Publisher claims printed report on abandonment can’t be proven defamatory
In October this year, actor Tom Cruise took legal action against Life & Style magazine for printing a story about how he had abandoned daughter Suri after the divorce from Katie Holmes, seeking $50 million (€37.6 million) in damages. The publisher is now saying the lawsuit has absolutely no merit.As we also reported at the time, in the aftermath of the quickie divorce, tabloids started keeping count of the number of days Tom was not seeing his daughter, by means of the daily paparazzi shots with Katie and Suri in New York.
At one point, Life & Style ran an abandonment story, saying Tom had pretty much excluded Suri out of his life altogether. Cruise’s immediate response was to sue for defamation.
“The publisher of Life & Style and In Touch, which is being sued by Tom Cruise for printing that the ‘Jack Reacher’ star had abandoned his daughter Suri following his divorce from Katie Holmes, has fired back at the actor's suit,” The Wrap reports.
“In an answer to Cruise's defamation lawsuit, filed in October, Bauer Publishing Co. says that its reporting is ‘substantially true.’ Bauer's answer, filed Friday in US District Court in California, also asserts a number of defenses, including that it's protected by the First, Fifth and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution, as well as Article 1, Section 7 of the California Constitution,” the report further notes.
“Bauer asserts that it's not liable for damages because, among other things, ‘some or all of the allegedly defamatory statements complained of by the plaintiff are true or substantially true’,” The Wrap says.
Furthermore, Cruise is seeking damages for defamation, but he cannot prove that his reputation actually stood to suffer from the report that he had “abandoned” his daughter, the publisher claims.
Neither can he prove that there was any malicious intent behind the story, because he’s a public figure and he should expect such stories about his personal life to come out in print, Bauer further says.
As of now, a publicist for Cruise has not been available for comment.