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Amid Custody Tussle, Tom and Katie Release Joint Statement of 'Respect'

Wonderwall, Monday, July 9, 2012, 9:29am (PDT)
  • Lawyers for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes apparently spent the weekend in "calm" settlement talks, although it remains to be seen how chill the divorce negotiations will remain when both sides are determined to get what they want.

    And what they both want is 6-year-old Suri. On Monday, however, a ceasefire was extended in the form of a joint statement.

    "We are committed to working together as parents to accomplish what is in our daughter Suri's best interests," said their reps (via Us). "We want to keep matters affecting our family private and express our respect for each other's commitment to each of our respective beliefs and support each other's roles as parents."

    Word is, an impending settlement deal will allow Katie to stay in New York with Suri, with Tom receiving "generous" visitation.

    Insiders tell TMZ that Cruise, 50, won't budge on getting "meaningful, significant contact" with the tyke.

    "She is the primary concern in his life," says a Cruise source, a statement that must make his other two kids, Bella, 19, and Connor, 17, whom he adopted with Nicole Kidman, feel slightly less special.

    Holmes, 33, who announced her intention to play hardball in the surprise split by filing for sole legal custody, has reportedly already indicated that Tom will get some quality time with Suri once he finishes shooting "Oblivion" on location in the Rockies.

    However, "She is dead set on keeping custody of Suri," a source declares to Us Weekly. "Katie is not going to compromise on certain issues, all regarding Suri."

    Speculation on why the actress finally pulled the plug on the six-year marriage continues to center on her apparent fears that her offspring would be indoctrinated into Scientology, the other primary concern in Tom's life.

    "This is about protecting her daughter," reiterates a Katie confidant.

    Her worries are not unfounded. Even though Cruise and Kidman negotiated joint custody after he blindsided her with divorce papers in 2001 (karma alert), she has reportedly had limited contact with Bella and Connor in recent years.

    Some former church members claim the Oscar winner was dubbed a sociopath and a "suppressive person" (SP), which, per the Scientology website, would put her in the same category with "Napoleon, Hitler, the unrepentant killer and the drug lord."

    No surprise then that the Cruise camp, which is so used to calling the shots instead of dodging them, is currently in "major crisis mode," according to Us Weekly.

  • "He is on the phone with his lawyers 24/7," says a spy, who adds that the star hopes to avoid a dirty laundry-airing court battle because he "doesn't want his entire life laid out for everyone to dissect anymore."

    Cruise might have more success in this regard without help from his fellow Scientologists. In an email obtained by Marty Rathbun, an outspoken former high-ranking church operative, members are urged to take to the Internet en masse and hit the "report" button on any stories that badmouth Scientology, a task that could take the entire length of those alleged billion-year contracts to fulfill.

    "When people start to bring our religion into the middle and a bunch of uninformed people start to spread false datum, rumors and defame our religion it became a matter that does affect my Dynamics and I believe that affects yours as well," reads the mail, which was supposedly sent by a Scientologist named Daniele Lattanzi. "I am not somebody that I am going to simply stand and watch a bunch of uninformed people putting my religion under the carpet."

    Rathbun claims the missive was sent by the church's Office of Special Affairs, but a Scientology spokesman pooh-poohs to the New York Daily News, "An email from a Scientologist is no more from the Church of Scientology than an email from a Catholic is from the Vatican. This did not come from the church or anyone associated with the church, nor is it a church plan."

    Meanwhile, as Holmes' attorneys work out a deal with her estranged husband over custody, child support and division of property, she's filling her days with trips to the Whole Foods near her new Manhattan apartment, Suri in tow.

    People reports she's also preparing for her apt new role as a single mom of a daughter in the forthcoming film "Molly," which she co-wrote and will co-produce.

    RELATED ON WONDERWALL:

    Tom's camp denies Scientology to blame for bust-up

    Tom's lawyer disses Katie's PR strategy

    Is Katie being spied on?

    What does the prenup give Katie?

    Katie to produce first-ever runway show

    Katie's pre-split interiew: I'm coming into my own

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