"I really don't take a lot of pleasure in even having to be here today. This is the final recourse against those who have printed vicious lies about me and my family, and I intend to protect my family," said Cruise.
Britain's Express on Sunday newspaper claimed in an article last year that theirs was a passionless marriage of convenience, entered into either as a business arrangement at the behest of the Church of Scientology or as a cover for the couple's mutual interest in the same sex.
It also claimed that Cruise was impotent or sterile and that they adopted their two children on a whim. The newspaper's attorney apologized and said the allegations were entirely false.
The couple's lawyer, libel specialist George Carman, said the American media should take note.
"They admitted that all those things are false now. It's enormously important because this should stop American publications from saying the same kinds of things, because if they do it they will be doing it knowingly and that will allow us to stop it," said Carman.
Contrary to rumors that have dogged them, Cruise and Kidman married because they love each other and their marriage is a close and happy one, their attorney said.
Cruise said that's what the legal case was all about. "It is certainly not about the money. Although we received a very substantial sum, every single penny, pound we received will go to various charities,"says Cruise.
For the media, both here and in the U.S., this is about the money. They will likely think twice about how much repeating this story is worth to them.
Reported by CBS News Correspondent Kimberly Dozier