Tom Cruise admitted in a court deposition that one reason ex-wife Katie Holmes gave for leaving him was to protect their daughter, Suri, from Scientology.
The Sept. 9 deposition comes as part of the actor's $50 million defamation lawsuit against Bauer Publishing Co., publisher of Life & Style and In Touch magazines, which Cruise accused of printing false cover stories in 2012 that claimed he "abandoned" Suri.
In the deposition, in which Cruise was questioned by the publishing company's lawyer, Elizabeth McNamara, Cruise said Holmes broke off their five-year marriage to protect 7-year-old Suri from Cruise's religion. The document was obtained by RadarOnline.
When asked if Holmes left him "in part to protect Suri from Scientology," he said the question and the statement were "offensive."
"Like with any relationship, there are many different levels to it. You know, I, I find it very offensive. There is no need to protect my daughter from my religion," he said, before answering that he believes it's a "false statement."
But the lawyer harped on the question, asking, "And Ms. Holmes has never indicated in any way that was one of the reasons she left you? … To protect Suri from Scientology?"
Cruise replied, "Did she say that? That was one of the assertions, yes."
He said Suri is not currently practicing Scientology.
In the interview, Cruise also said his intense filming schedule is the reason he didn't see Suri for more than 100 days in the wake of his June 2012 divorce from Holmes. He said he talked to his daughter nearly every day on the phone.
"You have to work at it," he told the lawyer of talking with his child on the phone, which he conceded is not a good enough substitute for seeing her in person. But, he said, "I've gotten very good at it. I tell wonderful stories," he said. "I also find that, you know, Suri is a very happy child, and confident, and has a good sense of herself."
Cruise recently wrote in a court filing for the lawsuit that he has "in no way cut Suri out of my life."
The line of questioning in the deposition was extensive, covering his traveling, filming schedule and private jets.