Publishing executives fire back at Tom Cruise defamation lawsuit

US publishing bosses are standing by their reports suggesting Tom Cruise abandoned his daughter Suri following his summer divorce from Katie Holmes, insisting their allegations are "substantially true".

The Hollywood superstar launched a £31.3 million defamation lawsuit against Bauer Publishing Co. in October after taking issue with an article printed in Life & Style magazine about his six-year-old girl.

Cruise vehemently refuted claims and blasted editors for allegedly making false statements about his relationship with the tot, his only child with Holmes, who he split from in late June.

At the time, his lawyer Bert Fields said, "Tom is a caring father who dearly loves Suri. She's a vital part of his life and always will be. To say he has 'abandoned' her is a vicious lie. To say it in lurid headlines with a tearful picture of Suri is reprehensible.

"Tom doesn't go around suing people. He's not a litigious guy. But when these sleaze peddlers try to make money with disgusting lies about his relationship with his child, you bet he's going to sue."

However, Bauer bosses have defended their Life & Style writers and have fired back at the lawsuit in the US District Court in California on Friday.

In documents obtained by TheWrap.com, executives for the German-owned firm claim they are not liable for damages because "some or all of the allegedly defamatory statements complained of by the plaintiff are true or substantially true".

The papers go on to state that the actor "cannot prove that he has suffered any compensable damage as a result of any actionable statement published by the Bauer Defendants", and insist "the Bauer Defendants did not act with actual malice".

If the Mission: Impossible star wins the suit, Cruise plans on donating the money to charity.