Tom Cruise's attorney has threatened to sue the publishers of the National Enquirer tabloid over a new cover story suggesting the movie star subjected his newly estranged wife, Katie Holmes, to abuse and humiliation during their five-year marriage.
The article, headlined "Inside Tom's House of Horrors!" hit newsstands on Wednesday, and it details Holmes' alleged "secret breakdown" and her "tortured life" with the actor at their Beverly Hills, Calif., mansion.
Cruise's longtime legal representative Bert Fields has fired off a blistering cease-and-desist letter to bosses at American Media, the Enquirer's parent company, calling the headline-grabbing article "disgraceful and lurid."
The note, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, reads: "Your cover announces, as a fact, that 'THE REAL TOM CRUISE IS A MONSTER.' Mr. Cruise is certainly not a 'monster.' He is a caring father, a hardworking actor and, above all, an honest, decent man."
Fields claims the fabricated article will cost Cruise "hundreds of millions of dollars of professional and personal damages" and is demanding editors retract the "disgusting lies" immediately, or face a costly and lengthy lawsuit.
Cruise and Holmes reached a divorce settlement on Monday, less than two weeks after the actress filed papers to end their marriage.
She has since moved into an apartment in New York with their 6-year-old daughter, Suri, while Cruise has thrown himself into his work, shooting his next film, "Oblivion," in California.