Throwback Thursday: When Tom Cruise Found Love — and Scientology
In 1987, the actor married Mimi Rogers, who introduced him to the church, now the subject of HBO documentary 'Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief' adapted from Lawrence Wright's book.
This story first appeared in the March 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
At regular intervals, Tom Cruise's devotion to Scientology makes a media splash. One of the first to call attention to it was John Richardson in a 1993 story for Premiere magazine, to which Cruise heatedly objected (though that didn't keep him from appearing on the magazine's cover to promote Interview With the Vampire a year later). The actor had not participated in the article, which focused on his friendship with Scientology head David Miscavige and the high value the church places on recruiting celebrity members, but had answered the magazine's fact-checking questions, calling them "repulsive" and "offensive." The Scientology reaction was swift. "Within three days of them finding out I was doing the story, my neighbors were approached by people asking questions about me, and my wife got a call asking about our sex life — then later the magazine was threatened with lawsuits," Richardson tells THR today. "The creepiness of Scientology cannot be underestimated."
Cruise's relationship with Scientology began when he married Mimi Rogers in 1987, when he was 24 and she was 31 (they had met at a dinner party in 1986). She was a second-generation member: During the mid-'50s, her father, Philip Spickler, had been one of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's original disciples. Cruise, now 52, has said he joined while married to Rogers, but his "involvement in Scientology at that time was my own." In 2013, Lawrence Wright alleged in his book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief (adapted by Alex Gibney as a doc set to air March 29 on HBO) that Miscavige later pushed Rogers away to clear a path for Cruise to marry Nicole Kidman.
For her part, Rogers, now 59 — who is believed to have left the church since — has said the reason their marriage broke up within three years was that Cruise wanted to become a monk. "It looked as though marriage wouldn't fit into his overall spiritual needs," she told Playboy in 1993. "He had to be celibate to maintain the purity of his instrument." Added Rogers, "My instrument needed tuning."