Tom Insists They Are ‘Soul Mates’, Joyfully Preparing for Parenthood. But the Actor’s Obsession With Scientology and Bizarre Beliefs Have Led to Growing Unease – Not Least From His Future in-Laws
As she contemplates life as the soon-to-be Mrs Tom Cruise, actress Katie Holmes is so happy she is even smiling in her sleep at night. So says the proud superstar himself in the latest in a long line of gushing interviews about his fiancee, the mother of his unborn child.
Indeed, the actor seems so pleased with himself of late that he might easily have added the unspoken postscript: ‘And it’s all thanks to me.’
Certainly the megawatt Cruise grin appears to have become extra dazzling.
With the couple’s first child due in the spring and their wedding date already booked for July 7, the 43-year-old Mission Impossible star appears keen to paint a picture of domestic bliss with his young love.
‘We’re giddy and just can’t stop smiling,’ he said recently. ‘I’m going to be with Katie for the rest of my life. We are soul mates.’ All very moving, of course. But despite his gushing eulogies, and a seemingly endless stream of pictures of the lovebirds gazing adoringly at each other, there remain those who have serious doubts about the couple’s seemingly idyllic relationship.
Chief among these – and most worryingly for Cruise, the Mail can reveal – are Holmes’s own family.
Already there are dark rumours of a falling-out between the star and his future in-laws over his Svengali-like control of Katie.
Add to that a fierce row in the U.S. this week over Cruise’s zealous – and increasingly bizarre – obsession with the cult-like Church of Scientology and there are many sceptics who would dispute his claims about his fiancee’s sweet dreams.
Hollywood, too, is less than convinced, it seems, about the love affair.
Initial scepticism that it was little more than a publicity stunt designed to generate interest for their respective film careers has latterly given way to concern from some studio executives that the freshfaced Holmes’s career could be wrecked by Cruise’s desire for her to be a stay-at-home mother.
Witness, for example, a website set up specifically to mock the famously controlling superstar’s relationship with his young love and what has been christened, by unkind gossips, their ‘miraculous conception’.
Freekatie.net offers a range of merchandise calling for 28-year- old Holmes and her as yet unborn baby to be liberated from ‘Cruise Control’.
T-shirts with the words ‘Run Katie, Run’ are its best-selling item.
Doubtless a bit of harmless fun. But it has nevertheless touched a raw nerve in Hollywood about what is seen by some as the apparent allpervading influence of the actor over every aspect of his lover’s life, not least of which is her induction into Scientology.
It is a situation not helped by remarks made by Holmes herself last month.
During a series of supposedly upbeat interviews, sanctioned by Cruise, the Batman Begins star spoke about her fiance in a strangely stilted manner.
‘He’s incredibly interesting to be around and to share enthusiasm with,’ she opined. ‘I feel that it’s a privilege to have met him and become part of his world. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to fall in love with a man like him.’ All rather formal to say the least and, would it be too cynical to suggest, perhaps owing more to the scripted remarks of a Hollywood spin-doctor than a young woman in the first flush of love?
Certainly the doe- eyed Katie, who admits she had a na’ve and sheltered upbringing and comes across as younger than her years, seems to be completely in the thrall of the charismatic, twice- divorced Cruise.
Most worryingly for her friends and family, she has already agreed to convert to Scientology. Followers of the religion, which was established by American science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1952, believe humans are an exiled race from outer space called Thetans.
Cruise became a convert in 1987 and has since used his power in Hollywood – not to mention his estimated Pounds 150 million fortune – to spread the word among fellow celebrities.
But his latest recruiting attempts led to him being vilified in the U.S. this week for suggesting that people taking antidepressants should ditch their drugs and turn to Scientology instead.
– Justice Anderson, Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, quoted at What judges have to say about Scientology
Crime novelist Patricia Cornwell accused him of seeking to influence vulnerable fans.
‘There’s going to be some boy or girl who worships this megastar, who decides “I’m not going to take my anti- depressants because Tom Cruise said I don’t need drugs”,’ she wrote on her website.
Previously, Cruise had criticised actress Brooke Shields for relying on anti- depressant drugs to help her through postnatal depression, suggesting that a dip in her career was the result.
He was also ridiculed for suggesting that New York firefighters suffering the effects of smoke inhalation caused by 9/11 should abandon their inhalers and medication in favour of taking saunas and vitamins and drinking cooking oil.
Doctors dismissed his advice as ‘quackery’, but the row will do little to quell the fears of those close to Katie Holmes. The young actress has been undergoing Scientology instruction for up to 12 hours a day and, at Cruise’s request, even has her own female minder from the church, who accompanies her everywhere.
It is her assimilation into the cult, say friends, that remains of primary concern to her close-knit family.
Even before news of her pregnancy, Holmes’s parents were said to be ‘less than thrilled’ about the speed with which the relationship was progressing.
‘They are very worried, but they are not saying so publicly because they do not want to lose their daughter,’ a friend told the Mail. ‘They already feel estranged from her. They are devastated that she got pregnant out of wedlock and is now tied to Tom.’ In fact, the Holmeses have had little contact with their daughter in recent months and even her friends have become frustrated at how difficult it is to get hold of her.
By contrast, Cruise is said to have had her mobile phone fitted with a satellite tracking system so that he always knows exactly where she is.
He has also bought an ultrasound machine so he can look at his baby in the womb.
‘Tom is like a Svengali to Katie,’ a source close to his former wife, Nicole Kidman, told the Mail. ‘He is in complete control of her.
‘She is like an empty vessel that he can fill. She totally worships him, like a little puppy – and she doesn’t have her friends or family around her to tell her differently.’ Indeed, Holmes has moved into the Los Angeles house which Cruise shares with his three sisters – all of them fellow Scientologists – and their children. The household has been described as being like a mini-Scientology sect. Katie Holmes, who was just three when Cruise made his debut film, has known him only since April. She was, according to the LA rumour mill, one of three up-and-coming young actresses summoned to meet the star – hence those whispers of a publicity set-up.
The meeting was such a success that Cruise invited Katie out for a sushi dinner, the venue for which, in true superstar style, was his private jet.
Two months later, he proposed on top of the Eiffel Tower, announcing their engagement in a blaze of rapturous publicity in which he spoke in cringe-making terms about his devotion to his new fiancee.
But his relationship with Holmes’s parents got off to an altogether rather less auspicious start. Their first meeting, which took place amid the Art Deco splendour of New York’s Carlyle Hotel following the War Of The Worlds premiere earlier this year, was marred by a ‘heated debate’ when Cruise insisted on extolling the virtues of Scientology while questioning the Holmeses’ faith, Roman Catholicism.
Katie’s father Martin, a partner in a large and respected law firm, was said to be distinctly unimpressed by the star’s argument.
Perhaps in a bid to placate his future in-laws in their desire to see more of their daughter, Cruise has now forked out Pounds 860,000 on a house three miles from their home in Toledo, Ohio.
The three-storey property, which boasts nine bedrooms, an oakpanelled library and a solarium, is in the leafy suburb of Ottawa Hills and has river views and its own waterfall.
However, friends say the couple are unlikely to spend much time there as Cruise’s two adopted children from his ten-year marriage to Nicole Kidman live in LA and he likes to spend as much time with them as possible.
The news that Holmes is expecting Cruise’s baby came as a surprise to those who know the actress, especially given that she once vowed to remain a virgin until her wedding night.
And, it must be said, the announcement led to more than a few raised eyebrows in Tinseltown, where it has long been rumoured that Cruise was not able to father children.
His first marriage, to actress Mimi Rogers, was a childless union.
Rogers, whom he left in 1990 for Nicole Kidman, later revealed that Tom had insisted on periods of celibacy during their three- year marriage ‘to maintain the purity of his instrument’.
A second marriage, to the Oscarwinning Kidman, 38, also failed to result in them having children together naturally. Instead, they adopted daughter Isabella, now 12, in 1993, followed by son Connor, 10, two years later.
The fact that Mimi Rogers subsequently went on to give birth to two children with her new partner, coupled with Cruise’s admission that he had cried ‘tears of frustration’ over his failure to start a family, appeared to confirm the suspicion that something was amiss.
But now it seems that his dream of fathering a child is about to become a reality.
Holmes, however, might have been excused a pang of trepidation at what could have lain ahead. As a disciple of Scientology, it was rumoured that she would have to take a vow of silence during the delivery of her child.
In Scientology, the practice of silent births is carried out to prevent babies from ‘absorbing the stress of the birthing procedure’.
However, Cruise has denied the claim that his fiancee will give birth in this way.
But the church’s curious teachings about parenting do not end there.
Scientologists are dissuaded from comforting or nurturing young children because Hubbard believed a child is simply a small adult, capable of looking after itself from a young age.
No wonder, then, that during their marriage Kidman – who, like Holmes, was brought up a Roman Catholic – never fully bought into Scientology.
Indeed, a major factor in their subsequent divorce was said to be her unhappiness at Cruise’s desire to have their children raised within the strict edicts of the faith.
Cruise’s romance with Holmes already has striking similarities to his previous, failed relationships.
Both Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman, for example, allowed his career to take precedence over their own.
Katie Holmes seems happy to do the same. She has already cancelled some upcoming film projects and, according to reports in the States, is planning to be a stay-at-home mum once the baby arrives.
Sources close to the couple insist that it is a genuine relationship.
And those who have seen them privately say they can not keep their hands off each other and certainly seem to be in love.
Whatever the truth, the sceptics remain unconvinced. But for the moment at least, it seems the impressionable Katie is sleeping soundly, safe in the knowledge that she has succeeded where others failed by giving the star the child he has always longed for.
For his part, Cruise will no doubt be hoping that the spell he has cast over yet another adoring wife won’t wear off this time.