Earlier today, Fox News and TMZ ran a story with the inflammatory headline “Tom Cruise: My work is as hard as fighting in Afghanistan.” It’s a great, inflammatory headline, and it has been posted all over Facebook.
The problem is it’s not true. You shouldn’t be surprised even for a second that TMZ (or Fox News for that matter) would expand on the truth a little bit, but here are the hard facts: Tom Cruise never said that his work was as hard as fighting in Afghanistan. The statement that TMZ and Fox are reporting on was made during a deposition – Cruise is suing a publishing company for defamation, because they said he “abandoned” his daughter during and after his divorce from Katie Holmes. As a part of that deposition, Tom Cruise’s lawyers compared his filming schedule to being deployed over-seas. Here’s the actual series of quotes from the deposition, which is available online for anyone interested.
Lawyer: Now, your counsel has publicly equated your absence from Suri for these extended periods of time as being analogous to someone fighting in Afghanistan. Are you aware of that?
Mr. Fields (Tom Cruise’s lawyer): Object to the form of the question, you may answer.
Tom Cruise: I didn’t hear the Afghanistan, but that’s what it feels like, and certainly on this last movie, it was brutal.
Lawyer: Do you believe that the situations are the same?
Cruise: Oh come on, you know, we’re making a movie.
So, the actual facts are: Lawyer says to Tom Cruise that Cruise’s lawyers have compared his absence from Suri to being in Afghanistan, Tom Cruise says he didn’t hear the Afghanistan part, but yes being away from your daughter for a long time does suck.
The story kind of changes when you actually have the facts, doesn’t it? Too bad Fox News and TMZ weren’t interested in doing any actual reporting. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am disappointed at how gleefully people have jumped on this without bothering to do the least bit of fact checking at all.