Cruise wedding was all for show

Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were already married when they tied the knot in a spectacular £1 million wedding at a fairytale Italian castle, it emerged yesterday.

Cruise’s agent revealed the couple had a legal ceremony in America before flying to Italy, as the Church of Scientology service is not recognised there.

Arnold Robinson, Cruise’s agent, said they had “officialised” their marriage in Los Angeles before flying to Italy – prompting accusations Saturday’s event was just a publicity stunt.

Residents also spoke out against the star after he failed to acknowledge the thousands of fans by getting out of his car or making a public appearance outside Odescalchi Castle at Bracciano, north of Rome.

Loredana Ruggiero, a fan, said: “I waited outside all day and virtually all night. It was cold and rainy and then in the evening it was foggy and I didn’t see them once.

“It’s a shame as we had made them so welcome. They could have got out of their cars or waved from the castle, but instead they didn’t acknowledge us at all. I feel really snubbed.”

Mayor Patrizia Riccioni also hit out, saying: “It would have been nice for them to stop and wave at the townfolk.

“They welcomed them with open arms and put up with a lot of inconvenience over the last few days so it would have been nice if they had made a gesture.

“The citizens are upset that the mayor of Rome was invited and the mayor of Bracciano wasn’t – they have also asked me to reconsider giving the couple honorary citizenship.

“It’s too early to make a decision on that, but all I will say is that the cherry on the cake would have been for them to acknowledge the people of Bracciano.

“Nevertheless, I have nothing against the couple, to whom I am very grateful for all the international publicity. It’s likely it was just a slip-up by the organisers of the wedding.”

Celebrities including Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, Brooke Shields and Jim Carrey flew in for the event at the 500-year-old, ivy-covered castle.

Holmes arrived first, followed by guests in a series of blacked-out minibuses.

Cruise arrived at 4pm and the wedding took place at 6pm in the Sala dei Armi (Hall of Arms).

The ceremony angered the local priest, Father Nicola Fiorentini, who rang his bells for evening Saturday Mass longer and louder than normal before the wedding began. He said: “It wasn’t a wedding at all. It was all just for publicity. I can’t believe such an event was allowed to take place in the castle. A pope once stayed there and now we have all this. It’s shameful and an offence.”

The wedding finished just after midnight, following a firework display that was largely blanketed by the thick fog that descended on the castle.

The couple flew out of Italy early yesterday aboard a private jet and headed to the Maldives on honeymoon.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday November 20, 2006.
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