Tom Cruise set to sue over Andrew Morton book

Tom Cruise is no stranger to scientology. Andrew Morton's books are equally likely to cause controversy. However the suggestions Morton puts forward in 'Tom Cruise: An Unauthorised Biography' have upset Cruise, who it claims was the No.2 in Scientology, to the extent that he is reported to be suing Morton's publishers, St Martin's Press for some $50m.

Morton has produced books on Diana, Monika Lewinsky and Posh & Becks but this latest compilation has been derided for having been penned without reference to any of the relevant protagonists and inventing facts. If true, this seems unlikely to deter publishers from releasing it in the US on January 15th but it may not make its way into bookshops in the UK so soon as English libel law places a more onerous test on publishers than does US law. If released in the UK publishers would have to prove that what has been written is true, while in the US the emphasis is more on the defamatory effect than the veracity of that which is printed.

So we may have to wait to read about Morton's speculation that Cruise was trying to recruit Posh and Becks to scientology (though a fly-on-the-wall documentary about the attempts to convert them would make for great reality tv). When it comes to defending their 'belief' or what many would term as 'cult', scientologists are quick to retaliate and litigate. The most celebrated recent investigation into scientology made the headlines in the UK after investigative journalist John Sweeney 'lost it' and gave them a taste of their own 'mind control' methods.

So, having witnessed what can happen when one asks a question too many, Morton and his publishers will need to work out if the potential legal action will be worth the profits from publication.

More on the content of the Morton book from the Daily Mail

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