Is Katie as sweet as she's depicted?
The Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes divorce is an old-fashioned Hollywood split between star and starlet with dramatic issues of religion, money and child custody thrown in, making it a boon to the celebrity news industry.
Thus far, Holmes is winning the media battle.
Since she filed for divorce on June 28, Holmes has been portrayed with overwhelmingly more sympathy. Whether true or not, the narrative that's emerged is of a locked-away Holmes breaking free from servitude .
US Weekly has reported that the couple "fought viciously" over Scientology parenting. The Daily News has trumpeted Holmes as entering "a new phase". A TMZ headline blared: "Tom treated me like a robot."
That might also be the most convenient view of a relationship that even at its start spawned "Free Katie!" T-shirts.
Cruise's camp has begun to deny vigorously such a reading. His lawyer, Bert Fields, has said they are letting "the other side play the media until they wear everyone out".
The Church of Scientology doesn't want to be portrayed as the schism between the couple.
As the divorce plays out, speculation will intensify.
"It's not entirely certain that it's all about Rapunzel fleeing the castle, which is the motif that people love to use," said Larry Hackett, managing editor of People magazine, which broke the news of the divorce.
And even being a "good girl" can have consequences.
If Holmes makes enough trips to the grocery store, said celebrity publicist Howard Bragman, "The paparazzi will get over it and say, 'Oh she's boring,' and wait for Alec Baldwin to smack somebody."
- The couple signed a divorce agreement yesterday.