Kidman Responds to Divorce Papers

ByABC News

May 4, 2001 -- Nicole Kidman returned Tom Cruise's divorce petition with her own response Thursday, filing court documents that revealed she had pleaded with her husband to try to work out the marriage difficulties. The Australian actress also claimed she was stunned by Cruise's decision to leave.

"This came as a shock to [Kidman]," the papers said. "On Dec. 24 the parties had happily celebrated their 10th anniversary with a group of friends. During the balance of December and thereafter the parties were intimate; In fact [Kidman] became pregnant by [Cruise] but lost the baby through a miscarriage."

Kidman's response said she "protested [Cruise's] intention to dissolve their marriage and urged him not to leave but to enter marriage counseling with her, or take other steps to address whatever problems may have existed in their marriage." But it didn't work. "[Cruise] said his decision was final and he departed the parties' home," the documents noted.

A lawyer for Cruise echoed the star's earlier cryptic comments, stating that Kidman "has always known exactly why the parties are divorcing." Neither Cruise nor the attorney provided elaboration.

In the court papers, Kidman stated that she and her spouse had remained together past their 10th anniversary — a point that conflicts with Cruise's assertion that they separated right before their anniversary in December. Under California law, after 10 years of marriage, a spouse is forced to pay alimony until the partner remarries.

Kidman and Cruise allegedly renewed their vows in a romantic Christmastime ceremony, which is not consistent with Cruise's claim. Kidman's filing says they separated for good on Feb. 4.

The actress is seeking joint custody of the couple's two adopted children, adding that a custody arrangement would be "contingent on [Cruise's] agreement to communicate, consult, and from time to time meet directly with [Kidman] as to all important issues affecting the children's general welfare."

Kidman's filing noted that she would prefer to move with her children to Australia, where her family still lives, or "elsewhere in the United States," but that she thought it in their best interest "at this time" to live close to Cruise in Los Angeles.

Reuters contributed to this story.

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