Settlement keeps Cruise, Holmes out of spotlight

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Settlement keeps Cruise, Holmes out of spotlight

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.’’

Representatives for Holmes and Cruise declined to elaborate on the agreement. Wolfe said in a later statement that terms of the settlement were confidential and will not be disclosed.

“We are thrilled for Katie and her family and are excited to watch as she embarks on the next chapter of her life,’’ the statement from Holmes’ attorney said. “We thank Tom’s counsel for their professionalism and diligence that helped bring about this speedy resolution.’’

In a joint statement, Cruise, 50, and Holmes, 33, asked for privacy for their family with 6-year-old daughter Suri.

“We are committed to working together as parents to accomplish what is in our daughter Suri’s best interests. 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’s publicist Amanda Lundberg and Holmes representative Nanci Ryder.

The resolution was notably quick, particularly in Hollywood terms. By way of comparison, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries are still negotiating a divorce for an August 2011 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 in the Los Angeles firm Feinberg, Mindel, Brandt and Klein who has handled bi-coastal divorce cases.

Mindel said the next step would be for Holmes or Cruise to file to have their status changed to divorced, but that the actual financial and child custody details won’t get filed in court unless there’s some later 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 hyperdrive.

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.’’ AP
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