divorce documents, Tom agreed to pay Katie $400,000 a month until Suri turned 18 years old.
Suri has not seen her Mission Impossible star father in a decade after he went MIA when Katie refused to join The Church of Scientology.
Here MailOnline takes a look at their custody battle for the now teen after their bitter divorce:
Deep dive: MailOnline takes a look inside Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ custody battle over daughter Suri, now 16 (Katie and Suri in 2018)
Complicated: Tom has been estranged from Suri since 2013, one year after he and Katie, 44, divorced (pictured in 2012)
In 2012 Hollywood superstar Tom, now 60, said he was ‘deeply saddened’ that his younger wife had filed for a separation.
He revealed the former Dawson’s Creek actress had initiated the split, bringing a dramatic end to one of Hollywood’s most high-profile romances.
This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family,’ Holmes’s lawyer Jonathan Wolfe said in a statement to People magazine at the time.
‘Katie’s primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter’s best interest.’
A spokesperson for Cruise, who was at the time in Iceland filming his sci-fi movie Oblivion, said: ‘Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children.’
The actress filed documents in New York citing ‘irreconcilable differences’.
She asked for legal custody, primary residential custody and a ‘suitable amount’ of child support from her husband, TMZ reported.
Katie was also asking for a division of property in the divorce documents, although there is a significant pre-nuptial agreement that is based on California law.
Cruise is believed to have ‘not seen’ the divorce coming.
Sad: On June 29 2012 Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes sensationally revealed they were divorcing after five years of marriage – marking one of the most high profile breakups the celebrity world has ever seen (pictured in 2006 on their wedding day)
Family: Katie was given ‘sole custody’ of Suri and according to their divorce documents, Tom agreed to pay Katie $400,000 a month until Suri turned 18 years old (pictured in 2007)
Tough: In 2012 Hollywood superstar Tom, now 60, said he was ‘deeply saddened’ that his younger wife had filed for a separation (pictured in 2005)
But sources insisted that she did tell her husband of five-and-a-half years that she was filing for divorce – but she didn’t give him a chance to control the spread of the news, as he did with Nicole Kidman.
In June 2012, it was reported that Katie decided to file for divorce in New York because it could potentially give her a better chance of gaining sole custody of Suri.
With a financial pre-nuptial already in place, it is thought that Holmes purposefully filed for divorce in New York state and not California because New York dislikes giving warring parents joint custody.
With sole custody of Suri, Holmes would be able to remove her daughter from the Church of Scientology, which she is alleged to dislike and distrust, despite her husband’s enthusiasm for it.
Recruiting East Coast attorney Jonathan Wolfe for the divorce, Holmes was at the time expected to honour the terms of her rumoured pre-nuptial agreement with Tom Cruise in a New York court.
‘It’s the public policy of New York state to recognise pre-nuptial agreements,’ said attorney Paul Talbert, a partner at Chemtob Moss Forman & Talbert LLP.
However, Holmes was known to be independently wealthy through her own television and film career, so there is no financial benefit in filing for divorce in New York.
The fact remains that New York family law judges do not like giving fighting parents joint custody because they believe that causes endless conflicts in the children or children’s lives.
With Suri reportedly attending a Scientology-influenced school in California at the time, Holmes would be have been able to remove her if she was granted sole legal custody.
At the end of June, Katie had moved into a lavish apartment in Manhattan’s Chelsea district and was seen shopping for supplies at a Whole Foods in Manhattan on June 27 – just one day before filing for divorce from Tom.
The star, who was joined by her daughter Suri, purchased flowers, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, olive oil and other items, according to Us Weekly.
Katie reportedly secretly signed the lease on the place in mid June for a rumoured $12,000-per-month.
In July of that year, it was said that the former Dawson’s Creek star was determined to do ‘whatever it takes’ to win sole custody of her child.
Sources say she had seen how Tom’s second wife, Nicole Kidman, has been cut out of the lives of her children with the Rock of Ages actor, Isabella, 30, and Connor, 28, and Katie will not let that happen to her.
An insider close to Katie – who was wary of Suri being raised as a devout Scientologist like Tom, Isabella and Connor – said: ‘Bella and Connor aren’t that close to Nicole, and Katie is determined that she won’t be cut out of Suri’s life. Bella and Connor are devoted to their father and Scientology, and Katie saw this firsthand, and this is one of the reasons she filed for sole custody.
‘Katie will not be relegated to a secondary role in her daughter’s life, period, and she is prepared to fight Tom in court. Katie isn’t going to back down, and she will do whatever it takes to ensure that she raises Suri herself.’
On July 9 2012, Katie’s lawyer has confirmed her highly-publicised divorce with Tom had been settled, with Katie having been granted ‘sole custody’ of their then six-year-old daughter Suri.
The former couple reached an agreement out of court, meaning the actor’s beloved Scientology was no longer at risk of scrutiny with the religion’s secrets being dissected during a trial.
A statement from the pair read ‘We are committed to working together as parents to accomplish what is in our daughter Suri’s best interests.
‘We want to keep matters affecting our family private and express our respect for each other’s commitment to each of our respective beliefs and support each other’s roles as parents.’
Holmes’s lawyer Jonathan Wolfe said: ‘This case has been settled and the agreement has been signed.’
Speaking to TMZ at the time, he added: ‘We are thrilled for Katie and her family and are excited to watch as she embarks on the next chapter of her life.
‘We thank Tom’s counsel for their professionalism and diligence that helped bring about this speedy resolution’.
According to TMZ, while Katie has sole custody of Suri, Tom was said to still get significant custodial time with his daughter.
Apparently the agreement also included details on what Tom and Katie were allowed to tell Suri regarding religion, including Scientology.
The restrictions were eased as Suri gets older, the website reported.
A separate source, speaking to Radar, also revealed that Suri would remain with Katie in New York, where they currently still reside, and would be accompanied by her own nanny and team of bodyguards whenever she visited father Tom on weekly occasions. However an insider who spoke to TMZ has disputed this.
The insider told Radar: ‘Katie insisted that Suri’s nanny and bodyguards always accompany her when she visits Tom… This will ensure a smooth and easy transition for Suri when she is with Tom.
‘Suri is Katie’s number one priority. Tom only has Scientologists that work for him and Katie insisted that her staff will always be with their daughter.
‘Under terms of the settlement, Suri isn’t permitted to be exposed to anything Scientology related and this includes going to any Scientology churches, parties, etc. Katie made sure that this was ironclad.’
Suri was also not expected to attend a Scientology school, like Cruise’s adopted children with ex-wife Nicole Kidman, Isabella and Conor, did.
According to their divorce documents, Tom agreed to pay Katie $400,000 a month until Suri turned 18 years old.
The documents also state that Tom agreed to pay all of Suri’s expenses, including ‘medical, dental, insurance, education, college and other extracurricular costs.’
‘Tom has always maintained his responsibilities when it comes to financial obligations to Katie and Suri,’ the source told DailyMail.com.
However, the Mission Impossible actor has not maintained a presence in Suri’s life.
Tom has not seen Suri in over 10 years, yet he does have a close relationship with the two children he shares with Nicole.
Nicole, on the other hand – who filed for divorce after 11 years of marriage in 2001 due to Tom’s Scientology ties – has not spoken to Tom in nearly 20 years.
In 2019, author Samantha Domingo told Us Weekly that Tom was not allowed to have a relationship with Suri because she is not a Scientologist.
She told the outlet that the reason was due to the Church’s belief in reincarnation, they would not view Suri as Tom’s daughter.
The acclaimed author added that, instead, they view Suri as a ‘spiritual being in Tom’s daughter’s body.’
Tom disagreed that his religion caused him to be estranged from Suri.
In 2013, Tom sued In Touch magazine for $50 million when the outlet reported that he ‘abandoned’ his daughter.
When the case played out in court, Tom said that he was not able to see Suri due to his busy work schedule.
He told the court that he did not see Suri for 100 days because he was filming a movie overseas called All You Need is Kill in London.
‘Unfortunately in this situation it was impossible,’ he told the court, according to People. He added that, far from abandoning his daughter, he called her every day –
‘You have to work at it. I’ve gotten very good at it. I tell wonderful stories,’ Tom told the court.
Plan: With a financial pre-nuptial already in place, it is thought that Holmes purposefully filed for divorce in New York state and not California because New York dislikes giving warring parents joint custody (pictured in 2017)
Difficult: With sole custody of Suri, Holmes would be able to remove her daughter from the Church of Scientology, which she is alleged to dislike and distrust, despite her husband’s enthusiasm for it (pictured in 2005)
Exciting: It was reported on Monday Suri (pictured above as a child) has already started applying to colleges with the help of her mother
Out of the picture: While Katie is taking an active role in helping her daughter with college applications, the teen’s father, Mission Impossible star Tom will not play a role in the process (pictured together in 2006)
It was reported on Monday Suri has already started applying to colleges with the help of her mother – but the teen’s famous father Tom won’t have a hand in helping her, because the actor ‘has no part’ in his child’s life.
A source close to Katie, 44, tells DailyMail.com exclusively that Suri, who turns 17 next month, ‘has sent some applications out’ and is ‘leaning towards’ studying fashion in New York City – a choice that would make her style-savvy mother Katie very pleased.
‘Suri is applying to schools all over the place. [Katie] really does want her to stay in New York so they can be close to each other. Katie takes great pride in her but is also extremely overprotective,’ the insider shared, adding that Katie is ‘overwhelmed’ by the idea of her daughter going off to college.
While Katie is taking an active role in helping her daughter with college applications, the teen’s father, Mission Impossible star Tom will not play a role in the process.
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