Tom Cruise's lawyer calls new book "sick stuff"
By Michelle Nichols
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A lawyer for Tom Cruise on Monday attacked an unauthorized biography of the high-profile Scientologist, calling it "outrageous, sick stuff," even as U.S. publisher St Martin's Press defended the book.
"Tom Cruise, An Unauthorized Biography," by British author Andrew Morton, best known for his top-selling 1992 book on Princess Diana, is due on U.S. bookshelves this month.
"His book is a rehash of tired old lies about Tom and his religion, some new grotesque lies, like the sick comparison of his child to 'Rosemary's Baby' and the nutty assertion that he's the No. 2 head of the Church of Scientology," Cruise's longtime lawyer, Bert Fields, told Reuters.
"He (Morton) has made a number of claims that are false and demonstrably so," said Fields, who added that he had read Morton's book, "Clearly the book is actionable, but I'm not commenting on anything to do with legal issues."
The Church of Scientology in London did not reply to an e-mail asking for comment on the allegations. Scientology was founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in Los Angeles more than 50 years ago.
In a brief statement on Monday, St Martin's Press spokesman Steve Troha said: "We stand by our book and our author."
Fields said Cruise has no plans to read the book, and the lawyer also slammed Morton's claims that Cruise's former wife, Australian actress Nicole Kidman, was worried she would be blackmailed or not see the couple's two adopted children if she spoke out against Scientology after their divorce.
Kidman's spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment, but Fields said Morton's claims were "absolute hogwash ... what they say about her is absolutely false." Continued...