Hundreds of pages of court documents in Tom Cruise’s $50 million lawsuit against Bauer Media, publishers of In Touch and Life & Style magazines, were put into a public court file recently, and yesterday, RadarOnline pounced on a short excerpt from a deposition given by Cruise.
We have more pages from Cruise’s deposition than Radar posted, as well as hundreds more documents which Cruise’s lawyers were able to pry out of Bauer — including internal e-mails between employees at the magazines as they were putting together the stories that Cruise found so offensive. In all, there’s some pretty fascinating material here beyond the revelations that became public yesterday. You’ve probably already heard that Cruise admitted to being separated from his daughter for more than three months after his divorce, and that he also admitted, somewhat vaguely, that Scientology was one “aspect” to the reason he and Katie Holmes split up.
Cruise is suing family-owned Germany-based Bauer Media for two headlines. On July 30, 2012, Life & Style Weekly put the words “Suri In Tears: Abandoned By Her Dad” on its cover, and on October 1, 2012, In Touch Weekly had the headline “Abandoned By Daddy” on its front page.
A year after Cruise filed the lawsuit, the battle lines are clear. Bauer refuses to identify its confidential sources, but argues that its reporting on Cruise was solid: the actor had seen his daughter only about 10 out of 110 straight days after the couple split up, and so its editors were within their rights to characterize that as “abandoning” the child. Cruise argues that Bauer can show no specific reporting that any of its sources told them he had “abandoned” Suri, and that using that word brands Cruise as a criminal dead-beat, rather than the caring father who spoke to his daughter on the phone practically every day.On September 9, Cruise was deposed by Bauer’s attorney Elizabeth McNamara. And while much of it dealt with how many days Cruise spent away from his daughter, McNamara managed to ask about a few other subjects.
Early on, she asked Cruise about the way he and his lawyers had tried to make this lawsuit about Bauer’s past and some of its more controversial publications.
She told Cruise that his lawyer “had injected the notion that one of the issues in the litigation would be Bauer’s history of bigotry and hatred toward minority groups…”
She asked him to look at an article published in February by Sharon Waxman’s publication, The Wrap.
McNamara then began trying to get Cruise to admit that it was his attorneys who had supplied the information for the story in an attempt to smear Baur Media…
McNamara: Were you aware in any way that your lawyers had anything to do with this news article?…Would you be troubled if you learned that your counsel provided much of the information that’s contained in this article?
Cruise: I don’t know. I’d have to think about it.
McNamara: Do you think that — do you think that’s a legitimate means of prosecuting a legal claim, to supply news organizations with negative information concerning the defendant, insinuations that they are anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi and the like that has nothing to do with this litigation?
Cruise: I don’t know, you know, honestly, I really don’t. What I find most disturbing is that I have to sit here and look at this photograph of my daughter with “Abandoned By Daddy,” to me that’s what sticks out most….”He chose Scientology over Suri for good,” “Has he chosen Scientology over Suri for good? Abandoned by Daddy.” I mean come on, that is absolutely disgusting. That is absolutely disgusting. And I have to tell you with everything — listen, I am a public person, I absolutely understand. For me there is — I tolerate a tremendous amount and I’m very privileged to be able to have the life that I have, and I believe that. But there is a line that — that I draw for myself and — and that’s it. And I asked for an apology. I asked for a retraction. They denied it, wouldn’t do it, and then published that, you know — this is the second one, I guess, but they published it a second time. It’s very simple. This is something that could have gotten handled easily. And I understand, listen, with the Internet, with — you know, I’ve been doing this for 30 years. I’ve lived through the whole change and incarnation, and there is a point where — and this is it for me. So that’s how I feel about it.
McNamara then returned to the line of questioning, asking him if he authorized his attorneys to feed The Wrap for its story. He denied it.
She then asked if he used his connections at the Simon Wiesenthal Center — which gave Cruise a humanitarian award in 2011 — to have the Center investigate Bauer Media’s past.
McNamara: Did you have anything to do with the center’s investigation of Bauer?
Cruise: No, I didn’t.
She then showed him an e-mail from one of his attorneys to an AP reporter suggesting that the AP do a story on Bauer’s supposedly pro-Nazi past that McNamara said was very much like The Wrap’s piece.
McNamara: Do you believe such tactics like this after you file a defamation lawsuit and then you seek to gin up press around the world about the company that has nothing to do with the content or the issues in the litigation, do you believe that’s ethical?
Cruise: Listen, I think it’s — you have to look at something is it true or is it not true, and I — listen, I didn’t authorize it…I don’t know if it is a proper litigation tactic or not. The one thing that — all I wanted basically was for them not to print that I abandoned my daughter and that I chose my religion over my daughter, that’s what I want.
McNamara continued to ask if Cruise tried, essentially, to advance his lawsuit by having his attorneys smear Bauer with rumors about pro-Nazism.
McNamara: Reacting to negative press by insinuating an association with Nazism, this isn’t the first time that you’ve done this, is that right?
Cruise: What do you mean?
McNamara: That either you or representatives on your behalf when you’ve — when someone has…attacked you negatively in the press in some manner, the reaction is to accuse them of being pro-Nazi or anti-Semite or anti-religion?
Cruise: I don’t know…
McNamara: Do you recall a statement by Dr. Drew Pinsky concerning you?
Cruise may not recall the swipe at Dr. Drew, but we do.
In 2008, Pinsky had told Playboy: “Take a guy like Tom Cruise. Why would somebody be drawn into a cultish kind of environment like Scientology? To me, that’s a function of a very deep emptiness and suggests serious neglect in childhood — maybe some abuse, but mostly neglect.”
Cruise’s attorney Bert Fields fired back in the New York Post: “This unqualified television performer who is obviously just looking for notoriety is so grotesquely unprofessional as to pretend to diagnose Tom and others without ever meeting them. He seems to be spewing the absurdity that all Scientologists are mentally ill. The last time we heard garbage like this was from Joseph Goebbels.”
That was a Bert Fields classic.
The excerpt of the deposition in the court file then skips ahead, and we find McNamara asking about how long Cruise was separated from his daughter.
McNamara: Since the divorce — or rather since prior to that time, from June 18th of 2012 until Thanksgiving of 2012, you only saw Suri a few times, isn’t that right?
McNamara said that records showed he had seen Suri only 10 days in that time.
Cruise: I don’t know the total number of days.
McNamara: Does that sound right?
Cruise: I don’t know. I’d have to look at it.
McNamara: They were the three days of July 17th to the 19th, when you came into New York, and then you went out to the Hamptons. Do you recall that?
Cruise: Yes, I do.
McNamara: OK. You saw her for 12 hours on July 26, or approximately thereof. Do you recall that? You were flying from London to LA and you stopped in New York for about 12 hours?
McNamara: And then there were the six days, approximately, when you came to New York and picked up Suri and you took her to Disney World?…Do you recall that?
Cruise: Yes, I do.
McNamara: So if you add those up, those are generously 10 days.
McNamara: Do you have any reason to dispute that calculation?
McNamara: Prior to your divorce with Ms. Holmes was Ms. Holmes close with your other children, Connor and Isabella?
McNamara: And was she close with your sisters?
Cruise: Fairly, yes.
McNamara: One or more of your sisters lived in the home, is that right?
Cruise: At one point Cass did when we were living on Alpine.
McNamara: OK. But the other sisters don’t — you have three — is it correct you have three sisters?
Cruise: Three sisters.
McNamara: Do they all live in Los Angeles?
Cruise: No, they don’t. One lives in Florida. Two live in Los Angeles.
McNamara: OK. And was Katie close to your mother as well?
Cruise: Yeah, close enough, yes.
McNamara: I assume, you had friends in the church?
Cruise: Uh-huh, many friends.
McNamara: And during the marriage was Katie a practitioner of Scientology?
Cruise: Yes, and before the marriage.
McNamara: And did she leave the church when she divorced you?
McNamara: Had she left the church prior to that time?
Cruise: Not to my knowledge.
McNamara: Would you consider — would the church consider Ms. Holmes to be a suppressive person upon leaving the Church?
Cruise: There is — that is a distortion and a simplification of — of the matter.
McNamara: OK. Explain to me what does a suppressive person mean within the church.
Cruise: Someone who is — basically has an antisocial personality, someone who is dishonest, evaluates and invalidates to the extreme. It goes on from there. There is many different aspects to it. I don’t want to just give an oversimplification of religious doctrine.
McNamara: And I don’t want you to either. But one aspect of someone being a suppressive person — or I think you sometimes refer to it as SP, is that right?
Cruise: Uh-huh, yes.
McNamara: One aspect of someone being SP is when they leave the church, isn’t it?
Cruise: Yeah, but it’s also an oversimplification of something, and just to state it in a simple term, there’s — it’s just a broader subject.
It was now time to put in a new video card, and after that break McNamara asked Cruise to look at Scientology’s official website and its definition of “suppressive.” (In Scientology, when someone is “declared” a “suppressive person” or “SP,” all other Scientologists must cut of all ties from them — “disconnect” — or risk being declared SPs themselves.)
McNamara: Did you understand that publicly renouncing one’s faith is deemed to be a suppressive act within the church, at least according to this website?
McNamara: Since Ms. Holmes has left the Church of Scientology have — and I guess I’m going to focus between the period of June and November 2012, have your two other children had contact with Ms. Holmes?
Unfortunately, the excerpt in the court file skips ahead nine pages at this point, and so we don’t know yet what else Cruise said about his ex-wife and daughter and whether he and the church consider them suppressive persons.
The next segment starts nine pages later.
McNamara brings up press coverage which suggested that Katie Holmes had left the marriage to protect her daughter from Scientology.
Cruise replied that he wasn’t suing over that assertion, just the allegation that he had “abandoned” Suri.
McNamara: And do you believe it to be false that Ms. Holmes left you in part to protect Suri from Scientology?
Cruise: Listen, I find that question offensive. I find it — those statements offensive. And like with any relationship, there are many different levels to it. You know. I — I find it very offensive. There is no need to protect my daughter from my religion.
McNamara: OK. My question to you, and I apologize if you find it offensive. And again, I repeat, I’m sorry we’re here. I don’t want to be here. My client doesn’t want to be here. They don’t think this warrants litigation, but…
Cruise: I believe it does.
McNamara: I know you do, that’s why we’re here.
Cruise: Yes. Yes.
McNamara: But unfortunately, we are here and you have to answer the questions. And the question is whether you believe the published contentions that Katie Holmes left you in part to protect Suri from Scientology, whether those are false?
Cruise: Do I believe that?
McNamara: Do you believe that that is a false statement?
Cruise: I believe it is a false statement.
McNamara: And Ms. Holmes has never indicated in any way that that was one of the reasons that she left you?
Cruise: That is — that she left me because of?
McNamara: To protect Suri from Scientology.
Cruise: Did she say that? That was one of the assertions, yes.
McNamara: So those publications were not false?
Cruise: I mean, I — those publications I don’t know — first of all, I don’t know everything that they said in that, and there are many different other aspects to the divorce.
RadarOnline seized on this exchange to pronounce that Cruise had finally admitted Scientology had been the reason for his divorce from Holmes. We don’t think it’s quite that clear cut. McNamara is asking if the press was making that assertion, and Cruise agrees that the press was doing so: “That was one of the assertions, yes.” Look at it again carefully, he is talking about the press in that response.
But then, in his next utterance, he does, indirectly, appear to confirm that Scientology was one reason for the split: “there are many different other aspects to the divorce,” he says. That implies Scientology was one aspect to the divorce — but it’s a weak branch to hang a noose from.
We do have reason to believe that Katie Holmes’s souring attitude toward Scientology and her fears for Suri’s future in it played a part in her decision to divorce Cruise. But to say that he is acknowledging that fact with these words in his deposition is a bit of a stretch.
McNamara continues her questions…
McNamara: Is Suri currently practicing Scientology?
McNamara: From the time Ms. Holmes filed for divorce in late June, to your knowledge has Suri practiced Scientology?
Cruise: Here’s again, when you say “practiced Scientology,” it shows a lack of understanding and respect towards my religion….It shows a lack of respect and understanding for my religion. That is understandable in that it is a minority religion. People don’t know and understand, and of course the way things are reported or taken out of context, like many things, can create this kind of sense of what something is as opposed to people going and finding out and knowing about it themselves. To a child Scientology is — it’s not something. Look, it’s hard to sit here and say, you know, there is not — in the Catholic Church there is, you know, you have the First Communion. You have, you know, Bat Mitzvahs, Bar Mitzvahs in Judaism. Certainly there are religious rites, but very much so it’s about the application of something or doing — it’s not — you — it’s an applied religious philosophy, meaning it’s something that you study, you learn, and you apply to the degree that — and each individual has a level of application that they want to apply. Just because someone, you know — so when you’re talking about a seven-year-old, you know, it’s not the same thing as — as Catholocism or Judaism. It’s just, it’s different. It’s a different kind of thing.
Now we skip ahead again about 20 pages.
McNamara is asking Cruise about security, and he talks about how the studios supply his security detail. Also, before the divorce, he and Suri were rarely separated: From January 2011 to May 2012 he was not away from Suri for more than a day or two at a time.
McNamara: Telephone is to some degree a poor substitute for physically being there, isn’t it?
Cruise: No question…You have to work at it. I’ve gotten very good at it…I tell wonderful stories and they like hearing it…
McNamara: But you don’t often — it really doesn’t substitute for being able to hug them, does it?
Cruise: No, it doesn’t.
McNamara: And in my experience when you talk to a young child like that on the phone they often get distracted.
Cruise: Yeah, they do, but as I said, I’ve gotten pretty good at communicating, and I also find that, you know, Suri, you know, is a very happy child, and confident and has a good sense of herself.
McNamara then begins to ask him about the work he was doing in October filming “One Shot” — the movie that became Reacher — and that he had left Pittsburgh for a one-day trip to London on October 15 so he could attend the annual gala of the International Association of Scientologists. (It was at an IAS gala in 2004 that Cruise was given a “Freedom Medal of Valor” by Scientology leader David Miscavige. Normally the IAS events are held in England, but this year, on Thanksgiving weekend, it will take place in Clearwater, Florida.) The implications of McNamara’s next questions are pretty clear — why could Cruise jet across the Atlantic for a 24-hour trip to an IAS gala and not take similar trips to see his own daughter?
McNamara: It says you were at an IAS event.
McNamara: What is that?
Cruise: That’s an International Association of Scientology. It’s an international event that we have in our church.
McNamara: And were you speaking at the event?
Cruise: No, I was not.
McNamara: So you were just attending?
McNamara: And then according to this schedule you returned to Pittsburgh on Sunday, October 16th, and returned to filming?
McNamara: Do you know whether they had to shut down filming of One Shot because you flew out on Friday then returned on Sunday?
Cruise: No, they did not.
McNamara: And you believed it was important that you attended that event, didn’t you?
McNamara: Why was it important to you?
Cruise: It was an important event. I felt it was important.
McNamra: It’s an annual event?
Cruise: Yes, it is…
McNamara: But based upon this, you could fly from East Coast to London for 24 hours, is that right?
Cruise: In that situation, yes.
McNamara: And you did that for the church event —
McNamara: — did you not? But you didn’t do it for Suri, isn’t that right?
Cruise: When did I not do it for Suri?
McNamara: In July, August, September, October.
Cruise: That’s not true…In July I did fly to see my daughter.
McNamara: I know, but I’m talking about from — let’s take — let’s take the dates from August 8th until Thanksgiving.
Cruise: Different situation.
McNamara: There was no 24-hour — there were no 24-hour period of time there that you couldn’t have flown to see Suri?
Cruise: Listen, when there is a divorce — if you look at this also in terms of Suri coming to me and certain agreements that you have, when a divorce occurs things change. And it’s more complicated, as everyone knows when that is, when that occurs, and there are certain agreements; now you have to ask for permission and organize schedules to make things happen. So it wasn’t — it’s not an ideal scene. It’s not an ideal situation.
McNamara: And you were in part responsible for that absence, weren’t you?
McNamara: In no way?
McNamara: You couldn’t have — you were unable to fly for 24 hours from London to new York?
McNamara: And why were you unable, Mr. Cruise?
Cruise: There are many different circumstances. One, first of all, at this point when you’re looking at — you can’t compare Reacher to All You Need Is Kill or Edge of Tomorrow. And the situation, you know, when you’re thinking of your child and thinking what is the best thing for them, and of course respecting Kate’s wishes in terms of Suri’s scheduling, the nature of making that film, the nature of having finished one film and kind of — agreements change, you know. That wasn’t how the thing was set up. As I said, things change. Things change. And certainly what doesn’t change is the love that I have for my daughter, the fact that I didn’t abandon her emotionally, physically or otherwise. And in terms of how I feel about her in terms of the responsibility that I feel towards my child is not — is not waned in any way.
McNamara then began asking him about how he travels, and that produced this interesting tidbit:
McNamara: Do you ever fly commercial?
Cruise: I flew commercial from Dubai.
McNamara: To where?
Cruise: To Los Angeles.
McNamara: Is that the only time it occurs to you in the last three or four years?
The Cruise deposition excerpt is only 48 pages out of hundreds of lengthy documents in the court file. Many of them give us a rare look inside the workings of a tabloid magazine — it’s not just Cruise who has had to divulge sensitive information.
There are many internal e-mails of Bauer Media employees. Like editor-in-chief Dan Wakeford, example, who on September 15, 2012 was still considering what to put on the cover of In Touch.
“I really like the Suri cover and had been moving towards it overnight. The fact she’s not seen Dad for 45 days with the mysterious backdrop of scientology is so crazy. We just need to amp the dek on Monday,” he writes in one message.
He’s referring to rewriting the words on the cover of the magazine and “amping” up their impact. For Cruise, it’s central to his argument — that the editors ignored the substance of the stories inside and the reporting that went into them to come up with a word like “abandoned” on the cover, a false assertion that harmed him, Cruise claims.
We think Cruise will have a very difficult time proving that. But whatever the legal merits, the other e-mails and documents are fascinating simply because of the glimpse they give of the preparation of a story at a tabloid magazine.
On July 16, 2012, for example, editorial director Jared Shapiro sent an e-mail titled “a few things to get for Tomkat”…
— The idea that Tom could use his Scientology expertise and power to brainwash to manipulate Suri.
— That he’d use his vast knowledge of power to try and control Katie.
Do we think one of our ex sci ti peeps could say all of this?
In another message, Shapiro wrote: “i think we have to find someone who acknowledges it’s all a form of brainwashing? i feel like that term has been thrown around so much, and since we are using it (possible as a word on the cover) we may need to find an ex sci-ti who will say it?”
But when they ask former church member Nancy Many about that, she says…
“I don’t like the word brainwashing, but one of the first things a child is taught is when something bad happens to them, they either did something bad themselves and that they are responsible for the condition they are in.”
(We have to agree with Nancy. We don’t like the word “brainwashing” either.)
In a September 12 e-mail, a smart interview that reporter Jessica Finn did with former Scientologist Brian Canup is described. Finn explains how Cruise hasn’t seen Suri in 45 days and wonders if Scientology has something to do with it. Canup says that Suri probably hasn’t been labeled a Suppressive Person because of her age and because of her high profile. Canup then suggests that Tom might be trying to make himself look like a victim by purposely keeping away from his daughter, and Canup adds that Scientology often tries to cast itself as a victim. Finn finds that an interesting interpretation of the facts. (And so do we.)
But Life & Style executive editor Terri White, reacting to the interview, writes in an e-mail: “No, it’s dead confusing. Having him in the simple villain role is better.”
In other words, though one of its reporters had found that there was an intriguing, if complex explanation for Cruise’s behavior, an editor wants to keep it black and white, good versus evil. Well, we all knew tabloids did that already, didn’t we?
Mark McGarry, In Touch ‘s senior articles director, also didn’t like Finn’s interview. “yeah, skip. we would get sued if we said he was turning his back on suri because she’s not scientology. maybe in connor part u can subtly note that he’s embraced scientology and leave it to readers to connect the dots”
Other documents include notes submitted by reporters who were tailing Katie and Suri. One reporter, Paris Hampton, followed them and then interviewed the waiter who had served their lunch…
At Via Quadronno, Katie, Suri, Suri’s friend and what seems to be the friend’s mom and one other person all had lunch today after FAO Schwartz. The waiter who served them said that Katie “talked to them like she knew them.” Suri had lasagna and had a hot chocolate for dessert. The staff drew a bear on the top of her drink and she loved it. The waiter added that Suri was “a really smart little girl. When I was pouring water in her friend’s drink, she said ‘Sir, you poured the sparkling water in her glass and she had flat water!’ How did she know that?!”
The waiter told me the Asian lady paid the bill (I’m assuming the friend’s mom) and Suri started to cry because she wanted her mom to pay the bill. But the lunch was very upbeat. They were all laughing throughout the meal and having a great time.
Suri cried because her mom wasn’t picking up the tab. Wow.
One of Bauer’s confidential sources, a “friend of the family,” said that Tom was always so focused on his career, he didn’t pay as much attention to his kids as he might.
Tom is a great dad but no one is surprised that he missed Suri’s first day of school. He has a way to shut everyone out when he is focusing on work, including his kids. Connor had a really hard time for a while with Tom being there for important events, like his soccer games. After Nicole and Tom divorced Connor really felt neglected. Tom’s mother even has mentioned to friends and Katie that she loves her son but she can be a little too focused when it comes to his career. Katie loves her dad and Tom loves Suri but his work comes first a lot. That is why Tom is making up lost time with Connor and Isabella now, they have expressed how upset they were that he use to never be around.
In a deposition, articles editor Mark McGarry revealed that he had learned before publication that Tom Cruise was talking to Suri on the phone just about every day.
Q. Did you ever let anybody know that in light of the information that you were adding to the article, that the cover ought to be changed and not say “Abandoned By Daddy”?
A. No, because I wasn’t thinking about it in those terms, as far as him speaking to her every day, being a meaningful connection. It was more the physically not being there in the day count, abandoned by daddy, is what she was feeling. There’s a difference between someone physically being there, I believe, and talking to someone on the phone.
Other documents reveal what Tom Cruise’s team of publicists and attorneys were doing as the articles were being prepared. On August 6, 2012, Bauer Media’s reporters asked for a comment from Cruise about a story they were preparing on Tom taking Suri to Disney World.
Cruise’s attorney Aaron Moss writes to the actor’s PR rep Amanda Lundberg and Cruise’s sister Lee Anne Devette:
Lee Anne & Amanda,
Rachel Biermann from In Touch just called me to apprise me on a new story that they are locking today. Along the lines of the one you found in the Sun Times last week, they are planning to report on how Tom took Suri to Disney World last week, and has been lavishing her with gifts, etc. in the hopes of one day possibly living with her. They will juxtapose the fact that Suri has “fun” with Tom, but is “disciplined” with Katie, how when she is with Tom she flies private jets, but was recently witnessed complaining when on a coach flight with Katie, etc.
Their deadline is 3 pm west coast tie today if we want to make a comment.
Rachel also noted that, in the past, she was able to work with Tom’s camp to help massage stories in a way that would make them less biased against Tom. She didn’t say this explicitly, but I think what she is hoping for is some “scoop” or additional information that she can work in in exchange for publishing a more flattering story.
In any event, I would recommend a comment along the lines of what Lee Anne wrote in her email last week:
“Thousands of people take their children to Disney World every year for vacation, and stay in the same hotels, ride the same rides, and do the same things Tom and suri are doing. Tom is not trying to ‘outdo’ anyone. His only goal is to be the best father he can be.”
Let me know your thoughts. Not sure if there is anything we could add that would demonstrate that Tom is teaching Suri, not just having “fun” with her, etc.
I don’t trust Rachel at all — I have given her info in the past to no avail.
I gave her info for the story that then went with the headline “katie escapes T.”
I don’t agree that statements that say nice things from my mouth in stories that say false things paints [Tom] in a more flattering light — what it does is — give the story merit. As we are caring enough about it.
A very small percentage of people fly private jets and helicopters so I worry the statement below will cause some serious snark and keep this going.
We are really seeing a slow down and when we speak — we keep it going.
My opinion is to say nothing.
Two days later, the article came out. And then Lundberg sent this e-mail to Moss and Devette, claiming that the magazine’s key source must be Katie Holmes’s friend and business partner…
And in true scum form…
The in touch cover line is “forgetting mommy already?”
Which will only cause jeanne yang to keep lying and speaking and keeping these stories going each week.
“How do you know it is Jeanne?” Moss asked her, and Lundberg responded:
A very good friend/editor slipped and said her name to me on Monday.
And two good sources told me it is all her.
And that leslee sloan calls the paparazzi every time k gets ready to leave the building as the doormen are always surprised how they suddenly show up when she is about to leave.
Moss responded: “Do you know if she said anything that would violate her Confidentiality Agreement? I haven’t seen it, but I understand that she is under one.”
Lundberg then answered in a way that suggests Yang is under some kind of confidentiality agreement…
I’m positive she has.
She likely told the press that they stayed at Cinderella’s castle as no one really knew.
And every single person tells me she is speaking to the press constantly.
She is the one saying — K is disciplinarian and T is spoiling and so on.
Later in August, they talked about sending a lawyer letter to Yang when a new story showed up in the press about Cruise saying things during the Disney World trip that had supposedly frightened Suri.
Ultimately, as we said, we expect Cruise to have a tough time winning this lawsuit, especially now that he’s admitted he spent so much time away from his daughter. Here’s what editor in chief Dan Wakeford said in a deposition…
Q. Do you believe that as of July 16, 2012, Mr. Cruise had deserted his daughter?
A. Yes, he wasn’t there for her. He didn’t see her. Any father who is not seeing their daughter at the most traumatic period of her life has deserted her.
Q. And do you believe that during that period, Mr. Cruise had abandoned her?
A. I believe she felt abandoned, yes. That he’d left her.
Q. Putting aside how Suri may or may not have felt at that time, do you believe that Mr. Cruise, by his conduct, abandoned her?
A. I used the word abandoned because I believed he deserted her, he’d left he, and he hadn’t physically seen her, and the facts are uncontestable.
On November 26, there will be a hearing before US District Court Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian, and both sides are asking for even more disclosures of sensitive information.
We asked a member of our legal team for an assessment of the documents released this week.
As far as I can see this litigation is a waste of time and money. Cruise wanted an apology from Bauer because it called him a bad father. They refused to apologize so he subjected himself to depositions where he admitted he didn’t see his daughter for many months at a time. Bauer in turn doesn’t want to give up its sources and wants Cruise to answer for various entities and people he is associated with calling it anti-Semitic and a Nazi-sympathizer. So now Bauer has further tarnished itself by publicizing the allegations.
Considering there is a protective order, it is surprising the number of documents that have been made public. I predict that Cruise will drop the lawsuit because the depositions will cause his career even more damage than Scientology leader David Miscavige has already.
We talked yesterday to attorney Graham Berry, who gave us an update about his client, Donald Myers — a/k/a Angry Gay Pope — who was arrested on Tuesday. AGP had done a one-man picket in front of Scientology’s Hollywood Guaranty Building and made some comments to Lissa Uvizl, who called the LAPD. But after the police watched Pope’s video, they declined to charge him. Berry tells us that Uvizl then made a citizen’s arrest for felony stalking, and Pope was taken into custody. Bail was set at $150,000 and he spent two nights in solitary confinement.
Yesterday afternoon, Pope was charged with misdemeanor stalking at a court in East Los Angeles, and Berry represented him. Here’s Berry’s account of what happened next…
The City Attorney’s Office had appointed a “special” prosecutor to handle the case. I informed him that Myers would plead not guilty, that he would not waive his speedy trial rights that we would go to trial on the first available date and that we were not interested in pleading to a lesser charge. A discussion of the relative merits of our respective cases resulted in a tentative agreement subject to judicial approval.
AGP was then brought into the courtroom and the “special” prosecutor and I requested and were granted leave to have a side bar conference with the judge. We explained our tentative agreement to the judge who said he had never approved such an agreement before, that he disagreed with such agreements (especially in cases such as this) and that he would decline to approve the disposition agreement (a type of conditional dismissal). However, the judge was willing to listen to argument on the record and to be persuaded otherwise.
I then argued the unusual circumstances of the case to the judge informing him that contrary to the charge this was not a stalking case but a First Amendment case and that AGP would otherwise be filing an anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss. The judge doubted whether I could do that in a criminal case but I assured him I had filed just such a motion in several criminal cases. Eventually I persuaded the judge of the merits of the agreement and the judge entered the following order: Time for arraignment was waived for twelve months as part of an “informal diversion.” In the meantime, AGP agreed and was ordered to stay 100 yards away from the complaining Scientology staffer and the Scientology building at 6331 Hollywood Boulevard, and to obey all laws. Assuming AGP complies with those conditions the case will be dismissed in twelve months. At that time there would no conviction, no penalties, no court costs and no continuing orders.
Hey, Pope — here’s some informal advice from the Bunker: stick to editing great videos, and leave the picketing to the youngsters!
Jefferson Hawkins On The “Inch Wives”
Another interesting interview with Karen de la Carriere as Jeff Hawkins discusses the women who appeared on Anderson Cooper’s 2010 series about Scientology.
Posted by Tony Ortega on November 8, 2013 at 07:00
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