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Here's to Katie Holmes' dad

July 7, 2012 - Andrea Johnson
I can't take my eyes away from the train wreck that is the Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise divorce. So far I think Katie Holmes' dad, Martin Holmes, ought to be given the title for most Machiavellian lawyer of the year. Maybe he'll even deserve a Father of the Year award when this is done.

Mr. Holmes, 67, is a Toledo, Ohio divorce attorney whom colleagues, at least the ones quoted in the news articles in People, seem to think is more than a little hard-nosed. Katie is the baby of a family of five children educated in Catholic schools.

Martin Holmes is the guy being credited with several smart moves on Katie's part: filing for divorce and sole custody of her 6-year-old daughter in New York, a state that favors sole custody, instead of California, which favors joint custody; changing her cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses and firing everybody who had a connection to Tom Cruise and Scientology; keeping on such good terms with Cruise until D-Day that Cruise was supposedly blindsided. Even the paparazzi who follow Katie Holmes everywhere will serve a useful purpose, since the photos they've taken of her and daughter Suri can help her establish that they're residents of New York and that Katie has been the child's primary caregiver.

Normally I might feel bad for anyone about to divorce and fight a custody battle, but the Church of Scientology sounds like it has some particularly dangerous child-rearing practices, including cutting kids off from parents who have left the Church and convincing the kids that their unbeliever parents are sociopaths. Many Scientologist children graduate high school with lots of holes in their education. Plenty of people are calling the outfit a cult. Ex-Scientologists in another publication claim they've been feeding Martin Holmes information about the Church of Scientology since his daughter's marriage five years ago. I would be willing to make an educated guess that Mr. Holmes' "Operation Free Katie" has been percolating in the back of his crafty lawyer's mind since at least 2007, even if he did make nice with Tom Cruise.

An article in today's Daily Beast calls Katie Holmes "a little bit diabolical" and predicts she'll win because of her smart moves. No, I'd say the diabolical fellow is her dad. I hope everyone who deserves it is lucky enough to have someone like Mr. Holmes guarding their back.


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