Why Tom Cruise Is Taking Reports That He "Abandoned" Suri So Seriously

In his lawsuit against In Touch and Life & Style, the actor says he is nothing like his absentee dad

More details of Tom Cruise's lawsuit against the publishers of In Touch and Life & Style are coming to light, and it's becoming more clear why the actor is asking for $50 million after the magazines claimed he abandoned his daughter, 7-year-old Suri, after his divorce from Katie Holmes. Mainly, he has been asked to justify the fact that he didn't see Suri for more than 100 days following the split.

"Listen, when there is a divorce... things change," Cruise explained in his deposition. "And it’s more complicated, as everyone knows when that is, when that occurs, and there are certain agreements; now you have to ask for permission and organize schedules to make things happen. So it wasn’t -- it’s not an ideal scene. It’s not an ideal situation."

When pressed for details, Cruise admitted that he only saw Suri twice from June through Thanksgiving of last year. His "brutal" filming schedule, he testified, was a factor.

"The situation, you know, when you’re thinking of your child and thinking what is the best thing for them, and of course, respecting Katie’s wishes in terms of Suri’s scheduling, the nature of making that film, the nature of having finished one film, and kind of -- agreements change, you know," the actor said. "That wasn't how the thing was set up."

Cruise also admitted that he flew to a 24-hour Scientology conference in London during that time, which he called "important" and a "different situation." In his defense, he claimed that he's really good at staying close to his kids via phone calls. Not Skype -- actual old-fashioned phone calls.

"I've gotten very good at it," he bragged. "I tell wonderful stories and they like hearing it."

Who knows, really, what was going on in those months after Holmes filed for divorce? It seemed as though she was actively trying to keep Cruise away from herself and her daughter, which may have something (or everything) to do with his long absence. That could be why Cruise is remaining vague on the details in his deposition. Even so, considering that the dude has a private plane and can demand pretty much anything in his movie contracts, it's hard to fathom why he couldn't take some time to see his kid.

Makes you wonder why he took the tabloids to court in the first place, doesn't it? Well -- it appears that this story hit a very personal nerve. At one point during Cruise's deposition, the defense lawyer compared Cruise to his own father, Thomas Mapother III, who left Tom's family high and dry when he was a boy.

"My father didn't pay money. He didn't call," Cruise snapped. "The fact that you would suggest that I was being like my father, it's the same thing my father did, and suggesting that that's something that I'm doing in terms of abandoning my children, I find that greatly offensive. … My parents were divorced and I didn't see him."

Cruise is suing Bauer Publishing, the company behind In Touch and Life & Style, for defamation. Ironically, the biggest outcome of the lawsuit so far is more bad publicity for Cruise. He also made headlines this weekend for comparing his job as an actor to fighting the war in Afghanistan -- a quote which his lawyer says was taken out of context.

Donna Kaufman is a freelance writer and iVillage contributor. Find her on Twitter and Google+

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