Nicole Kidman Says Marriage to Tom Cruise Protected Her From Sexual Harassment

"I married for love, but being married to an extremely powerful man kept me from being sexually harassed."

Nicole Kidman opened up about her relationship with ex-husband Tom Cruise in an essay written for New York magazine, which was published online Monday. According to the actress, her marriage to Cruise protected her from sexual harassment.

"Being married to Tom Cruise at 22 is something I'm always reluctant to talk about, because I'm married now to the man who is my great love [Keith Urban], and it almost feels disrespectful," Kidman wrote for a piece focused on women and power. "That said, I got married very young, but it definitely wasn't power for me — it was protection."

Kidman and Cruise tied the knot in 1990 after meeting on the set of the film Days of Thunder. The couple — who adopted daughter Isabella, now 25, and son Connor, now 23, while they were together — eventually divorced in 2001.

"I married for love, but being married to an extremely powerful man kept me from being sexually harassed," the actress continued in her essay. "I would work, but I was still very much cocooned. So when I came out of it at 32, 33, it's almost like I had to grow up." 

The now-51-year-old star — who also shares daughters Sunday, 10, and Faith, 7, with current spouse Urban — went on to say that she experienced her fair share of "#MeToo moments" despite the protection that she felt while she was wed to Cruise.  

"Of course I’ve had #MeToo moments — since I was little! But do I want to expose them in an article? No. Do they come out in my work? Absolutely," wrote Kidman, who played a domestic violence survivor on season one of HBO's Big Little Lies. "I’m open and raw."

She added: "I want to have my well of experience and emotion tapped into, used — and I’m not just talking about sexual harassment. I’m talking about loss, death, the full array of life. But it has to be by the right people so it’s not abused again."

Kidman will tackle sexual assault in Charles Randolph's upcoming drama about disgraced Fox News chief Roger Ailes and the women who brought him down. Kidman is set to play former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, who accused the late TV exec of sexual misconduct. "I’m making a movie with Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie about Roger Ailes," Kidman acknowledged in her essay. 

The Academy Award winner concluded her piece by revealing that she still struggles to embrace her power in Hollywood. "Winning an Oscar for The Hours, in 2003, I didn’t even notice the power then. I don’t know if it’s my self-esteem, but I still struggle to stand in that place and say, I’ve earned this," she wrote. "That’s probably good, because it keeps me in a state of wonder and humility and going, Wow! You want me?"