Tom Cruise's legal battle against In Touch celebrity gossip magazine and Life & Style publisher Bauer Publishing Co. has been ordered to private mediation, according to papers filed in U.S. District Court in Central California on Friday. The settlement conference is non-binding, reports TheWrap.
A motion filed last month indicated that the case would move to private mediation if the suit wasn't settled 45 days prior to the final pretrial conference. Cruise filed his $50 million defamation lawsuit against Bauer in October, claiming that Life & Style and In Touch said he had abandoned his daughter, Suri, following his split from wife Katie Holmes.
As reported last month by TheWrap, Cruise's legal team said that it expected to seek discovery relating to Bauer's alleged "history of bigotry and hatred toward minority religious groups and their members" — presumably, in reference to Cruise's membership in the Church of Scientology.
Attorneys for Bauer said that they would likely seek discovery for the "role, if any, that Plaintiff's membership in the Church of Scientology played in his decisions regarding his visitation and communications with Suri Cruise after his separation and divorce."