Tom Cruise's Defamation Lawsuit: 8 Bombshells From His Deposition, Evidence
Tom Cruise's deposition from his defamation lawsuit against Bauer Media is mostly a series of nitpicky questions about the actor's schedule and his time with daughter Suri. But it does include a few noteworthy nuggets, like evidence of Cruise's publicist slamming reporters for Bauer publication Life & Style and Cruise comparing acting to competing in the Olympics and fighting in Afghanistan.
Those and other interesting tidbits from Cruise's deposition, a list of evidence collected in the case and a nasty letter to Vanity Fair, all obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, are collected below.
1. Cruise's publicist calls Life & Style staffers "idiots and morons"
Cruise's deposition includes references to a number of exhibits, one of which appears to be an email chain involving Cruise's publicist, Amanda Lundberg, who was contacted by Bauer Media-owned Life & Style and asked about a few things they were planning to publish, including that Cruise hadn't seen Suri for an extended period of time. Lundberg didn't respond, but she did express her feelings about those who work for the celebrity magazine.
"She indicates, 'I didn't answer Heidi,' " Bauer's attorney Elizabeth McNamara reads, according to the deposition. "And she indicates that 'They are idiots and morons.' "
2. Acting is an Olympic sport/war
Don't underestimate the work that Cruise does. As far as he's concerned, acting is like competing in the Olympics, and sometimes like fighting in Afghanistan.
"I train, you know, I've studied, you know, professional athletes, Olympians, in order to, you know, a sprinter for the Olympics, they only have to run two races a day," Cruise explains. "When I'm shooting, I could potentially have to run 30, 40 races a day, day after day."
Cruise is later asked about his lawyer's equating of his absence from Suri to that of a soldier's absence from his family while fighting in Afghanistan. While the actor says he didn't hear that comment, filming his last movie felt like being at war.
"I didn't hear the Afghanistan [comment], but that's what it feels like, and certainly on this last movie, it was brutal. It was brutal," Cruise says.
3. Cruise wants a few films tossed out
Much of the deposition focuses on Cruise's schedule while he was filming a series of movies, including Jack Reacher (formerly called One Shot). Indeed, that film is listed under its former title on his schedule, creating a funny moment in which Cruise reveals his views on Hollywood movies.
"I was going to say, I don't remember One Shot coming out," McNamara says, after Cruise notes the name was changed to Jack Reacher. "I don't think they'd throw away one of your films."
"They should, they should throw away a few of them, but I don't feel that way," he says.
4. He only flown commercial once in the past four years
Cruise explains that he often flies on private planes, saying that the only time he's flown commercial in the past three or four years was from Dubai to Los Angeles.
5. Bert Fields goes after Vanity Fair
Cruise's well-known attorney Bert Fields sent a nasty letter to Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter and web editor Chris Rovzar after he believed they were using photographs taken of Suri by Annie Leibovitz in a way that wasn't covered by their initial agreement, specifically online.
"It has come to our attention that Vanity Fair is currently exploiting the Suri Photos on its Internet website in numerous ways, all of them exceeding the scope of the magazine's limited license and in violation of the Agreement," Fields writes. "Vanity Fair had no permission to use any of the Suri Photos in the above-referenced manner. Indeed, the Agreement does not give Vanity Fair permission to use the Suri Photos on its website at all."
Therefore, "Cruise elected to terminate, revoke and rescind Vanity Fair's limited license to use the Suri Photos," with Fields noting that if the outlet did not comply, they would take legal action, which could result in Vanity Fair having to pay a substantial penalty, possibly up to $150,000 per photo.
6. Cruise is good on the phone
At one point, McNamara notes that it's difficult to stay in touch with young children when you're away from home, noting that they can't text or communicate via email, so the only way to connect is over the phone, during which some kids are not very engaged. But Cruise says he's skilled at connecting with family members over the phone.
"I've gotten very good at it. I tell wonderful stories, and they like hearing it," he says.
7. Suri is "confident and happy"
Who is Suri, exactly? Cruise and Holmes' daughter is often photographed in public but relatively little is known about their offspring. The actor offers some insight into her personality during his deposition, saying he thinks she "is a very happy child and confident and has a good sense of herself."
8. THR's role in the case
Some of the evidence obtained in the discovery phase of the case involves The Hollywood Reporter. A letter from Fields to THR editor-at-large Kim Masters was provided by Cruise's team. In addition, exhibits include THR articles "Katie Holmes 'Biggest Nightmare' in Scientology History, Say Experts" and "Tom Cruise and Suri: Scientology's Heartbreaking Double Standard?"