Disturbing Things We Ignore About Tom Cruise's Life Today

Tom Cruise is easily one of Hollywood's highest-paid actors with an estimated yearly salary of $50 million and an impressive $600 million net worth. But, if his epic COVID-19 rant on the December 2020 set of Mission: Impossible 7 has shown us anything, it's that he's also one of the most controversial. Audio of Cruise yelling at staffers for allegedly not following COVID-19 protocols quickly went viral, but things got awkward when TMZ noted that he himself was not following guidelines. As it turns out, the valve mask Cruise was wearing is not recommended by the CDC because it allows potentially infected droplets to leave the mask.

According to Page Six, five staffers have since quit, and the outburst served as a reminder that much of Hollywood can't stand Tom Cruise. Over the years, the actor has amassed numerous skeletons in his closet, and much of the controversy can be linked back to his ties with the Church of Scientology. In describing his character, Tom DeVocht, a former member of Scientology's internal police, told The Daily Beast that Cruise is "very similar" to Scientology leader David Miscavige because they are "both rather absorbed by themselves, and intensely so. You don't want to look at 'em wrong, say anything wrong, and you definitely don't want to better them in any way," he claimed, concluding, "You had to be very careful around them."

But despite all of the shady stories that exist, the actor continues to work consistently. These are the disturbing things we ignore about Tom Cruise's life today.

Tom Cruise has been accused of using 'slave labor'

Over the past decade, numerous ex-members of the Church of Scientology have accused the church of gross misconduct, and, according to several allegations, Tom Cruise is not free of blame. In fact, former Inspector General Mark Rathbun told R Online in 2011 that he has secret emails proving that a "slave labor force" of Scientologists was forced to build a luxury bus as a gift for Cruise. Then, in 2013, 15 ex-Scientologists signed affidavits in which they claimed that Cruise repeatedly took advantage of members of the church and paid them $1 an hour to carry out a whole slew of jobs for him (via R Online).

John Brousseau, a former member of the Sea Organization (which is described as a "religious order ... composed of the singularly most dedicated Scientologists"), claimed he was ordered by leader David Miscavige "to do specific projects relating to Tom Cruise" in 2004, like "a complete renovation of his home in Beverly Hills." He was also reportedly ordered to "oversee the construction of a large custom motorhome for Mr. Cruise over a five-month period" and to "assist in the customization and construction of a special limousine for Tom Cruise." Meanwhile, former high-ranking Scientologist Amy Scobee said she had "to locate Scientologists for Tom Cruise's household to cover the positions of nanny, cook, and maid." The documents also alleged that anyone who didn't follow orders was met with inhumane punishments, such as being locked in a bamboo cage.

Does Tom Cruise personally punish fellow Scientologists?

Leah Remini went from proud Scientology member to Scientology whistleblower when she left the church in 2013 and published Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology. Since then, she hasn't stopped sharing horror stories, including ones about the church's most famous member: Tom Cruise. One example? In November 2018, she told The Daily Beast that "Scientologists are told that Tom Cruise is saving the world single-handedly, so he is considered a deity within Scientology."

The actress went on to claim that Cruise "is very aware of the abuses that go on in Scientology. He's been part of it," she said, adding that she's "been told by a senior executive of Scientology, who was there, that [leader] David Miscavige constantly threatened the staff ... with bringing Tom Cruise to Gold Base to kick their f****** a**es." Remini also told the outlet that there was an instance when the actor personally punished a high-ranking member on Miscavige's orders.

The Church of Scientology quickly shut down the allegations, telling ET Canada that "the interview is a PR stunt to promote [Remini's] fake reality TV show." They slammed, "Remini has gone out of her way to manufacture hate and instigate harm toward innocent people."

He met with Ukraine's president at the worst possible time

It was July 25, 2019, and no one could have predicted that a phone call between Ukraine's newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and US President Donald Trump would spark a media frenzy. CNN dubbed it "the most important day in the impeachment scandal" as the conversation (which was declassified in September 2019) would go on to raise questions of extortion and set off Trump's impeachment trial.

While Zelensky was adamant that there was no blackmail, House Democrats weren't so sure. That's because Trump asked Zelensky "to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine" (i.e., the country's alleged meddling in the 2016 election), as well as to investigate Joe Biden's son. "Whatever you can do ... would be great," Trump told Zelensky, who responded positively, saying, "For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation."

It was right at this time, while Zelensky was making headlines across the globe, that Tom Cruise flew to Ukraine to meet with him. According to Deadline, Cruise had requested permission to shoot a film in Ukraine and was invited to meet with the president (a former actor) first in his Kiev office. Cruise was all smiles during his October visit, despite the controversy surrounding his host. "You're good-looking! Like in a movie," Zelensky told Cruise, who laughed, "It pays the rent." Not the best timing, to say the least.

Is Scientology to blame for his divorces?

Could it be that Scientology is at the root of Tom Cruise's high-profile divorces from Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes? That's what a number of ex-members claim. Marty Rathbun, a former high-ranking Scientologist, alleged in the 2015 documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (via The Daily Beast) that his job "was to facilitate the breakup with Nicole Kidman" because the actress was a non-believer.

Leah Remini corroborated those claims, telling Us Weekly that the Celebrity Centre's Senior Vice President "used confidential Scientology counseling sessions to bring a wedge between Tom and his wife Nicole because Nicole didn't want to do Scientology anymore." She added that leader David Miscavige, "through Marty Rathbun, got rid of Nicole to get Tom closer to Scientology." The couple eventually split in 2001, and when the divorce was finalized, Kidman went viral for leaving her lawyer's office in utter bliss.

Jump to 2006, and Cruise married Katie Holmes with Miscavige acting as his best man, but come 2012, the actress "blindsided" Cruise by filing for divorce and seeking sole custody of their daughter, Suri. While their split may not have been a direct outcome of meddling from Scientologists, like the fallout between him and Kidman, it appears that it was Scientology that pushed Holmes away. When Cruise was asked during a deposition (via People) if Holmes had filed for divorce to "protect" Suri from Scientology, he conceded, "That was one of the assertions, yes."

The Church of Scientology allegedly auditioned wives for Tom Cruise

After Nicole Kidman and before Katie Holmes, the Church of Scientology tried to find the ideal wife for Tom Cruise. At least, that's the shocking story Vanity Fair reported on in 2012, alleging that Shelly Miscavige, wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was tasked with finding the ideal girlfriend for their star member.

It was 2004 when a reported audition process took place during which actresses (all Scientology members, of course) were called into what they believed to be an audition for a training film. They were reportedly asked questions like, "What do you think of Tom Cruise?" and, in October 2004, Homeland actress Nazanin Boniadi was chosen as a frontrunner. According to the magazine, Boniadi went through daily audits for a month and was forced to disclose everything about herself, including "every detail of her sex life."

Boniadi was eventually chosen to go on a date with Cruise in November 2004, but not before reportedly being told to remove her braces, darken her hair, and break up with her boyfriend. According to sources, she also had to sign a number of confidentiality agreements, but the romance fell apart in January 2005. Insiders claim that Cruise would report his girlfriend (who had moved in with him) to Scientology staff when he was displeased with her actions and, in the end, he got someone to break up with her, explaining that Cruise "wants someone with her own power — like Nicole."

Tom Cruise has been accused of 'brainwashing' his oldest children

While Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were married, they adopted two children — Isabella and Connor — and when they split, Cruise did his best to convince them to cut their mother out of their lives. That's the shocking allegation that former Scientologist Sam Domingo made in 2019, telling R Online, "Tom made the decision to disconnect from Nicole and have his children disconnect." Claiming that Isabella and Connor "weren't given a choice about [Scientology] school or about disconnecting from their mother," she added that Cruise "brainwashed" them and that "in their eyes, Nicole is what Scientologists call a 'meat body.' She's not really their mother — she's just a bad person," she explained, noting that "those kids have grown up without choices. They're being used as leverage for the church and it's not right," she concluded.

Meanwhile, former Scientologist Katrina Reyes told R Online in 2018 that Connor was being groomed into the "perfect Scientologist" while living in a Church-owned hotel under constant surveillance. "They'll have him on course and doing some auditing, he can't go out and party and drink, and he'll be on vitamins and juices," Reyes claimed. As for Isabella, The Underground Bunker uncovered in 2019 that she starred in a promotional video encouraging members to intern as auditors at the church's London branch. "I became that annoying girl in the org who would just talk endlessly about how incredible training is and how phenomenal the internship is," she gushed, adding, "Thank you to my Dad for everything."

He criticized Brooke Shield's battle with postpartum depression

In 2005, actress Brooke Shields used her memoir, Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression, to get real about her struggle with mental health, which followed the arrival of daughter Rowan in 2003. She was honest about using therapy and antidepressants to cope, and that sure seemed to bother Tom Cruise.

The actor told Access Hollywood (via People) that Shield's glowing reviews of antidepressants were "irresponsible." He claimed that "when someone says [medication] has helped them, it is to cope, it didn't cure anything. There is no science. There is nothing that can cure them whatsoever," he continued before adding a back-handed compliment: "I care about Brooke Shields because I think she is an incredibly talented woman, [but] look at where her career has gone." Cruise also spoke out against Shields on Today, saying that "psychiatry is a pseudoscience" and that "all [medication] does is mask the problem." He added that "there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance in the body" and that vitamins and exercise are the cure.

Shields fired back in an op-ed for The New York Times, writing that "comments like those made by Tom Cruise are a disservice to mothers everywhere." She added, "If any good can come of Mr. Cruise's ridiculous rant, let's hope that it gives much-needed attention to a serious disease." Shields also told People that "Tom should stick to saving the world from aliens and let women who are experiencing postpartum depression decide what treatment options are best for them."

Did Tom Cruise abandon daughter Suri Cruise?

Tom Cruise doesn't want anyone to think he abandoned his youngest daughter, but that's exactly what numerous stories have claimed over the years. 

In 2012, Cruise went as far as to file a $50 million lawsuit against Bauer Media for articles that appeared in In Touch and Life & Style, claiming he had abandoned Suri. However, during a 2013 deposition, he was forced to admit (via People) that he didn't see his daughter for over 100 days in 2012 due to work. Jump to 2016, and In Touch reported that the number had grown to over 1,000 days. A source told the mag that Cruise "uses his film commitments as an excuse, but the truth is that doesn't hold much weight with Suri anymore." They went on to cite Scientology's "disconnection" policy, which allegedly discourages members from having ties to former members, and explained, "He's disconnected from Katie, and then de facto from Suri, because of her connection to Katie. He hasn't seen her since she was 7."

Meanwhile, Leah Remini told the New York Post in 2020 that "Scientology considers Katie a suppressive person, which is an enemy, and therefore Tom believes, like all Scientologists, that he can't be connected to Suri." However, the actress added that she's "sure his master plan is to wait until Suri gets older so that he can lure her into Scientology and away from her mother." In 2019, In Touch reported that Cruise was reportedly ready to build a relationship with Suri.

He appeared to compare acting to fighting in Afghanistan

Did Tom Cruise really compare acting to fighting in a war? It was during a 2013 deposition in his $50 million lawsuit against Bauer Media that the actor apparently told a court (via TMZ) that shooting on location is just as grueling as serving a tour of duty. The opposing lawyer is cited as telling Cruise that "your counsel has publicly equated your absence from Suri for these extended periods of time as being analogous to someone fighting in Afghanistan" and asking, "Are you aware of that?" The actor is quoted as responding that he "didn't hear the Afghanistan, but that's what it feels like, and certainly on this last movie, it was brutal. It was brutal."

The story immediately began making headlines, and Cruise's lawyer, Bert Fields, tried to set things right, saying his client's remarks were taken out of context. He noted that when Cruise was asked, "Do you believe the situations [being in a movie and fighting a war in Afghanistan] are the same?" as a follow-up question, he scoffed, "Oh come on." 

Fields also slammed (via People) that "the assertions that Tom Cruise likened making a movie to being at war in Afghanistan is a gross distortion of the record. What Tom said, laughingly, was that sometimes, 'That's what it feels like,'" he added.