Strike three for Cruise as Holmes puts Suri before Scientology

The Age, Australia/July 1, 2012

Last week, Katie Holmes walked down the street with her six-year-old daughter Suri. They wore vaguely matching outfits. The ''event'' spawned magazine covers, celebrity-blog posts and comment from parenting pundits.

Two days ago, according to the Daily Mail online, the actress, 33, stepped out in an outfit derided as ''unkempt'' but also celebrated in that it showed off her shapely legs. Again, there were many photos.

And yesterday, perhaps fed up with the Kardashian-style attention she was attracting and, according to the Hollywoood press, sick of the control-freakery of her husband Tom Cruise, Holmes pulled the plug on a marriage that had put her under the microscope in the first place.

And in an apparent bid to remove her young daughter from the clutches of the Church of Scientology - Cruise is one of the organisation's most outspoken advocates - the actress is reportedly seeking sole custody of Suri.

The couple are estimated to be worth $275 million, however Holmes is rumoured to have signed a pre-nuptial agreement with Cruise before their wedding in November 2006. US law experts say she filed divorce papers in New York because family law judges there do not like giving fighting parents joint custody.

That she started divorce proceedings before discussing the matter with Cruise, who turns 50 on Tuesday, reportedly ''blindsided'' him. The actor's spokeswoman, Amanda Lundberg, said he was ''deeply saddened'' by Holmes' decision.

It had all begun with such couch-jumping, air-punching, carpet-kissing promise, when a maniacal Cruise announced on The Oprah Winfrey Show: ''I'm in love. I'm in love.''

That was in May 2005. But the beginning of his relationship with Holmes coincided with the beginning of Cruise's downturn in popularity, already creaky from nasty rumours surrounding his marriage to Australian Nicole Kidman, which ended in 2001.

Apart from rumours that he was secretly gay, which he denied, he was also under fire for calling for psychiatry to be outlawed and for his incessant proselytising about Scientology.

Around the time Cruise married Holmes, his third wife after Kidman and Mimi Rogers, in an Italian castle - and topped Forbes magazine's 2006 Top 100 Richest Celebrity List - a USA Today/Gallup Poll found his popularity had slumped and another survey found he was the celebrity people were least likely to want as a friend.

Where was Holmes throughout this fall from grace? Magazines ran an endless string of photographs of Katie looking bedraggled, shell-shocked, exhausted and otherwise the epitome of misery - while walking hand in hand with an upbeat, toothy Tom.

Of course, magazine editors carefully choose their ''papped'' photos of celebrities to support the reported crisis or scandal. Still, it seemed that Holmes often wore on her face the question everyone else was asking: ''What am I doing with this guy?''

Media reports often cited Cruise's controlling nature and Holmes's growing dislike of living her life according to the doctrines of Scientology. Even the birth of the couple's daughter in April 2006 was reportedly a ''silent'' event, as dictated by Scientology regulations.

Last September, Suri started school - at a Scientology centre. If Holmes gains sole custody of her daughter, she will be able to remove her from the school, ensuring that she isn't raised a Scientologist like her adopted siblings Isabella and Connor, from Cruise's marriage to Kidman.

But law experts say Cruise, who is known for his razor sharp legal team, will fight tooth and nail for his child.

Daily Mail online says family law experts predict this could become one of the bitterest divorces in years, with Suri at the centre. ''It's not the gentlest way [Holmes] could have done things,'' said attorney Stephanie Blum.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.