Not entirely. Though Holmes’ rep issued a statement Tuesday announcing the actress had filed a libel lawsuit against Star‘s publisher, American Media Inc., after the magazine printed a cover story “falsely suggesting that she is a drug addict,” the story itself doesn’t outright label Holmes as a drug addict. At least not inside the magazine. The cover, however, is emblazoned with a headline that gives Holmes’ lawsuit some heft: “Katie Drug Shocker!” On the cover is also a small chip: “Addiction Nightmare.” Inside, the story suggests Holmes might be addicted to Scientology’s well-documented e-meter “auditing,” a treatment that, according to Star, gives church-goers a natural high. But nowhere does the cover clarify that Star is referring to Holmes alleged e-meter use, something noted duly by the actress’ lawyer, Bert Fields. “Star magazine’s malicious claims about Katie are untrue, unethical, and unlawful,” Fields said in a statement released Tuesday. “Not only do they cruelly defame Katie, they play a cheap trick on the public, making ridiculously false claims on the cover unsupported by anything inside. Someone should bring a class action to get all buyers their money back.” (American Media, Inc., is sticking to Star‘s story in a statement released Tuesday in response to the suit: “The physical effect of the e-meter on its users is a matter of significant public concern and we plan to vigorously defend the suit filed by Ms. Holmes. Many ex-scientologists have testified that the e-meter sessions have mood elevating effects. The cover and the inside article discuss these effects.”)
Even though Star‘s piece never absolutely calls the actress a drug addict, the article is, however, crafty about its word choice, using terminology to describe Holmes’ alleged e-meter usage that normally is associated with drug addicts. Written by Melissa Cronin, Tim Plant, Jennifer Pearson, and Lynn Allison, the story claims Holmes is “trapped in a cycle of addictive treatments,” which leave its subjects with “a temporary feeling of euphoria, followed by a crash and craving for more.” Then there’s this line in the story: “Several former Scientologists and experts have stepped forward to make a shocking claim to Star: Katie’s battery of Scientology treatments have an effect similar to heroin!” (Yet, the article’s most damning evidence is an ex-Scientologist comparing “auditing” to Percocet and a medical expert explaining how the endorphins triggered from an e-meter are a natural form of painkiller.) Not hard to believe that some readers wouldn’t be able to distinguish between the two. After all, even if Holmes raised her endorphin levels via an unconventional method, isn’t she receiving the same natural high we get from spin class? Sorry readers, the only “Drug Shocker” you’ll get reading Star‘s cover story… is that Star has presented no evidence that Holmes is addicted to drugs at all.