Threat of lawsuit if Tom Cruise book sold

21:38, Feb 17 2009
TOUGH STUFF: A controversial biography of film star Tom Cruise may not be sold in New Zealand.

Bookseller Dymocks will decide this week whether to follow its Australian counterpart and refuse to sell a controversial biography of actor and Scientology devotee Tom Cruise.

The Church of Scientology has threatened legal action against Andrew Morton – who also wrote Princess Diana's biography Diana: Her True Story – and described his book about the film star as a pack of lies.

Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography is due out in the United States tomorrow but will not be published in Britain because of tougher libel laws.

Cruise is one of the church's most high-profile and loyal members, and the book is seen by many members as an attack on its teachings.

Dymocks in Australia and another leading book retailer there will not sell the biography because of concerns about defamation.

In the book Morton alleges Nicole Kidman feared being blackmailed by the church if she spoke out against it after her failed 10-year marriage to Cruise.

He also says Cruise is the church's de facto second-in-command and that his next assignment is to recruit football star David Beckham and his wife, Victoria, to the church.

A spokesman for the publisher, St Martin's Press, said the company was standing by the book and the author.

Church of Scientology New Zealand spokesman Mike Ferris said the book was "pretty scurrilous" and the church would prefer that it not be distributed here.

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