updated 11/07/2013 AT 6:40 PM ET
•originally published 11/07/2013 AT 7:10 PM ET
In a deposition taken in Los Angeles on Sept. 9 (a transcript of which was filed publicly), Cruise was questioned by Elizabeth McNamara, the lawyer for Bauer Publishing, which Cruise is suing for $50 million over an In Touch cover story claiming he “abandoned” Suri after his June 2012 divorce from Holmes.
Cruise acknowledged that he didn’t see Suri, 7½, in person for more than 100 days, from Aug. 4, 2012, when they wrapped up a weeklong father-daughter vacation to Disney World, until that Thanksgiving.
“Unfortunately in this situation it was impossible” with his intense filming schedule in London on the sci-fi thriller All You Need Is Kill, Cruise said.
Cruise said he phoned Suri nearly every day, though agreed that phone calls are a poor substitute for seeing a child in person. Talking to a young child on the phone, “you have to work at it. I’ve gotten very good at it. I tell wonderful stories,” he said. “I also find that, you know, Suri is a very happy child, and confident, and has a good sense of herself.”
Cruise didn’t travel to New York City for Suri’s first day of school that September due to his work schedule and concerns about the media attention, he said, adding that Suri had never brought it up.
“If she had asked me to be there, I would have been there,” he said. “I would have worked it out in any way I could.” He said he also couldn’t leave the “grueling” movie shoot when Holmes later suggested he come to New York in October, and other times the exes couldn’t work out scheduling for a visit.