NEW YORK (AP) - Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes reached a settlement in their divorce case, putting an official end to the much-scrutinized romance less than two weeks after Holmes unexpectedly filed for divorce.
"The case has been settled and the agreement has been signed," Holmes attorney Jonathan Wolfe said in a statement. Cruise's rep Amanda Lundberg confirmed the settlement.
An assistant in Wolfe's office who would not give her name would not elaborate on the agreement.
"We are thrilled for Katie and her family and are excited to watch as she embarks on the next chapter of her life," the statement from Holmes' attorney said. "We thank Tom's counsel for their professionalism and diligence that helped bring about this speedy resolution."
Cruise, 50, and Holmes, 33, had a romance that ended as it began — as tabloid fodder. Earlier Monday, they asked for privacy for their family with 6-year-old daughter Suri.
"We are committed to working together as parents to accomplish what is in our daughter Suri's best interests. 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," read the statement from Lundberg and Holmes representative Nanci Ryder.
In the celebrity news media, Holmes has been portrayed with overwhelmingly more sympathy. Whether true or not, the narrative that's emerged is of a locked-away Holmes breaking free from the servitude of a strange, corrupting marriage.
Us Weekly has reported that the couple "fought viciously" over Scientology parenting. The Daily News has trumpeted Holmes entering "a new phase." A TMZ headline blared "Tom treated me like a robot."
That may also be the most convenient view of a relationship that even at its start spawned "Free Katie!" T-shirts.
Cruise's camp vigorously denied such a reading. Cruise's lawyer Bert Fields has said they were letting "the other side play the media until they wear everyone out." The Church of Scientology, too, didn't want to be portrayed as the schism between the couple.
The quick settlement and joint statement may put out some of that fire. The resolution was notably quick, particularly in Hollywood terms. By way of comparison, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries are still negotiating a divorce for a marriage that lasted less than three months.
"It's not entirely certain that it's all about Rapunzel fleeing the castle, which is the motif that people love to use," said Larry Hackett, managing editor of People magazine, which broke the news of Holmes' divorce filing. He called this the biggest celebrity story in two or three years, excepting the sudden death of Whitney Houston.
"The danger in this kind of story is the same danger there was back when this whole thing first started," Hackett says. "It's the speculation about the church and all that kind of stuff, and there's a lot of information certainly seems plausible. But like any other story, you've got to run it down and see if it's there."
In the week and a half since filing for divorce, Holmes also captured the spotlight with a handful of public appearances. She stopped by to tape a guest judge appearance on Lifetime's "Project Runway," was snapped taking Suri for ice cream, and was seen taking a trip to the Children's Museum of the Arts.
The appearances have only fed the view that Holmes is now living easier and freer — and conversely, that she's orchestrating a public relations campaign.
On the other hand, Holmes may have simply been trying to regain a measure of privacy, said celebrity publicist Howard Bragman, vice chairman of reputation.com.
"I think she's being smart. If you engage in a bunker mentality, you build up demand" for photographs, Bragman said. "My clients who are under siege by paparazzi, I say go on and live your life. It lets some of the air out of the balloon, if you will."
In Touch Weekly and its sister magazine, Life & Style Weekly, are among the many outlets to focus on the Holmes-as-escapee angle. Their covers on the divorce read "The Fight for Suri" and "Katie Breaks Free," respectively.
"We're intrigued by who the real Katie is," says Dan Wakeford, editor-in-chief of both magazines. "She's been hidden for so long and dominated and controlled by Tom, so we really want to know what she's like and how she's going to change."
Cruise has two children with his previous wife, Nicole Kidman. The actor was also previously married to Mimi Rogers. This was Holmes' first marriage.
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