- Associated Press - Monday, July 9, 2012

NEW YORK — 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 Miss Holmes unexpectedly filed for divorce.

“The case has been settled and the agreement has been signed,” Miss Holmes‘ attorney, Jonathan Wolfe, said in a statement. Mr. Cruise’s representative, Amanda Lundberg, confirmed the settlement.

An assistant in Mr. 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 Miss Holmes‘ attorney said. “We thank Tom’s counsel for their professionalism and diligence that helped bring about this speedy resolution.”

Mr. Cruise, 50, and Miss Holmes, 33, had a romance that ended as it began — as tabloid fodder. Earlier Monday, they asked for privacy for their family and 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 Ms. Lundberg and Miss Holmes‘ representative, Nanci Ryder.

The resolution was notably quick, particularly in Hollywood terms. By way of comparison, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries are still negotiating a divorce for an August 2011 marriage that lasted less than three months.

“A quick settlement indicates that they were able to agree that they’ll both do some co-parenting,” said Steve Mindel, a managing partner in the Los Angeles firm Feinberg, Mindel, Brandt and Klein who has handled bicoastal divorce cases.

Mr. Mindel said the next step would be for Miss Holmes or Mr. Cruise to file to have their status changed to divorced, but that the financial and child custody details won’t get filed in court unless a dispute erupts.

In the celebrity news media, Miss Holmes has been portrayed with overwhelmingly more sympathy. Whether true or not, the narrative that emerged was of a locked-away Miss Holmes breaking free from the servitude of a strange, corrupting marriage.

Us Weekly has reported that the couple “fought viciously” over Scientology parenting. The New York Daily News has trumpeted “a new phase” for Miss Holmes. A TMZ headline blared, “Tom treated me like a robot.”

That also may be the most convenient view of a relationship that even at its start spawned “Free Katie!” T-shirts.

Mr. Cruise’s camp vigorously denied such a reading. Mr. Cruise’s attorney, Bert Fields, has said they were letting “the other side play the media until they wear everyone out.” The Church of Scientology, of which Mr. Cruise is a high-profile member, also 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.

“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 Miss Holmes‘ divorce filing. He called this the biggest celebrity story in two or three years, excepting the sudden death of Whitney Houston.

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