Tom Cruise's lawyer is threatening legal action against the National Enquirer for a cover story it published that claimed Katie Holmes had been living in a "house of horrors."
Cruise's attorney, Bert Fields, blasts publisher American Media in a letter obtained by The Hollywood Reporter: "Your trumpeting these false and vicious lies about Mr. Cruise will cause him hundreds of millions of dollars of professional and personal damages."
The National Enquirer story, published Wednesday, says Holmes was abused in her "tortured life," while Suri was forced to stay in a "tiny, windowless room" for five months. One headline on the cover reads "The Real Tom Cruise Is a Monster."
"The cover story in the Enquirer was just so heinous that if Tom and his legal team hadn't responded, people would have gone, there must be some truth to it, and what they did was not only put the Enquirer on notice, but they put other media outlets on notice," said ABC News consultant Howard Bragman of Reputation.com.
Team Cruise is also fighting back against rumors that the star settled his divorce quickly out of fear that Holmes would spill secrets about life with the A-list actor.
Fields told TMZ, "Tom had nothing to hide and did nothing in the agreement to hide anything. People are just making this stuff up," adding, "I don't think Tom is bitter. The media firestorm, which is replete with bogus information, is unpleasant for him."
TMZ reported overnight that Cruise did not pay Holmes a lump sum in the divorce settlement but that he would pay "more than $10 million" in child support, according to a TMZ source.
In an interview with "Entertainment Tonight," the couple's close friend Jennifer Lopez made her first comments about the split. "I'm sad for them. They're both really lovely people, and I know just like Mark [Anthony] and I, it's not what you want to happen, you fight and you try, and you try until you realize you can't anymore."
It's business as usual for Cruise, who has been hard at work on the set of his new movie, "Oblivion," in California. Cruise's 17-year-old son, Connor, stopped by earlier this week to show support for his father.
While Cruise hasn't seen Suri since news of the divorce broke, he has reportedly been speaking to her on the phone every day and could be reunited with her as soon as this weekend, according to People magazine.
Suri has been living in New York City with Holmes since the divorce papers were filed. A media swarm has been following their every step, photographing them eating ice cream, visiting the zoo and food shopping.