Let’s just start out by saying, that no matter what it looks like nor sounds like, Katie Holmes is not our enemy. We like her. Yes, we’ve criticized her for making it look like Tom is a bad father who was behind all the inappropriate Suri outfits and we’ve been otherwise less than adoring on occasions. But it is not because we don’t like Katie. Truth be told, we think she is very pretty and down to earth. She easily could have been a dear friend, as a matter of fact, and we like her very much.
So when we say she is the “cheapest” ex wife in Hollywood, we don’t mean it as a pejorative. We mean it simply as a statement of fact, if TMZ has its story straight, that is. Indeed, TMZ is reporting that Katie did not get ANY spousal support from her quarter billion dollar net worth husband, Tom Cruise. She did not get any real estate, stocks, bonds or cars. She did not get a lump sum cash out. She got nothing whatsoever after 5 years of marriage except (wait, was it five years???) 400K per annum in child support for her daughter Suri. For Suri’s child support. That amounts to a little over four million dollars over the course of 12 years. That is usually the amount any self-respecting ex wife of a Hollywood megastar would expect to get as a lump sum payment, plus the real estate, cars, jewelry and monthly spousal support. Katie gives new meaning to the term “cheap date.”
That speaks volumes about that marriage and the reason for the breakup. The whole thing was so fast and furious yet quiet and under the radar, that it is clear they both wanted out with minimal bloodshed. But it is also clear that money was at the root of their problems. Admittedly, money was not the only problem for those two. But it was one of their issues, and Katie got so sick of it, she went in the total other direction to prove that she was not after his money. He probably accused her of marrying him for his money at some point in that marriage when he got angry and frustrated about how the public scorned their marriage. And Katie was outraged, insulted, hurt and grossed out that he would or could think that of her. It really must have bruised her dignity as a woman and so in the end she was like, “Ew. And furthermore, you know what? I don’t want your bleeping money. I don’t want a dime from you. I just want a divorce. I just want out of here.”
But then she got a divorce lawyer (and at one point, I’d read she had divorce lawyers on both the East Coast and the West Coast) and her lawyer(s) advised her that she could get a lot more than just child support. Certainly, just the bad press Tom wold get for this divorce if she “pushed” it a little, would be enough incentive for him to pay her something fair out of the pot of gold he’s sitting on. And she was entitled to it; and certainly, the prenup would have said so. She would never have signed a prenup that said she got nothing in spousal support in a million years. Her lawyers could have voided that on some basis, like inducement, for sure.
But she was like, “no. I don’t want nothing from him. I would rather slit my wrist than take a dime from that jerk. All I want is my daughter. I don’t want any spousal support. I don’t want his money. I don’t want anything except my daughter. If he gives me my daughter, he can keep all his money. I don’t need it or want it. I can make my own.”
And Tom agreed. First of all, he didn’t want the public circus this thing could have become. It would have been embarrassing, first of all. But financially, it could have hurt his future box office sales and destroyed his already tarnished career and reputation (after the couch jump) if this thing went all Kardashian/Kelsey/Camille and he didn’t want to risk that. Plus, she was letting him off easy. So he agreed. But he also agreed because he probably preferred to keep the money and see Suri when he could rather than fight over Suri and lose millions. Not to say he loves money more than his daughter. He clearly loves his daughter. But its also clear that he loves his money and that he is not exactly a spendthrift. He could have offered to pay more in child support, for example. I mean, 400K is what middle class business men pay their ex wives these days. It’s peanuts. For someone worth what Tom is worth, it is actually very “cheap.”
So this whole settlement was about money in a twisted, paradoxical kind of way. It was Katie’s way of proving she did not marry him for his money and she did not care about his money; and Tom’s way of saving his money — both what he’s already made and what he stood to lose at the box office in the future if this thing blew up.
But the net end result is that it makes Katie look like a “cheap” ex wife. Sure, getting custody of Suri is priceless. But Katie has to understand that custody is not written in stone. In a few years, Tom could move to modify that arrangement on just about any basis. Whether he would win is fact-specific. But he could move to modify it and she could lose custody at some point before Suri is 18. So getting custody now was a win in the short run. But time will tell if it was really a win at all.
Still, she could have gotten custody, and still get a decent settlement and Tom would have complied because he’s a businessman and he knows he’s only as successful as he can get people to see his movies. Katie knew that, as did her lawyers. She easily could have used this as leverage. But she forewent it all to prove that this was not about money and that she is not and was not after his money.
That is assuming TMZ has their story right. For all we know she came out with a 20 million dollar lump sum payoff. Which would make infinitely more sense, wouldn’t it?
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