LOS ANGELES (AFP)
Tom Cruise's lawyer condemned as "grotesquely false" a report that the Hollywood star had abandoned his six-year-old daughter amid the shock of his wife's divorce bombshell.
Attorney Bert Fields said a cover story in Life and Style magazine, with the strapline "Abandoned by Her Dad", was clearly designed to make money on the back of falsehoods about the A-list actor and his daughter Suri.
"The tabloids are at it again, trying to make a buck by publishing more grotesquely false claims about Tom Cruise," he said in a statement, noting that Cruise had been reunited with Suri after finishing work on his latest film.
"For example a sleazy magazine calling itself Life & Style has a bogus cover headline that Suri has been 'ABANDONED BY HER DAD'. That, as anyone knows who saw their photos together yesterday and today, is a disgusting, vicious lie.
"Until this week, Tom was shooting a film on location, but he spoke to Suri every day. He's with Suri right now; and he was with her the day before Life & Style trumpeted their cruelly false accusation.
"Tom dearly loves Suri and the last thing he would ever do is abandon her."
Cruise's wife Katie Holmes announced on June 28 that she was filing for divorce to end her five-year marriage to Cruise, who was reportedly taken completely by surprise by the bombshell.
Lawyers for the former fairytale couple, who married in November 2006 after a whirlwind romance and a proposal beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris, struck a divorce settlement less than two weeks later.
Holmes has set up home in New York and is understood to have primary custody of their daughter, while Cruise has been pictured spending time with the youngster in Manhattan in the last two days.
Speculation about the reason for the split has centered on Holmes' reported concerns about Cruise's plans to draw Suri closer into the Church of Scientology, of which he is probably the most famous member.