Amid the never-ending story that is the Katie Holmes-Tom Cruise schism, numerous emerging reports allege Holmes has enrolled Suri – the (former) couple’s six-year-old daughter – at Manhattan’s exclusive Convent of the Sacred Heart, in time for a Fall admission.
The Upper East Side girls’ school boasts Lady Gaga, Caroline Kennedy, the late Gloria Vanderbilt and – er – Paris Hilton as former students, demands mandatory mass attendance and fees of between $27 – $40, 000 a year.
The Los Angeles Times is being cited as the source for the story, despite an on the record denial by a school receptionist that Suri is on their books.
The rumors appear to consolidate earlier reports this week that Katie Holmes has officially re-established her ties with her birth family’s Catholic religion, after previously embracing Scientology once she married Cruise in November 2006.
After 10 days of screaming, sensationalist headlines in the wake of Holmes’ shock filing for divorce on June 28, the shroud of silence from both Holmes and Cruise about their divorce settlement has only intensified speculation about the terms of that agreement.
The turbulent 11 day, pro-Holmes media orgy that followed appeared to reach a merciful plateau after last Monday’s shock announcement by Holmes’ attorney Jonathan Wolfe [of New Jersey law firm Skoloff and Wolfe] that,
“The case has been settled and the agreement has been signed.”
Subsequent confirmation of the agreement by Tom Cruise’s rep Amanda Lundberg and attorney Bert Fields has not, however, ended Cruise’s PR nightmare and continued tongue-wagging about the role Scientology may have played in both the initiation of – and reasons for – Holmes’ unilateral action.
Along with endless sightings of the newly emancipated mother and daughter, her subtly revealing Elle interview and forthcoming possibly life-imitating-art movie “Molly” – it seems Holmes is firming up roots in New York – and possibly – following through on undisclosed terms of a spectacularly, rapid divorce agreement.
While claims Holmes walked away with a de facto ‘hush money’ haul of $ 50 million have been refuted by TMZ, Cruise’s attorney Bert Fields – meanwhile – has been attempting to put out simultaneous fires.
Referring to the still raging ruckus about Cruise’s links to Scientology and his client’s – alleged – conditional access to Suri, today Fields toldPeople magazine that,
“Tom was always most interested in his child.His concern was for Suri.” Adding, “He will have a meaningful relationship with Suri.”
The one-time Michael Jackson legal eagle followed these revelations saying,
“I don’t know the details of his [Cruise's] schedule, so I can’t comment. My guess is he’ll be seeing Suri very soon.”
Hitting out at unsubstantiated claims that representatives from the Church of Scientology were party to Holmes and Cruise’s settlement, Fields thundered,
“Somebody said the Scientologists were directing the negotiations, and that is absolute hogwash. There was no Scientologist present, I wasn’t on the phone with Scientologists. Scientologists played no part of role in the negotiations between the lawyers.”
While the exact details of what, why, and how much Holmes walked away with beyond the pre-nup will likely never be known, the speed of the settlement does suggest to many legal observers that generous provision for Cruise’s access to Suri coupled with dignified silence from Holmes, was traded against her sole custody of Suri and ample child support.
Key though, is the question of education.
Suri’s enrollment at any school – even if it isn’t the one rumored – would effectively limit the influence of Scientology in the little girl’s formative years, and nix the home-schooling route laid out for Isabella and Connor Cruise – Tom Cruise’s adopted children with ex-wife Nicole Kidman.
A literal take on the old saying – “Give me a child until he/she is seven and I will show you the man/woman” may be a tad strong. But if one reads between the behind-the-scenes battle lines, Suri’s reported enrollment in the Catholic – but independent – Convent of the Sacred Heart does shore up credibility for the widely held belief that Holmes’ mission statement was always,
“Not without my daughter.”