Six Reasons Bitter Lawyers Should Love Tom Cruise:
In lean times, Tom Cruise may be the Top Gun client the legal profession needs most. He’s rich. He’s litigious. And he’s fearless when it comes to taking on his enemies, which is why lawyers should be falling all over themselves to get that couch-jumping thespian anything he damn well pleases. Or, at the very least, they should go see his next movie, Valkyrie, and chalk it up to business development.
Two words—billable hours.
Google the terms “Tom Cruise” and “lawyer” and you’ll get more than 2 million results. Bernie Madoff coupled with “lawyer” only gets 1.7 million results. Sure, Madoff will keep the lawyers busy, but when he’s done, they’re done. With Cruise, the litigation gravy train will never end.
Case in point: Cruise’s latest film. Even before Valkyrie has opened, Cruise had lawyers billing hours defending a multimillion dollar lawsuit filed by extras who worked on the film. But Cruise’s Christmas-time Nazi thriller is just the tip of the iceberg.
1. A Few Good Men
Lawyers secured $10 million for him in a default judgment against Chad Slater, a gay porn actor who claimed Cruise was a homosexual. But as we all know, Tom Cruise is not gay. He loves women. Very much. He talks about women more than Al Dickman. He knows more about women than Alex Hump. And he has a cute wife. So, once again for the record—Tom Cruise is straight. [BBC News]
2. Risky Business
The Beast of Buffalo, New York (not to be confused with The Daily Beast) named Cruise No. 39 on its annual list of the 50 Most Loathsome People. In what must have been an orgy of hot wings and legal research, Cruise’s lawyers put together a cease and desist letter that succeeded only in getting the paper a little television press on Celebrity Justice. [Buffalo Beast]
3. Born on the Fourth of July
You’ll say nothing, and like it. That was the gist of a cease and desist letter sent by Cruise’s lawyers to Petit Tresor, a baby store where Cruise and wife Katie Holmes may (or may not) have spent $400,000 on clothes for their baby, Suri. Yes, he really put his lawyers on a baby store. [New York Daily News]
4. Daze of Thunder
Tom Cruise didn’t sue the makers of a strain of medical marijuana dubbed “Tom Cruise Purple” that bore his likeness and promised a high that was, well, shall we say, crazy like Cruise. But the actor did hash out the pros and cons of ordering his legal team to light up the pot peddlers, according to published reports. So why didn’t Cruise file a claim demanding that the company refrain from bogarting his name? Probably because chronic litigation would only have helped his adversaries. [Fox News]
5. War of the Words
Here’s an oral argument tip you can take to the bank—the first party to successfully paint their adversary as someone who even remotely resembles a Nazi (no matter how odd or vague the claim appears to be) will most certainly win in the court of public opinion. Such was the tactic employed by Cruise lawyer Bert Fields, who compared Dr. Drew Pinsky to Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels after the good doctor had the bad sense to speculate about the actor’s mental health. [Fox News]
6. Interview with the Vampire
The Church of Scientology brought out the big guns after Gawker posted a video interview of the actor that was quickly popularized by a Jerry O’Connell parody. The suit didn’t suppress the video, but all lawyers should at least admire the attempt, which was based on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s belief that, “The purpose of a lawsuit is to harass and discourage rather than to win.” [Gawker.com]
Check out other lists, tallies and scores to settle in Bitter by Numbers.