Tom Cruise Files for Divorce; Split Stuns Hollywood
LOS ANGELES - Actor Tom Cruise filed for divorce from his wife Nicole Kidman, less than two months after they renewed their vows in a romantic 10th wedding anniversary, setting off a Hollywood mystery story -- what went wrong with the town's golden couple?
The news that the celluloid dream team were suddenly no more has stunned celebrity watchers who are scrambling to understand how an ostensibly happy marriage turned into yet another marital ''Mission Impossible.''
Cruise, 38, cited irreconcilable differences Wednesday in divorce papers which gave the date of separation as December, 2000. In a statement earlier this week the couple cited the strains of their divergent careers.
But the media was not buying that story and more ``inside'' tales were crowding the pages of Us Weekly, its rival People Magazine and the usual clutch of British and American tabloids. Most relied heavily on what is referred to in the journalism trade as ``a group of unidentified friends.''
Was it a dispute over Cruise's adherence to the Church of Scientology or her background as a Roman Catholic, as People magazine speculated?
Or did they fall out over whether to spend their lives in Australia, where she was raised, or the United States, where he was brought up, as both People and Us Weekly suggested in advance copies of articles dominating their latest issues?
Or was there a third party, as Us Weekly coyly hinted at along with printing a denial from the so-called third party?
Rumors of trouble in the marriage have dogged the couple for years but Cruise and Kidman had always strenuously denied them as they juggled two adopted children, top movie roles and stage plays around the world.
Couple Sued Successfully Over 'Sham Marriage' Report
They sued successfully over newspaper reports that their marriage was a sham, and a claim that they needed coaching from sex therapists for the love scenes in Stanley Kubrick's erotic thriller ``Eyes Wide Shut''.
``Our marriage is stronger because of it. And our friendship is deeper,'' Cruise told Vanity Fair last July of the Kubrick movie. ``I hope that when I am 80 years old,'' Kidman said last September ``I'm sitting back and saying I have two great kids and I am still married to the man that I fell in love with when I was 22.''
Us Weekly reported that on Christmas Eve, 2000, the pair celebrated their 10 year marriage -- a lifetime by Hollywood standards -- by renewing their vows in a ceremony at their Los Angeles home before a small gathering of close friends.
They played each other's favorite songs on the stereo, said Us Weekly. ``It was very romantic, very intimate,'' the magazine quoted one insider as saying
Four days later, Cruise and Kidman were having a blast riding the rollercoaster at midnight on the top of the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas. ``They rode it about three times,'' ride supervisor Brad Sakoff told People magazine. ``They kept screaming 'one more time!' They had a blast.''
Cruise's spokeswoman, Pat Kingsley, denied that Scientology, which Cruise embraced in 1990, had played a part in the split. ''Scientology had nothing to do with this,'' Kingsley told People magazine.
Geography may have played a part.
``One of the problems was that Nicole wants to spend more time in Australia and Tom wants to spend more time in the U.S.,'' an unidentified friend of Kidman's told People.
But Us Weekly cited gossip that the couple were broken up by Australian actor Marcus Graham, with whom Kidman was living when she met Cruise on the set of the 1990 racing car drama ``Days of Thunder''.
``Marcus is shocked and saddened by the news,'' Graham's representative told Us Weekly denying the claim. ``Marcus and Nicole are just friends and he hopes that she and Tom get back together again.''
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)