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How Katie Holmes followed her own strategy on divorce

US actress Katie Holmes (L) leaves her lawyer's office New York City July 7 2012.  Katie Holmes has filed

US actress Katie Holmes (L) leaves her lawyer's office in New York City July 7, 2012. Katie Holmes has filed for divorce from her Hollywood A-list husband Tom Cruise, who has reportedly denied Scientologuy sparked the split. AFP PHOTO / MEHDI TAAMALLAHMEHDI TAAMALLAH/AFP/GettyImages

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Updated: August 12, 2012 6:38AM

As the dust settles on the Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes divorce, a number of details that are worth sharing have come to light.

While Holmes’ attorney father Martin Holmes clearly was giving her key advice, I’ve learned that the actress herself virtually orchestrated her strategy. As for the $$$ involved, I’ve learned from excellent sources that the over-all financial payout by Cruise will be in the neighborhood of $40 million — much of that directed to child support for his beloved daughter Suri.

On top of that, Holmes also reportedly has insisted Cruise establish a trust fund for daughter Suri’s benefit — just in case the megastar’s current devotion to the child wanes.

† I’ve also learned that Holmes was very clever when explaining why she was writing “Molly” (the film she’s about to begin filming) to her former personal team — all Church of Scientology members, totally loyal to Cruise. The theme is clearly autobiographical — about a single mom raising her daughter — but Holmes reportedly told her minders she was inspired by all the single moms she knew and felt the topic would resonate with many audiences.

† Speaking of films and Scientology, Cruise’s “Magnolia” director Paul Thomas Anderson screened his movie “The Master” for the actor. It is clearly based on L. Ron Hubbard and his establishment of the Church of Scientology in the ’50s. Reportedly, Cruise was unhappy with a number of scenes featuring stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix — but that did not lead to any changes in the final cut of the movie, scheduled for release in October.

DRAMA AT DRAMA: Kudos to actors Randy Steinmeyer and Peter DeFaria, starring in “A Steady Rain” at the Chicago Dramatists Theater. During a particularly intense moment in the two-man show at a preview performance the other night, an audience member became violently ill. When the actors realized what was happening, they stopped the play, brought up the houselights and made sure the person got proper attention.

Then — it was on with the show without missing a beat, followed by a huge round of applause at the end of the performance.

DRIVE DENIED: Missy Elliott is hopping mad at a local car dealership, and now she’s gone to court. First reported by TMZ, the singer purchased a new 2012 Lamborghini from Fox Valley Motors in Westmont last year for a cool $376,000 — giving the dealership a down payment of $30,000 cash and her 2005 Bentley (valued at $85,000.) According to Elliott, Fox Valley agreed to ship her the car by mid-2012, but that never happened.

Now the singer says the dealership is refusing to deliver the pricey wheels unless she shells out a lot more, claiming the car’s market value has increased, according to TMZ.

Elliott scoffs at that, saying a deal’s a deal — and so now she’s filed suit.

Fox Valley Motors declined to comment on the situation.

TALENTED TIMES: A big congrats goes out to 14-year-old singer Edon Pinchot of Skokie who has made it through to the semi-finals of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” — snaring both raves from judges Howie Mandel, Howard Stern and Sharon Osbourne and a standing ovation from the studio audience for his rendition of “Titanium.”

Another local still in the running on the hit talent show is comedian Jacob Williams of Logan Square, who will make his bid to make the semi-finals with his July 17 performance — learning if he makes it through the next night, after America votes.

KEEP QUIET! Word has it Rihanna finally got around to scolding her estranged father, Ronald Fenty, for what a friend of the superstar says was “her anger over him sticking his nose into something he shouldn’t have.”

This is all about a comment Fenty made to Britain’s Grazia magazine, calling his daughter and Chris Brown a “perfect couple” — reacting positively to the rumors Rihanna has quietly reconnected with her ex-beau Brown.

Many Rihanna fans are not happy about those tales — still unsure about Brown’s insistence his abusive habits are in his past.

SEEN ON THE SCENE: Recent sightings at the River West hot spot Nellcote have included Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and what is best described as “a stunning blonde,” and the Decemberists lead singer Chris Funk. … Fans spotted sports mogul Jerry Reinsdorf lunching at Steve’s Deli. … Yes, that was Carlos Santana spied having a bit of lunch at Rosebud on Rush Tuesday. … In town to do a bit of early promotion for his film “Hit & Run” (which he wrote, co-directed and stars in with his real-life fiancée Kristen Bell), Dax Shepard dined at Paris Club Monday night — dining on chicken thighs with black truffles and foie gras sauce — before he gets back to his usual vegan diet to get back in shape for the new season of “Parenthood.”

HAVE A LAUGH: Things should be fun when funnyman Kevin Nealon hits town for a two-night gig at the Laugh Factory at Broadway and Belmont next month. The actor and comedian is scheduled for 8 and 10 p.m. shows Aug. 10 and 11.Nealon’s Showtime special, “Whelmed … But Not Overly,” premieres on Aug. 4.

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