In an attempt to quash rumors about his sexual orientation, the actor filed a $100 million lawsuit in May against a self-described "erotic wrestler" who allegedly claimed he had an affair with Cruise. Cruise's lawyer, Bert Fields, told E! Online the actor was sick of the gay rumors. "He's not gay, and he's ready to prove this in court," the attorney said.
But the show will apparently not go on. Gay porn star Chad Slater, the object of Cruise's ire, now says he has filed court papers defaulting on the lawsuit--effectively admitting defeat--and is willing to file for bankruptcy should Cruise's lawyers pursue the case.
Slater, whose nom de porn is Kyle Bradford, was quoted in the French publication Actustar that he had an ongoing affair with Cruise, and that Nicole Kidman walked in on them during a "romantic encounter," prompting the couple to split up. The story was translated and later repeated in the Spanish-language magazine TVyNovelas.
Shortly after an infuriated Cruise slapped him with the suit, Slater issued a statement saying he "never said any of the statements allegedly said by me." Actustar reportedly printed a retraction and TVyNovelas said it was victimized by a translation error.
Now, Slater, whose film credits include The Cockpit Club and Forced to Submit, tells E! News Daily that even though he believes he's been unfairly targeted, he didn't want to put himself or his family through a potentially humiliating trial and the requisite media circus (he feared Court TV might air the proceedings).
"I never met him and never really wanted to. I just want put an end to it. My family was hurt deeply. To turn on the TV and see that your son is an adult entertainer, which you didn't know, and secondly, your son is being sued by Tom Cruise for $100 million, that's a lot to take," says Slater, 33, who adds he has abandoned his porn career.
He also says he just plain can't afford to battle with Cruise and his well-heeled legal machine and will file for bankruptcy if Cruise pursues the case.
"The only thing I would say to Mr. Cruise is, if you knew what your lawyers were doing you should have put a stop to it. Once Actustar magazine said I never did this and it was a rumor, you should have put and end to it."
As for Cruise, Ricardo Cestero, a member of the actor's legal team says, "We have the right now to obtain a judgment against Mr. Slater." However, Cestero wouldn't comment on how the actor would proceed against Slater.
"We are going forward with the lawsuit against Mr. Slater's ex-wife," Cestero adds.
Last month, Cruise expanded his lawsuit against Slater to include the erotic wrestler's ex-wife, Kristina Ann Kirstin. In a four-page amendment, the star accuses her of trying to sell a fake story to the National Enquirer. The next court hearing is set for December 4.
Meanwhile, Cruise launched another $100 million lawsuit in June against a man named Michael Davis, who allegedly sent emails to at least a dozen media outlets, claiming he had a videotape proving Cruise is gay. Cruise's suit calls Davis's claims "unequivocally false" and claims the emails were sent "in order to hurt [Cruise] and to gain widespread publicity for himself."
And, in case anyone wasn't paying attention, the celeb, once again asserts that he's not gay.
(updated 8/30/01 at 11:45 a.m. PT)