Cruise biographer: Star has Tinseltown scared

USA Today/January 14, 2008

In blasting Andrew Morton's Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography (St. Martin's Press, $25.95), Cruise's lawyer Bert Fields says Morton didn't interview Cruise, his current wife, ex-wives, agent, producing partner, the film directors he has worked with or "any of the most important people in his life."

Morton says that's mostly true, but not for lack of trying.

MORE: Andrew Morton is 'Unauthorized' and unbowed

EXCERPT: A glimpse inside the biography

"Most people in Hollywood are scared of talking publicly and candidly about Tom Cruise," Morton says. "They know that he and the church (of Scientology) are extremely litigious and can be quite intimidating."

Still, Morton says, he conducted about 130 interviews - off and on the record - during the past two years. Most of those named in the book knew Cruise before he rose to stardom. Others have broken with the Church of Scientology.

FIND MORE STORIES IN: Tom Cruise | Nicole Kidman | Press | Biography | Andrew Morton | Bert Fields | By Phil Mccarten, Reuters

But, Morton says, his other sources include people "who I would have to say didn't speak to me, but, of course, they have."

Among the book's claims:

  • Cruise's third and current wife, Katie Holmes, may appear to be "the perfect Hollywood wife" in public, but privately she harbors misgivings about her marriage and feels "isolated and alone."
  • Cruise's second wife, Nicole Kidman, who lost her enthusiasm for Scientology, was "reduced" to keeping in touch with her adopted children by Internet camera and e-mail.
  • Cruise is uncomfortable around gay men and may be homophobic, influenced by a "macho religion that claimed to cure homosexuality."
  • Cruise, in effect, has risen to become second-in-command of the church, working closely with its leader, David Miscavige, whom Morton describes as being as "controlling, competitive and macho" as Cruise.

The church, in a prepared seven-page statement, calls the book a "bigoted, defamatory assault replete with lies."

It says that Cruise holds "no official or unofficial position in the Church hierarchy" and that "British publishers rejected the book because of Morton's inability to prove the truth of his allegations."

Morton says the book is not being published in Britain, where he lives, because British libel laws favor plaintiffs in libel cases far more than they do in the USA. The problem, he says, is not with the book but with the British libel laws.

The book, in stores today, has a first printing of 400,000 copies.

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