Tom Cruise filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against two celebrity magazines, but as Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Litigation Shareholder Stuart P. Slotnick explained, legal benchmarks may work against him.

“The defamation laws are different as to individuals and celebrities [because] there’s a higher legal standard that’s in place…for public figures or celebrities,” Slotnick told Celebuzz in an interview published October 29, 2012.

First, Cruise would need to “prove that the publisher acted with intentional malice – otherwise known as constitutional malice – which [means] it was intentionally meant to hurt him and to damage him,” Slotnick explained.

If successful in that regard, Cruise would then have “to specify what damages there have been to him and…he would need to bring in actual proof that the damages [were] a result of these publications,” Slotnick continued.

It’s unlikely Cruise’s motivation to sue lies in cashing a $50 million check, according to Slotnick.

“Tom Cruise is clearly not starting litigation for money,” he said. “It’s a deterrent to other publications from focusing on him and gossip-like statements. [He is] trying to send a message to tabloids that if they invade his personal space and they cross a line, that they’re going to get sued.”