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Friday, 20 September, 2002, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Cruise and Kidman sue over ad
US actors Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise
Kidman and Cruise divorced last year
Former Hollywood couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman have joined forces to sue a luxury beauty products retailer for allegedly implying the two actors backed its goods.

Cruise and Kidman, who divorced in 2001, filed their $15m (£9.6m) case in Los Angeles on Thursday against the US subsidiary of French luxury goods retailer Sephora.

They claim advertisements put out by the company in 2001 gave the misleading impression that they "used, preferred, endorsed or sponsored Sephora products".

In the advertisement, Cruise and Kidman were pictured alongside text reading: "Tom and Nicole - The red carpet glamour of Hollywood's royal couple never fails to leave us with eyes wide open."

A representative for the company in New York refused to comment on the actors' legal action.

Nicole Kidman wins a Golden Globe for Moulinn Rouge
Nicole Kidman won a Golden Globe for Moulin Rouge

The advertisement referred to in the case said it would give the "l'eau down on celebrity sweethearts" to help pick appropriate Valentine's Day gifts.

Cruise and Kidman claim the unauthorised use of their image for the advert had made them "involuntary models without pay".

They add that had they truly endorsed the company's products, they "would have been paid a very large sum of money".

They are seeking damages for violation of the Lanham Act, a US law designed to protect against trademark infringement and unfair competition such as false advertising.

The stars also want punitive damages "considering the vast wealth and income of Sephora and its owner".

Wealth

Sephora is owned by the French conglomerate Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, makers of world renown designer luggage and clothes.

It has more than 70 stores in the US and sells on the internet and by mail order.

Cruise and Kidman ended their 10-year marriage in February 2001. Cruise filed for divorce, claiming "irreconcilable differences".

Tom Cruise in Minority Report
Tom Cruise's most recent hit was Minority Report

Together they were considered one of the movie world's most happy, glamorous and powerful couples and their separation was greeted with shock.

The two have since avoided being seen with, or near, each other at media events.

Cruise, the star of hit films such as Mission Impossible, The Firm and Minority Report, was once top of the celebrity rich list, issued each year by analysts Forbes, having earned $43m ($29m) in 2000.

But in 2002, his position dropped to 100. Meanwhile, Kidman entered at number 27 after earning $15m (£10m).

Kidman's career has taken off since her divorce, with movies including Moulin Rouge and The Others. She also had a number one single in the UK with Robbie Williams, a cover of classic duet Something Stupid.

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