News Column

Holmes Reportedly Files for Divorce to Shield Suri

July 3, 2012

Rita Sherrow

Cruise and Holmes

Katie Holmes filed for divorce from Tom Cruise to save daughter Suri from being indoctrinated into the Church of Scientology, according to tmz.com.

Holmes' decision to file for divorce in New York on Thursday was because the actress was convinced Cruise was planning to send the 6-year-old to the Scientology group known as Sea Organization, the website reported Monday.

Allegedly, Sea Org is where the highest levels of Scientology are taught and kids as young as 5 can be sent there unaccompanied by their parents. Cruise is reportedly a supporter of the program and is known for his commitment to the California-based religion, the site reported.

The couple have been arguing over their daughter's indoctrination into the religion, and according to the website Sea Org was the "flashpoint" for Holmes.

According to the official Scientology website, members of Sea Org sign a "1-billion-year pledge to symbolize their eternal commitment to the religion, and it is still signed by all members today."

Holmes cited "irreconcilable differences" and is asking for sole legal custody and "primary residential custody" of their 6-year-old daughter, according to tmz.com.

Holmes, 33, has also asked for division of property and a "suitable amount" of child support. The couple have a prenuptial agreement based on California law, reported the website. They married five years ago in Italy.

Cruise was said to be "blindsided" by Holmes' filings, and both asked for privacy through representatives.

The Church of Scientology has made no comment about the divorce but has told the website that it has not had people following Holmes as was reported by tmz.com over the weekend.

Gary Soter, attorney for the church, said that the Church of Scientology is not following Holmes or conducting surveillance on her in the wake of her divorce with Tom Cruise, the website reported Sunday.

Cruise has reportedly hired Bert Fields, the lawyer he used during his 2001 divorce from actress Nicole Kidman and, according to Newsday, will try to move the case from New York (where it's considered easier for one parent to gain sole custody) to California. He will request joint custody of their daughter.

"I would hope that it's not a contentious matter," Fields reportedly told the Los Angeles Times over the weekend. "I know Tom is not a particularly contentious person."



Source: (c)2012 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.)