Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Mission: Impossible

It looks like three successful outings as superspy Ethan Hunt have started to rub off on Tom Cruise. Don't worry, he's not hanging around in the IT room or wearing prosthetic masks that miraculously make him a foot taller. But he has been embracing some tried and tested spying techniques, and they may be getting him into hot water.

Back at the start of the decade, Tom found himself once again battling accusations that he'd done more than just star in a few good men. This time however, there was supposedly filmed evidence of Tom making all the right moves with another guy.

This sensational revelation came about because Michael Davis Sapir, the one-time editor of Bold magazine, had offered a $500,000 reward offer for "videotape evidence that Cruise was gay." I guess the volleyball scenes in Top Gun were inadmissible.

Tom responded with a preposterous $100 million defamation suit, which ended up settled out of court when Bold published an official statement that no such video was in its possession (here's where legal thriller fans make a note of the difference between existence and possession).

With another troubling accusation firmly locked back in the closet, Tom was free to break Oprah's furniture, laugh maniacally and criticise Brooke Shields for having post-natal depression. But this is one story that's come back to bite him in the ass, and not in a good way (you know, like if a real live lady did it).

It turns out that, as well as hitting Bold with a lawsuit that would net enough money to dig Dubai out of debt, Tom wanted to know what else the magazine's staff had got on him. According to a new lawsuit that has been filed against Cruise, Anthony Pellicano, former "PI to the stars" and currently serving time in federal prison, was promptly contracted to wiretap Sapir's phone. So now Tom's being sued for $5 million for "invasion of privacy, disclosure of confidential information and intentional infliction of emotional distress."

Tom's heavy-hitting lawyer Bert Fields has already responded, saying “We did not even hire Pellicano to work on the Sapir case.” In the end, it's not really for us to speculate who did what and to whom - that's for the courts to decide. Although it's interesting that one of Pellicano's favourite new business techniques was to plant damaging stories himself about the stars he wanted on his books. Maybe he was the one who shopped Tom to Bold in the first place?

One thing's for sure though, it must be hard for poor old Tom to know who he can really trust. Apart from the Thetans of course.

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