Cruise-Holmes Drama

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’s Relationship Saga: Doomed From the Start?

Beset by rumors, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes seemed fated to split. Marlow Stern on what drove them apart.

Matt Sayles / AP Photo

“I think every little girl dreams about [her wedding]…I used to think I was going to marry Tom Cruise.”

Katie Holmes shared these sentiments to Seventeen magazine back in October 2004. Six months after this public confession, Holmes began dating Cruise, and six months after that the couple revealed they were expecting their first child together.

Last Friday, news broke that the celebrity couple’s five-year marriage had come to an end, with Holmes filing for divorce from the Rock of Ages star on June 28 in New York, just five days shy of his 50th birthday, and requesting sole legal custody and “primary residential custody” of the couple’s 6-year-old daughter, Suri, reported TMZ. The website reported that Cruise was “blindsided” by the news; he released a statement shortly after through his representative, saying, “Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children.”

The union of Cruise, 49, and Holmes, 33, however, seemed doomed from the start.

After 10 years of marriage, Cruise separated from his second wife, Nicole Kidman, in February 2001, while she was three months pregnant. (She would later have a miscarriage.) The two had adopted two children, Isabella Jane, born in December 1992, and Connor Antony, born in January 1995. The actor’s first wife was the actress Mimi Rogers, who was married to Cruise from 1987 to 1990 and was the one who introduced a young Cruise to Scientology, according to the BBC, though she reportedly later left the church.

“Tom was seriously thinking of becoming a monk,” Rogers, 56, told Playboy in 1993. “He thought he had to be celibate to maintain the purity of his instrument,” adding that hers “needed tuning” so they had to split.

Following Cruise’s split from Kidman, it was widely rumored that Cruise “auditioned” a series of actresses to play the role of his wife, including Penélope Cruz, fellow Scientologist Erika Christensen, and Scarlett Johansson, former Scientologist Marc Headley wrote in his book, Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology.

Johansson was all set to star alongside Cruise in Mission: Impossible III, but it was later reported that something more bizarre was at play: Cruise had allegedly invited Johansson to a Scientology center and proselytized to her for more than two hours before she excused herself. She eventually dropped out of the project due to “scheduling conflicts.”

It’s unclear how Cruise and Holmes met, but the 42-year-old actor eventually began dating the actress, then 26. They made their first public appearance in Rome on April 27, 2005, and one month later, Cruise made national headlines after jumping up and down on a couch like a man possessed on The Oprah Winfrey Show, declaring his love for the young actress.

That summer, Holmes, who was baptized a Roman Catholic, was out promoting her biggest role to date: the female lead in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. Everywhere she went, however, she was reportedly accompanied by Jessica Rodriguez, an employee of the Church of Scientology, who sat in on all of her interviews. According to People, Holmes also dropped her longtime manager and changed representation at Creative Artists Agency, despite just landing the role of a lifetime, and stopped talking to many of her friends pre-Cruise.

“I’m really excited about [Scientology],” she told reporters in London on June 12, 2005. “I know how important it is to Tom, and I want to be able to share that with him.”

Robert Haskell, who wrote a widely read W magazine cover story on Holmes, said Rodriguez “was described to me as Holmes’s ‘Scientology chaperone’ and it was clear that she would be on hand during our interview despite my protests.” She even, wrote Haskell, answered several personal questions on Holmes’s behalf.

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“I’ve found the man of my dreams,” Holmes told W. “From the moment I met him, it just felt like I’d known him forever. I was blown away. He’s the most incredible man. He’s so generous and kind, and he helps so many people, and, um, he makes me laugh like I’ve never laughed, and he’s a great friend…”

The couple announced they were expecting a child on Oct. 6, 2005, and, in an interview taped Oct. 30 with Barbara Walters, Cruise revealed he had purchased a sonogram machine to perform his own ultrasounds on his expectant fiancée, a move seen as dangerous by many obstetricians, reported MSNBC.

Cruise and Holmes welcomed their daughter, Suri, in April 2006 and on Nov. 18 of that year, were married in a Scientology ceremony at the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy. Fellow Scientologists John Travolta and Kelly Preston were in attendance, as were several celebrities who have denied reports they are members of the church, including Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, and Victoria Beckham. Also there was Holmes’s alleged “Scientology chaperone” Jessica Rodriguez, as well as David Miscavige, the leader of the Church of Scientology, who served as Cruise’s best man.

Prior to their nuptials, however, TMZ reported that Holmes’s parents, both Catholic, were upset that the wedding would be a Scientology ceremony and even threatened a last-minute boycott.

In January 2006, at a premiere screening for Jason Reitman’s 2006 film Thank You For Smoking at the Sundance Film Festival, a sex scene between star Aaron Eckhart and Holmes, in which the actress appears topless, was mysteriously cut from the film. This reporter was in attendance, and Reitman apologized for the error after the screening. Meanwhile, there was rampant tabloid speculation that Cruise had used his considerable clout to have the scene removed.

Meanwhile, on Aug. 22, 2006, following a barrage of Cruise backlash from the media, including the Oprah couch-jumping incident, his infamous on-air tussle with Today’s Matt Lauer over psychiatry, and various stories in the press emphasizing Cruise’s Scientology beliefs, Paramount announced it was ending its 14-year partnership with Cruise, with Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone blamed Cruise’s public behavior and views, reported CNN. The effect wasn’t lost on Holmes, who also reportedly found herself being shunned by Hollywood over Cruise’s outlandish behavior, including failing to reach a deal on The Dark Knight, the sequel to 2005’s Batman Begins, reported The Daily Mail. The actress blamed scheduling reasons; the film went on to become one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.

In November 2007, the National Enquirer ran a cover story on an alleged 100-page “marriage contract” between Cruise and Holmes. According to the Enquirer, by reaching the one-year milestone Holmes would be guaranteed $70 million, and if the marriage lasted five years, she’d get an estimated $10 million extra.

Two months later, on Jan. 15, 2008, as Holmes’s and Cruise’s careers seemed to be in free-fall, a bizarre video produced by the Church of Scientology and featuring Cruise defending his beliefs made its way to YouTube but was subsequently pulled amid charges by the church that it was pirated and edited.

Reports of Cruise and Holmes sparring over his Scientology beliefs were rampant throughout their marriage, and in October 2009, The Daily Mail reported that Holmes had “won a battle” to enroll their daughter, Suri, in a Catholic preschool in Massachusetts.

Two years later, an October 2011 cover story in New Idea, an Australian gossip magazine, alleged that Holmes “stormed out” on Cruise following allegations that the Church of Scientology was spying on Hollywood stars. The Village Voice, meanwhile, had recently conducted an exhaustive investigation and reported that the Church of Scientology was spying on South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone because of an episode of the show that poked fun at the religion, “Trapped in the Closet,” that aired in 2005.

TMZ and numerous other gossip sites are reporting that Scientology was the “breaking point” in Holmes’s marriage to Cruise, saying she was fearful of Suri’s future. (Scientology becomes more involved in a child’s life at the age of 6, reported TMZ.) Cruise had just spoken candidly about his firm belief in Scientology in the June 2012 issue of Playboy. More troublingly, TMZ also reported that Holmes believes the Church of Scientology now views her as “a threat” and has been spying on her since the divorce filing, with a white Cadillac Escalade and black Mercedes SUV seen near her New York City apartment for the past week. (The church denies it is conducting surveillance on the actress.)

Holmes is entitled to about $15 million in the divorce, under the terms of their 2006 prenuptial agreement, reported Time, including $3 million for each year the couple was married up to a maximum of $33 million. She’ll also receive the couple’s home in Montecito, Calif. If the marriage had lasted more than 11 years, Holmes would be entitled to half of Cruise’s estimated $250 million fortune, said Time. And, if Holmes succeeds in winning sole custody of their daughter, Suri, she’ll also be entitled to substantial child support payments.

Oddly enough, Cruise’s relationships ended with all three of his wives—Rogers, Kidman, and Holmes—when the actresses were the same age: 33.