Kidman and Cruise seal divorce deal with a hug

The Irish Examiner/November 23, 2001

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman ended their bitter divorce battle with an amicable settlement and a hug, it was reported yesterday. The couple embraced after three hours of talks over their settlement earlier this month in a Los Angeles office building, which ended with an amicable agreement, American magazine People said.

Under the settlement, struck to avoid a courtroom showdown, Kidman, 34, and Cruise, 39, have agreed to joint custody of their adopted children, Isabella, eight, and sixyear-old Connor.

The two have also agreed to mend fences and have an amicable relation-ship after nine months of bitterness.

Kidman's lawyer, Sorrell Trope, told the magazine: "The olive branch was extended by both sides and each reached for it. Everyone was very pleased and happy."

Under the settlement, Kidman will get two of the couple's three homes.

She will keep their £24 million five-bedroom mansion in Pacific Palisades, near Los Angeles, and their £2.8 million multi-storey house on the harbour front of Sydney.

But Cruise got their 280-acre estate in Telluride, Colorado's best skiing area, and kept control of his three aeroplanes. Cruise's fleet includes a £19.8 million Gulfstream jet, a £849,000 twin-engined Beech F90 six-passenger plane, and a £70,700 Pitts S-2B, a single-engined plane used by Hollywood studios for filming aerial scenes.

Kidman will be allowed to use the jet when she wants to visit the children or take them to Australia, where her family lives. No details have emerged of the child support Cruise, who is worth £177 million, at least double Kidman's new worth, is to pay his ex-wife. But the couple have agreed that they can continue to be educated in a private school in Australia, at home in Los Angeles, and with tutors when Cruise or Kidman are filming on location.

The children are currently with Cruise in the US, but will travel to Australia to spend Christmas with Kidman and her family in Sydney. And both parents will make joint decisions about their education and religious upbringing. There had been claims the couple had disagreed on whether the children should be brought up in Cruise's religion of Scientology or follow Kidman's Catholic upbringing.

Cruise told the magazine: "We are great friends. She is someone who I love and always will. You can still love that person even though you have disagreements and I feel that way about Nicole. We're a family and we're going to raise these kids together."

A friend of Kidman's said: "Nicole is relieved that everything is finally over and that she and Tom will have some kind of amicable relationship."

Cruise is now romantically involved with Captain Corelli's Mandolin star Penelope Cruz, while Kidman is single, having denied reports of being involved with a series of men.

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