(CBS News) Tom Cruise's lawyer is threatening to sue the National Enquirer over its recent cover story, which claims the actor is a "monster" who subjected Katie Holmes to "abuse" and "humiliation."
In a letter sent on July 11 to the Enquirer's publisher, American Media, Inc., and was obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, Bert Fields claimed the "false and vicious lies" in the story will cause Cruise "hundreds of millions of dollars of professional and personal damages, for which we intend to hold American Media, and everyone who participated in the perpetuation of this scurrilous attack, jointly and severally liable."
"As you were notified in advance, your current issue of the National Enquirer makes numerous false and defamatory assertations about our client Tom Cruise," the letter began.
The Enquirer's cover includes a headline that reads, "Inside Tom's House of Horrors!" and another line that says, "The Real Tom is a Monster!" It also claims that Holmes, who filed for divorce from Cruise on June 28, lived a "tortured life."
"Your cover announces, as a fact, that 'THE REAL TOM CRUISE IS A MONSTER.' Mr. Cruise is certainly not a 'monster.' He is a caring father, a hardworking actor and, above all, an honest, decent man," Fields wrote in the letter.
"Contrary to your blaring headlines, Mr. Cruise has not engaged in any 'abuse' or 'humiliation' of Katie Holmes. Nor has he ever subjected her to any 'punishments,'" he added. "Ms. Holmes did not lead a 'tortured life' with Mr. Cruise. Despite their divorce, their relationship was generally a loving one."
THR posted the letter online in its entirety, which can be found here.
Cruise and Holmes have been the subject of media scrutiny since her divorce filing last month. Earlier this week, the former couple and their lawyers announced the two sides had reached a divorce settlement. Details of the agreement remain undisclosed, though reports say Holmes received custody of their 6-year-old daughter, Suri, with Cruise getting generous visitation rights.