Tom Cruise Once Hinted Why He's Estranged From His Daughter Suri

Tom Cruise has long been tightlipped about anything that happens in his personal life, but his experience with fatherhood has been an exception, particularly with regard to his youngest child, Suri Cruise. Way back when, the "Mission Impossible" star was bursting at the seams with excitement for the birth of the only child he shares with ex Katie Holmes, resulting in the revelation that he purchased a $200,000 sonogram machine so he could see her anytime he wanted.

"I'm a filmmaker — I need to see the rushes," he told GQ at the time (via Hollywood). "At first we did it a lot. I don't know how many times, but I did not exceed FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulations." When Suri was finally born, Tom expressed profound awe. "It [the birth] was everything that we wanted it to be. It was spiritual. It was powerful. It was indescribable," he shared with "20/20" reporter Deborah Roberts. "What words can you use? It's still something that I'm processing and keep reliving."

However, the dynamic between Tom and Suri experienced a dramatic shift over the years since his highly publicized split from Holmes, resulting in a strained and distant relationship with Suri. In a surprising revelation, the actor asserted that his affiliation with the Church of Scientology played a big part in the estrangement.

Tom Cruise's ties to Scientology got in the way

The intricacies surrounding Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' divorce remain a mystery to this day, but rampant speculation has repeatedly suggested that it had something to do with Cruise's deep ties with Scientology. Knowing that she couldn't escape the shackles of religion if she were to approach the split the conventional way, the "Dawson's Creek" alum reportedly decided to blindside her ex-husband with divorce filings instead and go off the grid with Suri.

Interestingly, this isn't something Cruise has explicitly denied. During his deposition in his $50 million libel suit against a media outfit that alleged he abandoned Suri, he was pressed on whether Holmes left him "in part to protect Suri from Scientology" (via HuffPost). The "Top Gun" star was backed into a corner then, so he had no choice but to respond: "Did she say that? That was one of the assertions, yes." However, he countered by asserting, "There is no need to protect my daughter from my religion," rendering the point essentially moot.

Tom Cruise reportedly hasn't seen Suri in years

Despite the abrupt nature of their split, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes finalized their divorce in record time. The former couple only took 11 days to iron out the kinks in their separation with Holmes getting sole custody of Suri and $400,000 a year in child support payments until Suri turns 18 — though Cruise was granted ample visitation options.

But he has reportedly never fully utilized his visitation privileges, and initially he chalked it up to the complications of his divorce from Holmes. "Listen, where there is a divorce — if you look at this also in terms of Suri coming to me and certain agreements that you have, when a divorce occurs things change," he said in the deposition (via Radar Online). "And it's more complicated, as everyone knows when that is, when that occurs, and there are certain agreements; now you have to ask for permission and organize schedules to make things happen. So it wasn't — it's not an ideal scene. It's not an ideal situation."

Unfortunately, it continued over the years, and his relationship with Suri is practically non-existent to this day. A source confirmed with Page Six that the actor has "no part" in his daughter's life, and this will likely persist as long as he's deeply embedded in Scientology, as the organization prohibits its adherents from associating with former members. "This is his loss, his issue, his problem," another source said. "He must be really brainwashed."