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Katie Holmes used disposable cell phone to start divorce: Report

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise attend the National Movie Awards on May 26, 2010, in London. Getty

(CBS News) Katie Holmes reportedly took careful measures while planning to end her five-year marriage to Tom Cruise.

A source familiar with the divorce told the Los Angeles Times that the actress used a disposable cell phone, provided by a friend, to begin talking to her lawyers without her husband knowing about the conversations.

Pictures: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
Pictures: Celebrity splits

The move allowed her to prepare her legal case without Cruise and his staff knowing she was planning to file for divorce, the source added. By the time a settlement was reached, the paper reports, Holmes had hired three law firms in three different states.

People reported Tuesday that Holmes had been increasingly unhappy in her marriage to Cruise and knew she had to make a change.

A source told the magazine the 33-year-old realized "she no longer had the life she wanted, in terms of her career, her way of life, everything."

Holmes' secretive exit strategy, executed with the help of her attorney father, Martin, kept Cruise in the dark until she broke the news to him in a phone call, according to People.

"She knew she had to have everything locked down before she pulled the trigger," the source said, "because there could be no wiggle room if she didn't want this to turn into a long, drawn-out battle."

On Monday, lawyers for both stars announced they had reached a divorce settlement. Details of the agreement are being kept confidential, but reports say Holmes was given primary custody of the couple's 6-year-old daughter, Suri, with Cruise getting generous visitation rights.

Before the settlement announcement, Cruise and Holmes released a joint statement saying they were working to do what was best for their daughter.

"We are committed to working together as parents to accomplish what is in our daughter Suri's best interests," the statement explained. "We want to keep matters affecting our family private and express our respect for each other's commitment to each of our respective beliefs and support each other's roles as parents."

Cruise is now back at work shooting the sci-fi thriller "Oblivion" in California, while Holmes was spotted in New York City on Tuesday with her mother, Kathleen, and Suri. She recently completed production on the independent drama "The Seagull," according to the Hollywood Reporter, and is set to begin production on "Molly," an independent film she co-wrote and is co-producing that is about a single mother and her daughter.

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