One of Hollywood’s highest-profile romances has come to an end after Katie Holmes announced she is to divorce Tom Cruise.
The actress took many by surprise, and reportedly Cruise himself, when she announced last night that the couple’s marriage had come to an end after almost six years.
The 33-year-old’s lawyer issued a statement confirming that the mother-of-one had filed for divorce.
“This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family,” Holmes' representative Jonathan Wolfe said.
“Katie's primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter's best interest.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Cruise, who is currently filming in Iceland, indicated that the split was his third wife’s initiation.
“Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children,” a statement said.
“Please allow them their privacy to work this out.”
According to unconfirmed Press reports, Holmes filed documents in New York this week citing “irreconcilable differences”.
Entertainment website TMZ claimed to have documentation showing that Holmes would be applying for sole custody of their six-year-old daughter Suri.
She has asked for legal custody, primary residential custody and a “suitable amount” of child support from her 49-year-old husband, it said.
TMZ also reported that Holmes, who rose to fame in US television drama Dawson’s Creek, has asked for the division of their property.
It said no mention of their pre-nuptial agreement is mentioned in the documents.
While the couple have not been photographed together much in recent months, Hollywood A lister Cruise gave no hint of trouble in the relationship when he did an interview with People magazine in the US last month.
He told an interviewer he loved Holmes’ “creativity” and claimed their relationship was “very special”.
“She is an extraordinary person, and if you spent five minutes with her, you'd see it,” he said.
“Everything she does, she does with this beautiful creativity. She has a voice and warmth as an artist, as a mother. She's funny and charming and when she walks into the room, I just feel better.”
The star added: “I'm a romantic. I like doing things like creating romantic dinners and she enjoys that. I don't know what to say — I'm just happy, and I have been since the moment I met her. What we have is very special.”
Cruise has been married twice before — to actresses Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman, with whom he adopted two children Connor (17) and Isabella (19).
The couple are worth around $275m — much of that owing to Cruise’s box office success.
A-list relationship played out in media glare
Tom Cruise was instantly smitten by Katie Holmes when he first met her — and wanted the world to know.
The couple met and began dating in 2005, prompting Cruise to make several public expressions of love for the younger actress — most notably the ‘couch’ moment on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
In an interview which spawned the expression ‘jumping the couch’ (going completely overboard), Cruise stunned his host and millions of viewers when he leapt up and down on Oprah’s sofa while sharing his love for Holmes.
“I can't be cool. I can't be laid-back. Something happened and I want to celebrate it,” he declared.
The actress, then best known for her turn in teen-angst drama Dawson’s Creek, shot into the headlines as the loved-up pair embarked on a series of cringeworthy public displays of kissing.
Just months after meeting TomKat, as they had been dubbed by the media, announced they were expecting a baby and their daughter Suri arrived in April 2006.
They kept the infant out of the spotlight for five months before debuting her on the cover of Vanity Fair, which went on to become one of the biggest-selling editions in the magazine’s history.
Cruise proposed at the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the couple were married on November 18, 2006. The lavish Scientology ceremony was hosted at the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy, and was attended by many Hollywood stars. Holmes had previously converted to the controversial Church of Scientology which her husband is a high-profile member of.
Cruise is currently filming Oblivion in Iceland while his wife has been looking after their daughter at their home in New York in recent weeks.