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August 6, 2012 Cover story for In Touch Magazine, “Suri Takes Sides: I Want to Live with Daddy.”

August 6, 2012 Cover story for In Touch Magazine, “Suri Takes Sides: I Want to Live with Daddy.”

What is wrong with the media that it capitalizes on how divorce is affecting a 6-year old child?

This past week, inTouch ran a cover story that put words in the mouth of a child about which parent she wants to live with after their divorce. Regardless of her parents’ fame, Suri Cruise should not have to choose — nor should anyone, particularly the media, force her to do so.

Putting a little, vulnerable girl on the cover of a magazine with a caption, “I want to live with Daddy” is inappropriate, vulgar and gives the false impression that courts and parents should allow children to choose which parent to live with.

This cover story and article to follow represent everything that family lawyers detest: effects of divorce on children.

“This isn’t going to end any time soon,” Us Weekly reporter Jennifer Peros told ABCNews.com. “Things can get really messy.”

The In Touch August 6, 2012 article details the three things that Daddy did to win over his daughter: Tom Crusie gave her piles of gifts, he took her to a superstar Steven Spielberg’s estate and he treated her to an adventure on a helicopter ride to the Hamptons.

In contrast, generally Katie Holmes is often pictured in a more pedestrian middle-class style: trips to the zoo, museum, and ice cream parlors. Katie Holmes recently told the media that she advocates (gasp!) chores in her home for Suri.

Suri Story 2The newest update putting more hurtful words in Suri’s mouth is featured in this week’s In Touch, August 20, 2012 article. It says, “Forgetting Mommy Already?” picturing a happy Suri swimming a pool with Cruise, with a subtitle “Katie’s in pieces as Tom plots a new custody battle and bribes Suri with a dream vacation to Disney World.”

Once again: BOO! thumbs down! “unlike” for In Touch!

This magazine shamelessly weighs in on a topic that should be forbidden. While nobody holds the gossip magazines to the standards of journalistic excellence, they do influence the conversation about divorce, custody and co-parenting. I wish that media professionals would stop speaking for Suri when she has no legitimate, official voice, and that the trash mags would find a new scandal of a non-minor.

While we all agree that Suri will already be exposed to “adult conversations” about divorce, she should be shielded from seeing her face and her parents’ divorce splashed across magazines and newspapers. Most importantly, at the tender age of six, she should never have to be subjected to a public debate about which of her parents should be her primary custodian.