Tom Cruise has confirmed that Katie Holmes left him partly because she wanted to protect their daughter from Scientology, as he admitted he did not see Suri for 110 days after the couple's divorce.
The Hollywood actor (51) gave a lengthy video-taped deposition as part of a $50m (€37m) legal case, in which he is suing two American magazines for defamation over claims that he "abandoned his seven-year-old daughter Suri" which he denies.
At the time of the couple's divorce in June last year, rumours suggested that Cruise's close involvement with the Church of Scientology was a factor in the break-up.
He has admitted that actress Holmes cited the religion as one of her reasons for wanting to end the marriage.
Asked by a lawyer for the magazines' publisher, Bauer, if Holmes left him partly to "protect" Suri from Scientology, Cruise said he found the question "offensive".
But he added: "Did she say that? That was one of the assertions, yes. There is no need to protect my daughter from my religion."
He said Suri no longer practised Scientology, and Holmes quit it when they divorced. He insisted the line of questioning by the lawyer showed "a lack of understanding and respect towards my religion".
Cruise called the allegations made in Life & Style and In Touch magazines "patently false". He said he had in "no way cut Suri out of my life – whether physically, emotionally, financially or otherwise".
He said in the deposition that he did not see his daughter for 110 days after the divorce. He added that it had been "impossible" to do so more often, and described how he had become "very good" at maintaining contact by phone and that Suri was a "very happy" and confident child.
Asked about whether he made time to fly to see Suri, Cruise said: "Listen, when there is a divorce – if you look at this also in terms of Suri coming to me and certain agreements that you have – when a divorce occurs, things change."
Cruise said he had not travelled to New York for Suri's first day of school in September last year due to work and concerns about media attention.
He said there had been other times when he and his former wife could not work out schedules.
"There are different agreements, like in any divorce, where you work out schedules. It's just a different set of circumstances," he said.
The defamation case is due to begin at a court in New York next year.