Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes reached a settlement on Monday, legally sorting out their divorce with the same speed that kicked off their much-scrutinized romance seven years ago. Just as Hollywood was settling in for a long and nasty separation, lawyers for the couple said the pair settled less than two weeks after Holmes unexpectedly filed for divorce.
“The case has been settled and the agreement has been signed,” Holmes’ attorney Jonathan Wolfe said in a statement.
Cruise’s attorney, Bert Fields, also confirmed the settlement in a statement: “Tom is really pleased we got there and so am I.”
The resolution was notably quick, particularly in Hollywood terms. By way of comparison, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries are still negotiating a divorce for a marriage that lasted less than three months.
“A quick settlement indicates that they were able to agree that they’ll both do some co-parenting,” said Steve Mindel, a managing partner at Los Angeles firm Feinberg, Mindel, Brandt and Klein.
The rapid settlement saves the couple from a public battle that was sure to be covered vigorously by the celebrity news media. In the already voluminous tabloid reporting, Holmes had been portrayed with overwhelmingly more sympathy. The emerging narrative, was of a locked-away Holmes breaking free from the servitude of a strange, corrupting marriage.
Us Weekly reported that the couple “fought viciously” over Scientology parenting. A TMZ headline blared “Tom treated me like a robot.” That may also be the most convenient view of a relationship that even at its start spawned “Free Katie!” T-shirts.
Their divorce case lasted less than two weeks, but Mindel said that is not uncommon for high-profile breakups:
“There’s too many incentives on both sides of the equation for settlement,” he said.
Actor-comedian Russell Brand’s divorce from singer Katy Perry took a little more than a month to resolve, while director Cameron Crowe and singer-guitarist Nancy Wilson resolved their divorce in less than three months.
Cruise and Holmes may have saved more than just their dignity by not fighting out their divorce in court. A drawn-out custody battle would have likely cost more than US$1 million in legal fees.