Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have reached an out of court private settlement in their divorce case, avoiding a very public court battle and detailed exposure of the actor’s links to Scientology.
The remarkably swift deal, which both of them have signed, was concluded just 11 days after the 33-year-old filed for divorce and followed marathon negotiations between two teams of attorneys over the weekend.
The 50-year-old is thought to have been especially keen to avoid a drawn-out court case that could have highlighted details about him and the controversial religion Scientology, which he follows.
The church has repeatedly been cited as a reason for the couple’s separation and it has faced a lot of backlash in the past fortnight.
It is believed that the former couple’s six-year-old daughter Suri will live primarily with Holmes, but that Cruise will have generous visitation rights and be a full part of the child’s life.
The Dawson Creek actress, who was raised a Catholic, is thought to have secured her wish that Suri not be brought up in the Church of Scientology.
On one visit to her lawyers’ offices in New York at the weekend Holmes apparently spent six hours discussing the deal, which also includes a property settlement.
Holmes is currently living in a three-bedroom apartment in New York with Suri, while Cruise is based primarily in Los Angeles with his two adopted children Connor, 17, and Bella, 19.
“We are committed to working together as parents to accomplish what is in our daughter Suri’s best interests,” the Telegraph quoted the joint statement of the former couple.
“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,” the statement read.
The reference to “respective beliefs” in the statement appeared to confirm that Scientology, and its role in Suri’s upbringing, was a key factor in the split.
Holmes filed for divorce on June 28, against her husband of five years, Cruise. She had also filed for sole custody of Suri with a court in New York.
“The case has been settled and the agreement has been signed. We are thrilled for Katie and her family and are excited to watch as she embarks on the next chapter of her life,” Holmes’ lawyer Jonathan Wolfe said.
“We thank Tom’s counsel for their professionalism and diligence that helped bring about this speedy resolution,” he said.
Holmes had signed a cast iron prenuptial agreement before the marriage five years ago, and has indicated she wants to “earn her own money” from her acting career.
“Tom is really pleased we got there, and so am I,” TMZ quoted Bert Fields, Cruise’s lawyer, as saying. (ANI)