NEW YORK — 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 what was expected to be 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.”
In a joint statement, Cruise, 50, and Holmes, 33, asked for privacy for their family with their daughter, Suri, 6.
“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,” read the statement from Cruise publicist Amanda Lundberg and Holmes representative Nanci Ryder.
The resolution was quick, particularly in Hollywood terms. “A quick settlement indicates that they were able to agree that they'll both do some co-parenting,” said Steve Mindel, a managing partner in a Los Angeles firm who has handled bicoastal divorce cases.
Mindel said the next step would be for Holmes or Cruise to file to have their status changed to divorced, but the actual financial and child custody details won't be filed unless there's a dispute.
The rapid settlement saves the couple from a public battle that was sure to be covered vigorously by the celebrity news media, which had already shifted into hyper-drive.
In the already voluminous tabloid reporting, Holmes had been portrayed with overwhelmingly more sympathy. The emerging narrative, whether true or not, 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. The Daily News trumpeted Holmes entering “a new phase.” A TMZ headline blared “Tom treated me like a robot.”
In 2005, they publically announced their relationship in Rome, famously celebrated it on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and got engaged on the Eiffel Tower in Paris. They wed in November 2006 at a castle in Bracciano, Italy.
Cruise has two children with his previous wife, Nicole Kidman. He was also married to Mimi Rogers.
This was Holmes' first marriage.