Tom Cruise sues for $50m over Suri headlines

Tom Cruise and daughter Suri Cruise's lawyer said Suri is a "vital part of his life and always will be"

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Tom Cruise is suing a US magazine for $50m (£31m) over a cover story which claimed he had abandoned his six-year-old daughter Suri.

In a statement, Cruise's lawyer Bert Fields called the claims in a July edition of Life & Style magazine "a vicious lie".

"Tom is a caring father who dearly loves Suri," he added.

Cruise and Suri's mother, actress Katie Holmes, divorced this summer after six years of marriage.

"She's a vital part of his life and always will be. To say he has 'abandoned' her is a vicious lie. To say it in lurid headlines with a tearful picture of Suri is reprehensible," said Mr Fields.

The weekly magazine's issue on 30 July featured a picture of Suri sobbing on the front cover, accompanied by the headline: "Suri in tears, abandoned by her dad".

US celebrity news website TMZ.com reported that the legal papers, which it had seen, noted the story inside the magazine did not repeat the "abandonment" claims.

Instead it explained that Suri was actually in tears in the photo after being unable to take a puppy home from a pet store.

However, the legal papers claim the full story "would not be seen by the vast majority of people who saw the cover" when it was on display in shops.

Under the terms of Cruise's divorce, Suri currently lives in New York with her mother, while Cruise has extensive visiting rights.

The actor's lawyer denied that Cruise wanted to make money from the lawsuit, saying he just wants to clear his name.

"Tom doesn't go round suing people. He's not a litigious guy," said Mr Fields.

He added: "But when these sleaze peddlers try to make money with disgusting lies about his relationship with his child, you bet he's going to sue."

The lawyer said that if successful, Cruise would "undoubtedly give the money to charity".

Bauer Publishing, which produces Life & Style and In Touch magazine, which published similar claims, has not yet commented on the legal action.

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