TOM Cruise and Katie Holmes have reached a private settlement in their divorce case, avoiding a full blown court battle and detailed exposure of the actor’s links to Scientology.

The remarkably swift deal, which both of them have signed, was concluded just 11 days after Holmes filed for divorce and followed marathon negotiations between two teams of lawyers over the weekend.

Cruise is thought to have been especially keen to avoid a drawn-out court case that could have highlighted details about him and Scientology. The controversial church has repeatedly been cited as a reason for the couple’s separation and it has faced a torrent of bad publicity in the past fortnight.

It is understood their six-year-old daughter Suri will live primarily with Holmes, but that Cruise will have generous visitation rights and be a full part of the child’s life.  On one visit to her lawyers’ offices in New York at the weekend Holmes spent six hours discussing the deal, which also includes a property settlement. Holmes is currently living in a three-bedroom apartment in New York with Suri, while Cruise is based primarily in Los Angeles with his two adopted children Connor, 17, and Bella, 19.