The pair have signed a deal that awards Cruise visitation rights to six-year-old Suri, avoiding the long and bitter court battle predicted by the Hollywood rumour mill.

Speculation is rife that the unusually swift deal – signed an unprecedented 11 days after Holmes filed for divorce – was made to keep details about Cruise and Scientology out of the legal wrangling.

The controversial religion has been subject to a hail of bad publicity ever since Holmes initiated the split, with the majority of reports claiming Holmes was desperate to save Suri from the clutches of Scientology.

According to reports, the deal was struck after marathon talks over the weekend. It is claimed that former Dawson’s Creek star Holmes spent six hours in her lawyers’ office in Manhattan on Saturday, leaving around 6pm with what The Sun newspaper called “a barely disguised grin”.

It is understood that Holmes will receive a relatively modest £10m from Cruise on top of her personal wealth of £15m. Suri will live with Holmes, but Cruise will have visitation rights.

A source said of the quick deal: “[Cruise] has gone quietly.”

A joint statement from the couple appeared to confirm that religion played a key part in the split, saying: “We want to express our respect for each other’s commitment to each of our respective beliefs.”

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