just filed a $50 million lawsuit against Life & Style and In Touch magazines, claiming the mags defamed him by reporting he had abandoned 6-year-old Suri.
In the lawsuit, filed in L.A. federal court, Tom takes issue with the July 30th cover of Life & Style, which reads, "SURI IN TEARS, ABANDONED BY HER DAD" -- as well as the October 1st cover of In Touch, which shows a picture of Suri above the headline, "ABANDONED BY DADDY."
According to the suit, Tom claims the mags' headlines are FALSE -- insisting, he "loves his daughter dearly and would never abandon her."
Tom is suing for $50 million plus punitive damages for defamation and invasion of privacy.
In Touch and Life & Style are sister magazines owned by the same publishing company Bauer Publishing.
Cruise's lawyer, Bert Fields says:
"Tom is a caring father who dearly loves Suri. She's a vital part of his life and always will be. To say he has 'abandoned' her is a vicious lie. To say it in lurid headlines with a tearful picture of Suri is reprehensible."
Fields goes on: "Tom doesn't go around suing people. He's not a litigious guy. But when these sleaze peddlers try to make money with disgusting lies about his relationship with his child, you bet he's going to sue."
Fields goes on to bash the mags, saying, "These serial defamers are foreign owned companies with their global headquarters in Hamburg. They take money from unsuspecting Americans by selling their malicious garbage. Having to pay a libel judgment may slow them down."
Fields says any money Tom gets from the mags will go to charity.