After five years, one daughter and countless red-carpet appearances, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are divorcing. "This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family," Katie's attorney, Jonathan Wolfe, said. "Katie's primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter's best interest."
There's no question that Katie adores her 6-year-old daughter Suri, and custody issues will be at the heart of the divorce proceedings. With a total net worth of $275 million - including estates in Telluride and Beverly Hills, a luxurious airplane Aviat and over-the-top cars like a Bugatti Veyron and Porsche - assets will also be an issue despite a prenup that states Katie gets $3 million for every year of marriage.
Tom has long been one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, with Oscar nominations for Jerry Maguire, Magnolia and Born On the Fourth of July. Yet his two previous marriages, to Nicole Kidman and Mimi Rogers, both ended in divorce.
"Sadly, the world has been anticipating this divorce almost since the marriage was announced," Sam Saboura, a stylist who has worked with Jennifer Aniston, told IFT. "Katie was once America's sweetheart. Now it's time for an image overhaul."
When Katie married Tom in 2006, fans were shocked. With a 17-year age difference, Katie was a relatively unknown actress. Though beloved on the teen hit Dawson's Creek, she was young and inexperienced.
"Katie put her career on hold and allowed Tom to make critical choices to her detriment," said Saboura. "Most notably her passing on The Dark Knight, which has become one of the biggest and most respected film franchises in the world." One of the only films to ever pass the $500-million mark, The Dark Knight became a cult phenomenon throughout the country.
Divorce attorneys see this story often. One spouse will put a career or interest on hold to support the other. "One or both parties often sacrifice their own interest to further the greater interest of their family," Mario Alex Joseph, a N.Y. divorce attorney who represents clients in the political, film and music industries, said. "There's no guarantee that being ex-Mrs. Cruise will enhance her career."
The good news? Katie's a mom. And moms get child support. "Whatever Katie lost by way of business opportunities, she will likely receive in the form of child support," Joseph added. "After all, isn't Tom still box-office gold?"
Celebrity stylist Lindsay Albanese, who has often attended spin class with Katie at Sports Club LA., said: "Katie was undoubtedly unknown to the public before Tom, and the marriage thrust her into the public eye. But she always carried herself with sophistication and grace without exploiting their marriage."
At 26, Katie idolized Tom. "I've found the man of my dreams," she told W Magazine after their opulent Italian wedding. "I was blown away. He's the most incredible man. He's so generous and kind, and he helps so many people, and, um, he makes me laugh like I've never laughed."
Katie may not be laughing now, but if she keeps her cool, says Albanese, she will fare well in the public eye. "I think the public will be rooting for her."
Saboura agrees. "The industry will embrace her again," he said, "once she regains her self confidence and stops living in Tom's heavy shadow."