Think being an Olympic sprinter or a soldier fighting the war in Afghanistan have it rough? According to Tom Cruise, his job as an actor is just as difficult as both of those occupations.
In a September deposition obtained by TMZ.com, Cruise compared shooting on location to serving a tour in Afghanistan. "That's what it feels like. And certainly on this last movie, it was brutal. It was brutal." The 51-year-old movie star then went on to claim that the physical training he does for his films are harder than training for the Olympics. "There is difficult physical stamina and preparation. Sometimes I've spent months, a year, and sometimes two years preparing for a single film," he said. "A sprinter for the Olympics, they only have to run two races a day. When I'm shooting, I could potentially have to run 30, 40 races a day, day after day."
The deposition is part of a $50 million libel lawsuit brought on by Cruise against Bauer Publishing, which runs In Touch magazine. Cruise is suing over a cover story that claimed he "abandoned" Suri, his daughter with ex-wife Katie Holmes, after Holmes filed for divorce in June 2012. In his deposition, Cruise explained that he did not see Suri for more than 100 days and that he only saw her 10 days between June 2012 and Thanksgiving 2012. However, Cruise said rigorous shooting schedules for two back-to-back films were to blame.
"I have in no way cut Suri out of my life -- whether physically, emotionally, financially or otherwise," he said. "Even during the times when I was working overseas and was not able to see Suri in person, we were (and continue to be) extremely close."
Despite not being able to see his daughter often, Cruise alleged that he still very much a part of Suri's life thanks to other forms of communication, such as the telephone. "As my numerous emails with Suri's mother during this time period demonstrate, I was a constant presence in Suri's life," he said. "While I'm sure my daughter misses me when I am not with her (as I miss her), she is a very happy child, and we have a wonderful relationship and cheerful phone calls."
The deposition was also revealing because Cruise admitted that, as frequently rumored at the time of their split, Scientology did play a role in his and Holmes' divorce. When asked by a lawyer whether "Katie Holmes left you in part to protect Suri from Scientology." Cruise responded, "Did she say that? That was one of the assertions, yes."
However, in a separate document filed on Nov. 5 and obtained by People, Cruise shot down the implication that Scientology was one of the reasons Holmes filed for divorce. "Katie has never told me that this [Scientology] was a reason for our divorce," he said in the document.
Despite this later assertion, in the original deposition, Cruise did say that Suri is no longer a member of Scientology — a religion Cruise has been a very fervent supporter of for most of his life.
In separate e-mails sent from Cruise's publicist to his legal team, and also obtained by TMZ, Cruise's publicist says that Holmes had a hand in the unflattering magazine stories about Cruise. Cruise's publicist, Amanda Lundberg, said it was publicists and hair/makeup people that worked with Holmes that have been "speaking to the press constantly. She is the one saying -- K[atie] is disciplinarian and T[om] is spoiling and so on." In addition to feeding stories that did not favor Cruise, Lundberg accused that Holmes' publicist "calls the paparazzi every time K[atie] gets ready to leave the building as the doormen are always surprised how they suddenly show up when she is about to leave."
Whose side are you on?