Tom Cruise is one of the biggest actors in the world, starring in iconic movies including Top Gun, Risky Business and the hugely successful franchise Mission Impossible, but who is the man behind all of this? Cruise has been in the movie industry for decades, but while his films have received critical acclaim, he has also been the subject of many controversies.
From tumultuous marriages and messy divorces to shocking TV interviews and claims about his actions within the Church of Scientology, Tom has been painted to have many different personalities. Here are some of Tom’s most talked about moments.
The divorces at 33
Tom Cruise has had some very high profile marriages and he has been married three times to Mimi Rogers until 1989, Nicole Kidman until 2001 and most recently, Katie Holmes until they split in 2012. Not only was each of his wives 11 years younger than his previous one, but he divorced each of them when they turned 33-years-old.
While this may be a totally random number and a coincidence, it could also be that Tom doesn’t like his wives to be over 33? It remains to be seen who will be his next partner, but we’d assume she will be in her 20s.
Turning to Scientology
Tom Cruise is one of the most famous figures in the Church of Scientology and has often spoken of how the religion saved him in many aspects of his life. It turns out that his first wife Mimi Rogers who introduced him to the controversial religion as her father was a good friend of found L Ron Hubbard.
Rogers is said to not be a part of the Church anymore, like many other celebrities, but she has not confirmed this. It was said that Cruise became involved when the study courses were said to have helped him overcome dyslexia.
Cruise was going to become a monk
In 1993, not much was discussed about Scientology and it had not been exposed to the extent that it has today, but Mimi Rogers told Playboy why Tom Cruise ended up becoming an active member of the Church.
She explained “Here’s the real story. Tom was seriously thinking of becoming a monk. At least for that period of time, it looked as though marriage wouldn’t fit into his overall spiritual need.” After becoming aware of Scientology and learning about its teachings, it was more fitting for Tom instead of becoming a monk.
The Matt Lauer Interview
Tom Cruise appeared on The Today Show in 2005 promoting his new movie War of the Worlds and was interviewed by Matt Lauer. When the conversation shifted to Tom’s involvement in Scientology, the whole mood of the interview changed and Tom responded “Scientology is something that you don’t understand.”
When the conversation turned to psychiatry and prescribing drugs to help mental illness, Tom turned aggressive and said “you don’t understand it, Matt.” When pushed on his answer, Tom went on to assert “There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance,” and that through “vitamins and exercise” a person’s problems can be cured. Matt Lauer described it as the most awkward interview of his life.
Criticizing Brooke Shields
The conversation with Matt Lauer about drugs for mental issues stemmed from actress Brooke Shields decision to take antidepressants to help with her postpartum depression. Cruise bashed her choice and condemned her actions saying that he has never agreed with psychiatry, even before his belief in Scientology, even saying “psychiatry is pseudoscience.”
He also added that Brooke didn’t seem to understand the history of psychiatry and how negative her decision was. Shields eventually hit back saying, “I think I’m more qualified to talk about that (than he is).”
The couch jump
On the same press tour for War of the Worlds, Tom displayed some bizarre behavior on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He has just become engaged to Katie Holmes and Tom wanted to make sure the world knew he was on cloud nine over it.
When the conversation shifted to his relationship with Katie, Tom began jumping on Oprah’s couch, more than once, before the talk show queen invited Katie to sit on the couch with him. It went down in history as one of the most bizarre moments in TV.
Scientology vs Nicole Kidman
During the time that Tom was married to Nicole Kidman, they adopted two children together, Connor and Isabella. However, the Church of Scientology was beginning to take a greater role in Tom’s life, specifically through the chairman David Miscavige.
It was said the board did not approve of Kidman and labelled her a suppressive person, a negative name given to people who try to block good things from happening. When Tom filed for divorce from the actress, his children were reportedly given a course in identifying suppressive persons by the Church which then led them to choose to live with their father.
A Scientologist girlfriend
It wasn’t just Nicole Kidman that the Church allegedly did not approve of, they also shunned Penelope Cruz. David Miscavige’s wife Shelly was put in charge of auditioning beautiful Scientologists to date Tom. Nazanin Boniadi, an Iranian-British actress and human rights defender was said to have been chosen to date Tom, back in the days when she was a devout Scientologist.
After winning her over in New York, the couple dated for a few months, but after becoming increasingly controlling, Nazanin began to have doubts. When things got even worse, Tom decided he didn’t want to be involved with her anymore. Apparently, it wasn’t Tom that broke up with her, it was officials from the Church.
Bringing celebrities into Scientology
The Celebrity Center is one of the biggest buildings in Hollywood and Scientology is committed to have as many Celebrity supporters and parishioners as possible. From this, it was said that Tom Cruise tried to bring in as many celebrity friends into the Church as he could.
Apparently, Tom put up a tent to bring people into Scientology in the War of the Worlds parking lot, trying to entice Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams and Ron Howard. It was also claimed that Tom was desperately trying to get David Beckham to join the Church.
In 2006, Tom Cruise wed Katie Holmes at a 15th century Italian castle with Andre Bocelli performing and a huge fireworks display. It was said that the nuptials cost around $2 million and had some very famous faces in attendance.
Tom’s best man was none other than Scientology chairman David Miscavige, but surprisingly, Miscavige’s wife Shelly was absent, leading actress Leah Remini to question this, before she was silenced by Scientology officials. Remini was also told by Scientology officials to bring her best friend, Jennifer Lopez, to Cruise’s wedding and the singer jumped on stage to perform one of her songs live.
Katie filed for divorce
Tom Cruise was blindsided by Katie’s decision to divorce him and it was said that the main reason for the divorce was to do with their young daughter, Suri. While Katie has kept quiet about their five-and-a-half year marriage and what went wrong, many sources explained that she feared for the safety of Suri and how Tom insisted that his daughter become a part of the Church.
In the divorce settlement, Katie got full custody of Suri with Tom granted visitation rights. Years after the divorce, Tom is said to barely see Suri and apparently he does not approve of her not being a Scientologist.
Tom tried to change Katie’s name
In his relationship with Katie Holmes, Tom would only refer to her as Kate, and his reason for this was due to his perception of a sophisticated name. He explained “Katie is a young girl’s name.
Her name is Kate now–she’s a child-bearing woman.” It was said that Tom even tried to get Katie to change her name officially but she refused. After the two were divorced in 2012, it was only Tom who still referred to her as Kate.
Scientology in the home
With Scientology an integral part of Tom Cruise’s life, the people he employed in his private home were all Scientologists and members of the Church’s labor division known as Sea Org. Sea Org members sign billion year contracts so even in the next life they will always be committed to the cause.
Sea Org members catered to all of Tom’s needs in his home and anything that was seen to be out of the ordinary, they were expected to report back to the Church. David Miscavige’s father claimed that the intrusion in their home bothered Katie who didn’t want to live her life like this.
In 2008, a leaked video surfaced on Gawker of Tom’s Scientology indoctrination. Among other outlandish claims, Tom insisted that only Scientologists could create happiness and fix the world.
He also claimed that people within the religion were the only ones who could help people who get into car accidents, saying “When you’re a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you’re the only one who can really help… We are the way to happiness.” People were shocked at his comments.
Tom and Katie’s prenuptial agreement had some very specific terms and rules that the latter had to follow. Katie was said to have been awarded $4.8 million in child support and an additional $5 million for herself. It was also reported that the settlement agreed that Suri would have no relationship with Scientology, something that distanced Tom from his daughter.
Strangest of all, it was said that the settlement stipulated that Katie was not allowed to mention their marriage or date anyone publicly for five years after her split from Tom. This was said to be part of the reason why Katie hid her relationship with actor Jamie Foxx.
Tom’s kids the Scientologists
Tom’s adopted children with Nicole Kidman, Isabella and Connor have become devout Scientologists in their own right, following in their father’s footsteps. Isabella recently became an auditor, interviewing other members of the Church and getting them to talk about secrets and confessions.
Connor lives at Scientology’s religious retreat The Sandcastle, a retreat in Clearwater for church Vips. Isabella wrote of her new role in the Church “This IS what I had been searching for. The missing piece. Suddenly everything began to make sense.”
Tom bought a sonogram machine
When it comes to pregnancy, everyone has their own way of doing things, but Tom Cruise took it to new levels when it came to Katie Holmes’ pregnancy. Tom revealed that they would be monitoring her pregnancy from the comfort of their own home and had plans to purchase a sonogram machine to have ultrasounds whenever they wanted.
Certified technicians should be the only ones to carry out sonograms and too much exposure to it could cause harm to the fetus. While Cruise insisted he would donate the machine to a hospital after Suri was born, California later passed a law in 2006, known as the “Tom Cruise law” which “prohibits the sale of diagnostic ultrasound to anyone but appropriately licensed clinicians.”
He dated Cher
Cher is one of the biggest icons in music of all time, and many people would be surprised to know that she had a fling with Tom Cruise. Prior to Tom’s marriage to Mimi Rogers and after Cher’s two marriages, they met at a dinner at the White House and hit it off.
Cher described him as “just the most adorable man you can imagine.” Despite their 16-year age difference, the two had quite the steamy romance and when asked by Andy Cohen about Tom in the bedroom, Cher replied “he was in the top five.”
Relationship with David Miscavige
Other than being the leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige was also Tom Cruise’s best friend. However, unlike other religious leaders, Miscavige was said to be a big party guy and he and Cruise would reportedly go on rauseous trips to Las Vegas.
One on occasion, the men had just come back to Scientology HQ from a trip to Las Vegas and sat in their exclusive lounge, puffing on the finest Cuban cigars with rolls of money on the table which had come from their big winnings. It was said that many of the Church members were in awe at the amount of money laying around as their living conditions at the Sea Org were said to be poor.
The leaked promotional video
In 2008, a promotional video of Tom Cruise discussing Scientology was leaked online and made wavelengths due to his statements and overall demeanor. The nine-minute video showed Tom discussing his beliefs while Mission Impossible music played in the background.
In one of his statements, Tom said “We’re the authorities on getting people off drugs. We’re the authorities on the mind. We’re the authorities on improving conditions. We can rehabilitate criminals. Way to happiness. We can bring peace and unite cultures.” In another passionate statement, Tom discussed his disdain for psychiatry, adding “Crush these guys [psychiatrists]! I’ve had it! Psychiatry doesn’t work. No mercy! None! Go to guns!”
The Scientology promotional video showed Tom passionately expressing sentiments and ideology from the Church, but his manic rambling, intense eye contact followed by a forced laughter made everyone question the actors’ mental state. The video was leaked everywhere online and generated millions of views within days.
It turned out to be a PR disaster for the Church who scrambled to get it taken down, but their efforts backfired and this generated even more widespread discussion about it. Considering the Church actively tries to keep their business out of the public eye, this was one of the worst videos to leak about their main man, Cruise.
Disconnecting from family
In a documentary about previous members of the Church discussing their negative experience and why they left, one of the defectors featured was Nick Lister who discussed his friend, Jamie Lesavoy, being disconnected from her family. Lesavoy was Tom Cruise’s niece and after she was caught kissing a boy at 14-years-old by the actor’s cameras at his house, he considered her behavior “unbecoming of a Scientologist and out-PR.”
She was then allegedly sent to a Scientology center and then forced to live with another family to work on “lower ethics conditions” which are a series of steps a parishioner has to go through to amend their wrong doing. During this time, it was said she only had phone contact with her mother.
Tom made Katie have a chaperone
During Tom’s marriage to Katie Holmes, it was reported that the actor had a Scientology chaperone follow his wife around at all times. Named as Jessica Rodriguez, a long-time, high-ranking member of Sea Org, Jessica was initially considered an assistant, but this was quickly stepped up and she was spotted at all of Katie’s public appearances when she began dating Tom.
At an interview with W Magazine, Rodriguez was there for the whole thing and when asked about her role, she said that her and Holmes were “just best friends” despite only knowing the actress for six weeks.
Tom had Scientology “servants”
It wasn’t just in Cruise’s home that members of the Church would wait on his every need at any time, but also on vacation and pretty much wherever he went. David Miscavige’s brother-in-law , John Brousseau was a high-ranking Scientologist and spoke about a specific ski trip with the Cruise and Miscavige family ski trip. He said of the workers “I made sure the servants knew what they were doing.
They had to learn how to make things go right without being visible…I would show the staff that it’s not your job to bump into Tom in the hallway. It’s your job to make sure everything’s right, but be invisible. Anticipate his every move. You had to be there with a salt shaker before he even realized he needed it.” For doing all of this, the workers were said to have only earned around $50-per-week.
Punishment in the Church
After defecting Scientology, actress Leah Remini spoke out against the abuse within the Church and how Tom Cruise well aware of it. She said that not only is Tom aware of what is happening, but that he has also been a part of it. She added that Cruise has “been privy to the punishments that David Miscavige doles out.”
Remini suggested that Miscavige has threatened staff with bringing Tom Cruise to Gold Base, the Church of Scientology’s headquarters in San Jacinto, California, to beat them up himself.
Tom is controlled by Scientology
The Church of Scientology consider Tom to be one of their highest and most influential members and his close relationship with David Miscavige was a large component in having Scientology being the center of everything he does and makes sure he is immersed in it everyday.
But it is not just Tom who considers the religion in everything he does as the Church have gone above and beyond to shield the actor from coming into contact with anything disparaging the religion. Leah Remini even suggested that “They’ll go so far as, if he’s going to walk a certain place, they’ll make sure there are no magazines that are anti-Scientology, so he can’t see that.”
The soccer field for David Beckham
Tom Cruise developed a close relationship with soccer pro David Beckham and it was said that the actor was desperately trying to entice Beckham to join the Church of Scientology. In his efforts, former Scientology spokesman, Mike Rinder, divulged that Cruise ordered members of the Sea Org to transform one site of Scientology property into a soccer field so that David Beckham would be enticed to come and welcomed into the community.
Sea Org members leveled a field and even learned how to put patterns into the grass and keep it well groomed. The soccer star never showed and Cruise’s plan failed miserably.
Wiretapping Nicole Kidman
In 2015, a new, explosive documentary aired about Scientology and exposed many of the questionable acts allegedly performed by the Church. One of the events documented revolved around the breakup of Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Former second highest-ranking official of the Church, Marty Rathbun, explained that his role was to facilitate their breakup and during an auditing session with Tom, the Church explained their concerns about her and Tom expressed concerns on his part too.
Cruise reportedly suggested that her phones could be tapped and David Miscavige was said to have authorized this. This was just the beginning of their divorce, but the Church vehemently denied all claims of the allegations.
Fighting the media
Throughout the years that Tom Cruise has been in the spotlight, so much controversy and negative stories have been published in the media. From his negative relationships to stories about his status and behavior within Scientology, Tom has often found himself at the center of a scandal.
However, instead of letting things go and letting, Tom has hit back with lawsuits on a number of occasions, often suing for defamation and damages, demanding millions of dollars. The majority of the stories that the actor has hit back at, revolve around the relationship with his daughter Suri and how the two have reportedly been disconnected over the years.
The water gun incident
In 2005, Tom Cruise was doing press on the red carpet of the London premiere of War Of The Worlds. One man was posing as a reporter and when Cruise came over to take part in his interview, he squirted him with a water pistol disguised as a normal microphone.
Upon the incident occurring, Tom was irked and hit back at the prankster, “Why would you do that? Do you like thinking less of people? Is that it?” Before the man tried to get away, Tom reached over the barrier and grabbed him, saying “Don’t run away. That’s incredibly rude. I’m here giving you an interview and you do that … it’s incredibly rude.” The actor grew increasingly frustrated and finally hit back “You’re a jerk.”
A silent birth
In Scientology, the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard explain that in childbirth, “everyone attending the birth should refrain from spoken words as much as possible.” The explanation for this states that “any words spoken are recorded in the reactive mind and can have an aberrative effect on the mother and the child.”
This theory was something that Tom Cruise allegedly took very seriously and wanted it to be upheld during Suri’s birth. However, when asked about the practice, Tom explained “It’s basically just respecting the mother, you know, and helping to be quiet — not the mother. The mother makes as much noise…you know, she’s going through it, but why have other people make noise? You know, you want that area very calm and to make it very special.”
Katie’s career crumbles
Prior to getting together with Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes had plenty of opportunities in her acting career which began after her main role on Dawson’s Creek. However, during her relationship and marriage to Tom between 2005 until 2012, Katie only had five main roles in acting and this was apparently down to her husband.
It was reported that Tom persuaded Katie to turn down plenty of film and TV roles and even to drop her manager. While Tom’s involvement in her career hiatus can’t be confirmed, it was evident that Katie’s career dwindled down in the years that she was involved with the Mission Impossible actor.
Former Scientologist Leah Remini has described Tom Cruise’s actions within the Church on many occasions, but in one bizarre fit of rage, Remini recalled how Tom lashed out at his assistants as he couldn’t find the cookie dough they were supposed to have bought. Leah said that Tom reprimanded the assistants and they “had the fear of God in them because they knew what was coming.”
She then admitted that she diffused the situated by pointing out the cookie dough which was sitting on the counter. The Church of Scientology responded to the claims by saying “Ms. Remini is cooking up stories to make dough with her book.”
Tom Cruise would often host other Scientologist celebrities at his home for dinner parties and different gatherings. It wasn’t until Leah Remini left the Church that she divulged information at what happened during these events. Leah admitted that Tom once invited her to play hide and seek with Will Smith and other celebrities at his 7,000 square foot mansion.
The actress was confused and even though she declined claiming that her sky high Jimmy Choos were stopping her from running around, she added that Tom still “tagged” her and told her she was “it” anyway.
Handling the baby
Prior to Tom and Katie’s Italian wedding, Leah Remini walked in on a bizarre moment between Suri Cruise and Tom’s sister and assistant. Remini walked into the bathroom and explained “When I opened the door, I found three women, including Tom’s sister and his assistant, standing over the baby, who was lying on the tile floor. Rather than talking to her in a soothing voice, they kept saying, ‘Suri! Suri!’ in a tone that sounded like they were telling an adult to get her **** together.”
She added that the women were looking at the baby as if she was an “L Ron Hubbard incarnate.” Leah eventually managed to convince the women to pick up the baby and give her a bottle of warm milk to soothe her.
Tom’s dance routine
In 2010, Cruise and Katie Holmes attended a charity event and they decided to perform a bizarre dance number that left the audience quite confused. In the routine, Holmes lip-synced the song Whatever Lola Wants, while flipping around her skirt and running her fingers through Cruise’s hair during the performance.
Cruise tried to follow her lead and fell to the floor as Katie pushed him around the stage. The routine was uploaded online and people couldn’t help but comment on the bizarre nature of the whole thing.
Crossing a line
In 2005, Tom Cruise was on a press tour in Australia and when one reporter asked him some hard hitting questions, the actor was not impressed and called the reporter out for his behavior. The subject was Nicole Kidman, a sweetheart of her native country and also about Scientology. Tom hit back “Listen, here’s the thing, Peter, you’re stepping over a line now…and you know you are.”
The reporter insisted he was only asking questions people were interested to know and Tom responded “Take responsibility for what you want to know… This is a conversation that I’m having with you right now. So I’m just telling you right now, OK, just put your manners back in.” The reporter quickly apologized to his guest.
Going to great lengths for privacy
Tom recently moved into a multi-million dollar penthouse in Florida, close to the Clearwater Scientology headquarters. The custom new building boasts a nine-car private garage and 24 hour security, but this wasn’t enough for Tom. The actor was said to have put up covers on all of the windows facing the streets so that no one can see in, or see the interior of his apartment.
Tom’s sister also lives in the building and it is just 400 yards away from Flag, the Church’s headquarters. Tom’s son, Connor, also lives nearby in a VIP Scientology apartment complex and the family’s move to be close to Scientology HQ shows how far they’ve come in their commitment to the religion.
Tom is worshipped by Scientologists
Due to his close relationship with David Miscavige and celebrity status, Tom Cruise is considered as messianic-like by other Scientologists. Parishioners believe that the actor is “single handedly changing the planet” according to Leah Remini and she added that “criticizing Tom Cruise is being critical of Scientology itself.”
The actor has allowed Scientology to permeate all aspects of his life from his relationships and children to his career and everyday life. Any request that Tom made, would immediately be fulfilled by the Church of Scientology.