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Tom Cruise wins wiretapping lawsuit

Actor Tom Cruise attends the 'Jack Reacher' press conference in Seoul, South Korea.
(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)

On this past Monday, when a Los Angeles judge dismissed a lawsuit that had been filed against actor Tom Cruise and his attorney Bert Fields, the star and his lawyer won a significant legal victory.

Judge Elihu Berle decided in favor of Cruise’s motion for a summary judgment against former Bold magazine editor Michael Davis Sapir, who had filed the now-dismissed lawsuit back in 2009, claiming that the celebrity and his attorney had hired high-profile Hollywood detective Anthony Pellicano to investigate him. Pellicano himself was convicted of racketeering and wiretapping a while back.

In the recent ruling, Judge Berle determined that the statute of limitations prohibited Sapir's suit from proceeding, noting that in 2003 Sapir had been exposed to news reports about Pellicano that alerted the editor, and because the news reports should have raised reasonable suspicions, Sapir had a duty to investigate further.

Sapir’s involvement with Cruise first began to surface in the news media years ago, when the magazine editor offered a $500,000 reward for evidence that the actor was gay. Bold magazine had asserted that it had video proof in its possession that Cruise was involved in a homosexual relationship.

Cruise responded in June 2001 by filing a $100 million defamation lawsuit over the alleged video. Then, in November 2001, the case was settled for an undisclosed amount, and both parties to the suit stated that the actor was not on any videotape in the magazine’s possession.

In the now-dismissed lawsuit, Sapir had alleged that wiretapping had taken place prior to the November settlement, due to his magazine’s claims about Cruise’s sexual preferences. The suit additionally alleged that Pellicano had tapped phone conversations between Sapir and his attorney in which the two were discussing the actor’s defamation lawsuit.

In the recent summary judgment granted to Cruise and Fields, the underlying lawsuit alleged that the FBI had recovered a file from Pellicano's offices bearing the label “Michael Davis matter,” and additionally a computer file designated “Bold,” the contents of which Sapir claimed served as evidence for his allegations.

Sapir had also claimed in the suit that Pellicano had recorded conversations between Cruise and actress Nicole Kidman, during a time frame in which the couple’s divorce proceedings were taking place.

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