Tom Cruise's $50 million lawsuit against Bauer Media Group may eventually include questions about journalists' rights, freedom of religion, alleged bigotry, Nazis, Nazi porn, child abandonment, and aliens.

This case may make O.J.'s trial look pedestrian.

In October, Cruise filed a defamation suit against the publisher of Life & Style and In Touch magazines, after they ran a story saying Cruise abandoned his 6-year-old daughter since his divorce from actress Katie Holmes.

Cruise's attorney, Bert Fields, called the story a "vicious lie," adding, "Tom is a caring father who dearly loves Suri. She's a vital part of his life and always will be. To say it in lurid headlines with a tearful picture of Suri is reprehensible."

According to the Huffington Post, Bauer Media still stands by the story, saying it was "substantially true." The company is countering by attempting to put the focus on Cruise's relationship with Suri.

In documents filed Thursday, lawyers for Bauer requested details of Cruise's schedule; the extent to which he was in contact with Suri after his separation and divorce from Holmes; Cruise's contact and visitation schedule with Suri and the terms of the divorce agreement; his history of separation from Suri; and Suri's mental and emotional state following her parents' separation and divorce.

This is going to get ugly.


Advertisement

The Huffington Post also reported that Bauer wants information about how Cruise's membership in the Church of Scientology may have played a role in his decisions regarding his visitation and communication with Suri, as well as the history of all the lawsuits the actor has filed over the years.

While they're at it, they should probably ask how Cruise ever thought he was tall enough to play Jack Reacher.

Cruise's legal team came back Thursday with an equally long list of demands for Bauer about its policies and practices regarding publishing stories about the actor, his family and the Church of Scientology. They also want Bauer to release the identities of the magazine's sources and disclose its policies and practices for obtaining information, paying sources and verifying the credibility of said sources.

Oh, and Team Cruise wants Bauer to detail its "history of bigotry and hatred toward minority religious groups and their members," which the Hollywood Reporter said may have been prompted by a recent report from the Wrap that said the German publisher holds assets in at least one magazine appealing to neo-Nazis, and is also involved in distributing Nazi-themed porn movies.

A briefing is scheduled for Feb. 28.

Contact Tony Hicks on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks, or on Twitter at twitter.com/insertfoot.