First, Mrs. Rob Thomas was bought off for an undetermined sum. Second, Cruise and his handlers set out to immediately find Cruise a girlfriend. Second-tier actresses were targeted.
A list was drawn up with Jessica Alba (#1 pick) and three other girls who fell out for various reasons. Originally targeted (#3 I think) but later rejected as "undesirable" was rumor queen Lindsay Lohan. Way down at #5 on the list was Katie Holmes, but that was the one with whom they were able to strike a deal.