Cruise, Holmes reach a settlement in divorce case

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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.

“I think she’s being smart. If you engage in a bunker mentality, you build up demand” for photographs, said celebrity publicist Howard Bragman, vice chairman of reputation.com. “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.”

If Holmes makes enough trips to the grocery store, Bragman said, “The paparazzi will get over it and say, `Oh she’s boring,’ and wait for Alec Baldwin to smack somebody.”

Harvey Levin, founder and managing editor of TMZ, says the two sides are already promoting their own version of events: Holmes‘ position is that she’s freeing Suri from Scientology; Cruise’s is that this is about money. “It’s already nasty,” he says.

“The whole story has not yet been told, and it never is,” says Levin. “This is in the beginning stages of this thing. They haven’t even been to court. There will be twists and turns.”

In the seven years since Cruise and Holmes went public _ extravagantly public _ with their relationship, much has changed in the celebrity news business. The year 2005 was a kind of apex: While Cruise was jumping on couches, the Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston divorce was finishing. TMZ was launched and the developing digital world was taking a more aggressive approach to covering the personal lives of the famous.

Celebrity news hunger, further stoked by social media, has only grown since then, but its typical players are often less A-list. Glamorous movie stars are fewer today (Forbes recently ranked the 50-year-old Cruise as far-and-away the top-earning star in the past year), so there’s something almost antiquated about a Cruise divorce, his third following marriages to Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman.

In Touch Weekly and its sister magazine, Life & Style Weekly, are among the many outlets to focus on the Holmes-as-escape 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.”

Katie is certainly winning the media battle by a wide margin at the moment,” adds Wakeford. “She’s always been seen as quite a malleable figure and now suddenly she’s coming across as really strong _ and that’s empowering to our readers.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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