The messiest part of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ divorce

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were an enigmatic pairing that made pop culture and tabloid heaven. When they first met in April 2005, he was 42 and she was 26. Cruise reached out and asked to meet the Dawson’s Creek star under the guise of her audition for Mission Impossible. Cruise’s request was reportedly sparked by a 2004 Seventeen interview in which Holmes admitted that as a little girl, she dreamed of one day marrying Cruise. Be careful with your desires.

A stormy roller coaster romance full of paparazzi followed. There was the inevitable supercouple moniker “TomKat.” Cruise launches a wild PR offensive and raves about his boundless love for Holmes. Couch jumping, kneeling and fist pumping galore. “We’ve never seen you behave like that before!” exclaimed Oprah. “I can’t be cool. I can’t be relaxed!” Cruise replied fervently. “Something happened and I want to celebrate it.”

Within eight weeks of meeting, TomKat was engaged, according to the insider. Four months later, Cruise and Holmes announced they were expecting a baby. Their daughter Suri was born in April 2006. In November 2006, they married in a 15th-century Italian castle. Victoria Beckham, David Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith were among the star-studded wedding guests, People reported. Then Holmes stunned the tabloids — and her husband — by filing for divorce in 2012. The terms were negotiated and agreed in less than two weeks, which is impressive considering the most messy part of Cruise and Holmes’ divorce.

Katie Holmes refused to lose Suri

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ divorce was settled in 10 days, making it one of the fastest in Hollywood history. It was also one of the sneakiest and most surprising — proof that having a pit bull advocate dad can be a huge plus. “[Marty Holmes] believes there are only two sets of rules: the rules of the court and its rules, and he behaves that way,” a Toledo lawyer told People.

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Her ironclad marriage contract helped too. Per TMZEs, it was “long, narrow and stacked in Tom’s favor,” leading to no fights over money and property. However, there was still the messiest part of the divorce settlement — custody of their child, Suri. In a separate report, TMZ claimed the only sticking point in the divorce settlement was Cruise’s insistence on maintaining a “meaningful, meaningful” relationship with Suri.

Holmes had requested sole legal custody and primary physical custody. Sources told The Hollywood Reporter it was a clear sign she would not allow Scientology to separate her from her child. Although Nicole Kidman was awarded joint custody from Cruise in her divorce, she had limited access to her two children, who were rooted in Scientology. Immediately after Kidman and Cruise’s split, their children, Isabella and Connor, reportedly began distancing themselves from their mother — until they eventually lost pretty much all contact. Holmes was determined to prevent that from happening to Suri, no matter how messy it got.

Katie Holmes lost Tom Cruise and gained her daughter

Suri Cruise’s close relationship with Katie Holmes grew even closer after her parents’ divorce. Vanity Fair reported that Marty Holmes was eager to sever his then-pregnant daughter’s ties to Scientology before she gave birth to a child. It seems Katie was also keen to distance herself and Suri. In 2009, she reportedly insisted that the 3-year-old attend Catholic preschool, in strict violation of Scientology rules.

During testimony for his lawsuit against Bauer Media, per HuffPost, Tom was asked if Katie was divorcing him.[partly] to protect Suri” from Scientology. “Did she say that? That was one of the claims, yes,” he reluctantly admitted. Tom also confirmed that Suri was no longer a member of the Church. Screenwriter Paul Haggis has criticized Scientology for requiring that members “separate from non-Scientologists,” including relatives. “Although it was terribly affecting her personal pain, which my wife has severed all contact with [her parents]’ he wrote in a public letter (via The New Yorker).

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Meanwhile, Tom’s relationship with Suri seems fractured these days, to say the least. He pays over $33,000 a month in child support, according to TMZ, but the last time Tom was seen publicly with Suri was in 2013 — a year after he and Katie divorced. Tony Ortega, an outspoken critic of Scientology, speculated that Katie made a deal with Scientology and agreed never to speak against the church in exchange for her daughter. “She wanted to get away and she wanted to get Suri,” Ortega claimed to Us Weekly.