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  Cruise biography branded 'nutty'

Dated: 09/01/08

Actor Tom Cruise's long-time lawyer has branded a forthcoming book about the film star "outrageous, sick stuff". Tom Cruise: An Unauthorised Biography, by British author Andrew Morton, is due on US bookshelves later this month. Lawyer Bert Fields said it was full of "tired old lies", including the "nutty" claim that Cruise is second-in-command at the Church of Scientology. He refused to say whether Cruise would sue over the claims. The publishers said they "stood by" the book. Morton is notorious for his explosive book on the life of Princess Diana, first published in 1992. The man should be ashamed of himself Bert Fields He has since written about Monica Lewinsky, Madonna and the Beckhams, who tried to have their biography banned from British bookshelves. The celebrity couple eventually reached a confidential out-of-court settlement with the author, allowing the book to be published. But he remains an unpopular figure, with Bob Geldof calling him "loathsome" and Madonna admitting she was "angry" when he chose her as a subject. 'Hogwash' Morton revealed Princess Diana had collaborated on her biography Mr Fields said Cruise had no plans to read Morton's latest book, which claims that Nicole Kidman feared she would be barred from seeing her children if she spoke out about Scientology after her divorce from the Mission Impossible actor. Kidman's spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment, but Mr Fields said the allegations were "absolute hogwash". "The man should be ashamed of himself and so should his publisher," said Mr Fields. "He pretends to be writing a biography without ever talking to anybody who has really known Tom for the past 30 years." "Clearly the book is actionable, but I'm not commenting on anything to do with legal issues." In a brief statement, publishers St Martin's Press said: "We stand by our book and our author."