REUTERS - Tom Cruise's attorney has threatened the parent company of the National Enquirer with a multimillion-dollar lawsuit over a new issue asserting it has details of the actor's recent split with wife Katie Holmes, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Hollywood Reporter on its website posted a letter from Cruise's Los Angeles attorney, Bert Fields, in which he blasts American Media Inc, parent of the Enquirer, for what he calls "false and vicious lies" he says will cause "hundreds of millions of dollars" in damages to Cruise.
"As you were notified in advance, your current issue of National Enquirer makes numerous false and defamatory assertions about our client Tom Cruise," the three-page letter begins.
The letter draws attention to disparaging descriptions of Cruise in the Enquirer's issue that hit newsstands on Wednesday, with Fields writing, "These are all lies - vicious, hurtful, damaging lies."
Fields did not respond to Reuters' requests for comment late on Wednesday and a representative for American Media could not be reached.
Cruise and Holmes have been the subject of hundreds of headlines worldwide since she filed for divorce from the "Mission: Impossible" movie star two weeks ago, seeking sole custody of their 6-year-old daughter, Suri.
Earlier this week, the couple agreed to a divorce and custody arrangement, but details were undisclosed. Both have remained publicly silent about the issue, except for one joint statement in which they said they were working together to settle their differences in the best interest of Suri.
Speculation about a reason for the split has centered on Cruise's membership in the Church of Scientology, but that has never been confirmed by either the couple or their representatives.
Reporting By Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Peter Cooney