Tom Cruise, Suri Cruise

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Tom Cruise's relationship with daughter Suri is once again making headlines.

In October, the Mission: Impossible star sued the publisher of Life & Style and In Touch Weekly for defamation over stories claiming he had "abandoned" his and Katie Holmes' 6-year-old daughter. But on Friday, Bauer Publishing Co. fired back against Cruise's $50 million lawsuit.

Per Bauer's response obtained by E! News, the publisher says its reporting is "substantially true," adding that the mags "do not assert verifiably false facts, and/or constitute rhetorical hyperbole or subjective statements of opinion."

Cruise's lawyer Bert Fields told E! News, however: "The Bauer magazines said that Tom 'abandoned' his child. That is unequivocally false, malicious and libelous."

The company filed its response to Cruise's defamation suit in U.S. District Court in California, asserting the company is not liable for damages because "some or all of the allegedly defamatory statements complained of by plaintiff are true or substantially true."

Bauer also adds that the 50-year-old actor "cannot prove that he has suffered any compensable damage as a result of any actionable statement published by the Bauer Defendants," and that he is "a public figure and the Bauer Defendants did not act with actual malice."

Shortly after Cruise filed his lawsuit in October, his lawyer, Bert Fields, told E! News in a statement, "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."

Requests for comment from Bauer were not immediately returned.

(Originally published Dec. 17, 2012, at 7:03 a.m. PT)

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