Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise: the way they were. (Getty Images)
Burning Question: It's been a year since Katie Holmes filed for divorce from Tom Cruise. Do we have a clear winner in that split yet? I say it's Katie. Husband says it's Tom. — Blazing R., Texas
It's neither. And I have proof.
Let's start with the numbers. If you look strictly at income, then, sure, your husband is right. Since Holmes first dropped the D-bomb on Cruise, the action star has released two globally popular films — "Jack Reacher" and "Oblivion." Together, those two movies have grossed nearly $500 million worldwide. It's no wonder that, industry-wise, Cruise is still considered one of the most bankable guys on the planet, with an Ulmer rating of about 97.
Personal income? I've got that too. Forbes has his current year-to-year earnings at $35 million — not shabby in the least. Sure, much of Cruise's box office is happening overseas, but so what? Money is money.
And speaking of money: Holmes has some too — not so much as Cruise, of course, having released nary a film since the split. But she has wrapped "Days and Nights," an adaptation of the classic play "The Seagull," featuring a powerhouse cast including William Hurt, Allison Janney and Michael "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" Nyqvist. That kind of gig probably won't do much for Holmes income-wise, not compared with Cruise's ridiculously high stacks of cash (estimates peg his personal fortune north of $250 million). But it does indicate that Hollywood is taking her seriously as an actress.
Perhaps more significantly, Holmes has been the face of Bobbi Brown cosmetics for months — an arrangement that may pay more than your typical arthouse movie gig. Women's Wear Daily estimates she's making between $2 million and $3 million for a multiyear deal.
And let's remember: As long as Cruise is doing well, Holmes is doing well, at least, in one department.
Suri Cruise walks! (Splash News)
"Whatever divorce settlement they reached, she gets a piece of his stardom, even if it's just in child support," family law attorney Steve Mindel tells me. "She benefits by his star shining."
Although the full financials details of their divorce were never publicly disclosed, Holmes reportedly collects about $400,000 annually from her ex in child support for their 7-year-old daughter, Suri. Those payments will continue until Suri turns 18 and ultimately amount to $4.8 million. (Holmes does not receive any direct spousal support, per their prenup.)
[Related: Katie Holmes Has Dinner With Gloria Steinem]
As for publicity, that win may go to Holmes, if just by a hair. Put it this way: There's no negative reporting going on right now with Cruise, Scientology-related or otherwise. Meanwhile, on Katie's end, she's currently shooting "Mania Days," a romance co-starring a very good-looking Luke Kirby. The result: Paparazzi are photographing her every on-screen smooch, raising her profile as a sexy leading lady without the slightest whiff of negativity or scandal.
"Her star is spotlessly clean," says Mindel.
All that said, the real winners in this split haven't been mentioned yet, Mindel says.
"Clearly the children have won" — including Connor and Isabella, Cruise's children with ex Nicole Kidman, along with Suri.
"Because they're all largely out of the press right now," Mindel explains. "Whatever agreement the parents reached, it was clearly good for the children because there isn't any current squabbling going on in the media."
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