Tom Cruise earned a legal victory in his lawsuit against a porn actor who had allegedly claimed an affair with the leading man, but he may face a mission impossible in collecting the $10 million judgment against the defendant. Reuters reports that a Los Angeles judge handed down the ruling against Chad Slater in December, though Cruise’s legal team revealed the decision only yesterday. Even Cruise, who is in New Zealand filming ”The Last Samurai,” had yet to be informed of his victory, his lawyer, Bert Fields, told E!
Cruise filed the $100 million suit in May 2001 after the French magazine Actustar quoted Chad Slater, who has acted in gay porn films under the name Kyle Bradford, as claiming he’d had an affair with Cruise. (Cruise filed a second $100 million suit that summer against magazine publisher Michael Davis, who claimed he had videotapes of Cruise engaging in gay sex, offering them for sale to media outlets. Cruise dropped that suit after Davis dropped his claim and publicly asserted that Cruise was not gay.) Although Slater issued a statement saying he’d never made the remarks attributed to him, and Actustar printed a retraction, Cruise pursued the suit. That August, Slater filed papers defaulting on the suit, effectively conceding and making it likely that he’d have to file for bankruptcy in the event of a judgment against him. At the time, he explained to E! that he didn’t want to put himself or his family through the humiliation of a trial. ”I never met him and never really wanted to,” he said of Cruise. ”I just want put an end to it.” Slater has not commented on the ruling.
Fields acknowledged to E! that collecting any money from Slater would be ”difficult,” and that Cruise would donate any damages to charity. Still, Fields said, he he hoped the case ”deters people from saying false things about Tom. Tom feels strongly that he doesn’t want his kids or his grandkids, for that matter, to read about the fact that he did things he never did so whenever anybody says false things about Tom he’s going to go after them. He has the will and the means to do it..”