Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Split: A Look Back at Their Wild Divorce 5 Years Later

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When Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise split it surprised many people, most notably, the action star himself. On June 29, 2012, the Dawson’s Creek actress filed for divorce in New York City unbeknownst to Cruise, who was filming Oblivion in Iceland. She broke the news to him over the phone.

“I didn’t expect it,” Cruise admitted a year later, calling life a “tragicomedy.”

However, the events leading up to Katie’s decision to leave were something more out of a drama.

On the five-year anniversary of TomKat’s separation, let’s take a look back at some of the craziest moments from their divorce:

The Combative Statements:
From the beginning, it was clear Katie and Tom would not be putting on a united front as neither star put out the good ole’ “amicable split” statement.

“This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family,” an attorney for Holmes told People. “Katie’s primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter’s best interest.”

Meanwhile, Cruise’s rep flat out said it was Katie’s decision: “Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children. Please allow them their privacy.”

The Disposable Phone:
Once Katie decided she was leaving, she had to ensure she took Cruise by surprise as to avoid a long, drawn out court battle. To do that she used a secret phone to contact lawyers and formulate an exit strategy.

Per the Los Angeles Times, the actress began reaching out to attorneys using a disposable cellphone provided by a friend, so that neither Cruise nor his team would know about the conversations or her plans. It clearly worked.

An Army of Lawyers:
Holmes hired three law firms in three states to represent her, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, the most important attorney was Katie’s father, Martin Holmes.

Throughout Katie and Tom’s five-year marriage, reports circulated that the Holmes family did not approve of Cruise; however everyone denied it… at the time. People reported that Marty — a Toledo, Ohio based lawyer — flew to New York and helped orchestrate his daughter’s exit. Still, the decision to leave was all Katie’s.

“She’s a strong person and makes up her own mind,” a source told the magazine, added “she’s unwavering” in the choice to end her marriage.

A Secret Apartment:
In the weeks leading up to the split, Katie rented a secret apartment in New York City, according to multiple reports. This was separate from the home the couple shared in the city.

Not only was it a new place for Katie to go with Suri — who was 6 — but it further established her residency in NYC. Katie filing for divorce in New York rather than California was seen as an advantage to help her gain sole custody, which was all she cared about.

The Suri and Scientology Effect:
So why did Katie want out of her marriage? There have been various reports about how Scientology played a role (and also how much the church attempted to interfere on Tom’s behalf in the split aftermath). Given Holmes is Catholic and Cruise is a devout Scientologist, it’s hard to imagine religion wasn’t a factor. With Katie having sole custody, it would give her the choice to make decisions about Suri’s religion and education.

Settlement Shocker:
After it looked like TomKat was gearing up for a contentious legal battle, the couple settled outside of court 11 days after splitting instead. That’s insanely quick by Hollywood standards. Katie got primary custody, which was all she reportedly wanted and cared about. That’s a good thing too considering Tom hardly had to open up his wallet.

Holmes also reportedly demanded guarantees to ensure nothing is done while their daughter is with Cruise that would “alienate” Suri from her. That’s a direct shot at Scientology. The couple made a joint statement after they reached a settlement agreement and acknowledged their religious differences.

“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,” they said.

And good luck getting either to comment about the other after that.

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