The 33-year-old actress Katie has lodged papers in New York blaming “irreconcilable differences” for scuppering her five-year marriage to the Hollywood heart-throb.Sources claim Top Gun star Tom, 49, was “blindsided” by the move — and that Katie’s uncompromising bid for sole custody of six-year-old daughter Suri shows the "nastiness" behind the split, source Daily Sun.
Katie's lawyer Jonathan Wolfe said of the split: "This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family.
"Katie's primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter's best interest."
A source close to screen idol Tom — also dad to two adopted children — said he "did not see this coming".
Actor Tom, who stars in the film as outlandish singer Stacee Jaxx, walked the red carpet alone and told reporters his wife had business to attend to in China and couldn't change her schedule.
The couple have not been seen together since April.
Tom — previously wed to actresses Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman — has been in Iceland filming upcoming movie Oblivion while Katie, still wearing her wedding ring, and Suri have been in New York.
The actor is now preparing to spend his 50th birthday on Tuesday with son Connor.
Tom’s dedication to the Scientology religion is reported to have put a strain on the couple’s relationship.
The actor is worth an estimated £160million and the split is likely to spark one of the biggest divorce battles in Hollywood history.
As recently as May, Tom was hailing his “special” relationship with Katie as he promoted Rock of Ages.
He told Playboy magazine: “She is an extraordinary person, and if you spent five minutes with her, you’d see it. Everything she does, she does with this beautiful creativity.
“When she becomes interested in something, she doesn’t talk about it — she does it. I’m a romantic. I like doing things like creating romantic dinners, and she enjoys that.
“I’m just happy, and have been since the moment I met her. What we have is very special. She has a voice and warmth as an artist, as a mother.” The couple met in April 2005 when Tom flew Katie from New York to Los Angeles on his private jet.
It is said he suggested it was a business meeting, but that all along he had designs on the pretty young actress, who was previously known for her role as tomboy Joey Potter in hit TV series Dawson’s Creek.
Cocktail hunk Tom was Katie’s teen pin-up and she later admitted having had his poster on her bedroom wall.
A whirlwind romance followed and they were engaged by the summer. In November of 2005 Tom famously bounced on the couch on Oprah Winfrey’s chat show as he declared his love.
Suri was born in April 2006 and her parents — dubbed TomKat — wed seven months later at a medieval castle outside Rome. Jennifer Lopez and pals David and Victoria Beckham were among celebrity guests.