Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Scientology Doc Reveals Tom Cruise Wanted To Tap Nicole Kidman's Phone

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise (Photo by Featureflash via Shutterstock)
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

HBO's highly-anticipated, scathing documentary on Scientology premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Sunday. Among the many shocking revelations about the church included an in-depth look at how high-ranking Scientology officials reportedly broke up former couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, and also tapped Kidman's phones—supposedly, by Cruise's request.Mark "Marty" Rathbun, the second highest-ranking church official who defected from the church, spoke in director Alex Gibney's film, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, the New York Post reported. Rathbun claimed that Scientology's current top leader, David Miscavige, didn't approve of Cruise's then-wife Kidman. It had to do with how Kidman's father, who died last year, was a famous psychologist in Australia, and Scientologists are known to despise psychiatry and psychology. Kidman also wasn't a member of the church, which bred further distrust amongst its members. The church allegedly labeled her as a "Potential Trouble Source," which is described in the Scientology Handbook as "a person who is in some way connected to and being adversely affected by a suppressive person." This started Miscavige's campaign to break up the married couple, and Rathburn said he was personally put in charge of facilitating the breakup.

The church worked to brainwash Connor and Isabella, the adoptive children of Cruise and Kidman, so that they would turn against Kidman, according to Rathbun. Cruise allegedly asked the church to tap Kidman's phone out of fear that she was talking to people outside of the church about the secrets of Scientology, reported NY Daily News. Although it isn't clear what info they got from Kidman's tapped calls, Miscavige reportedly kept the recordings on file.

It was also during this time the church ramped up their "auditing" of Cruise, a form of psychoanalytical counseling, and allegedly fed Cruise's personal information to Miscavige, reported The Daily Beast. Rathburn said that Miscavige would speak ill of Cruise's sexual fetishes.

Kidman and Cruise met on set of 1990 film Days of Thunder, and although Cruise was a member of the church, he wasn't a fervent follower during the years of 1992 to 2001, according to the documentary. Gibney suggested that Kidman was raised Catholic, and she had tried to get Cruise to distance himself from the church of Scientology. During the late 1990s when Cruise spent a year with Kidman in England filming Eyes Wide Shut, Cruise reportedly didn't answer calls from close friend Miscavige. This worried the church leader and prompted him to go on a hunt to break up the couple. The church apparently wanted Kidman out of the picture so they could get Cruise to become more involved in Scientology so he could promote the religion. The couple split in 2001, and in the ensuing years, Cruise would indeed become a much more enthusiastic follower of the church.

Support for LAist comes from

The Church of Scientology released a statement slamming the documentary, arguing that HBO and Gibney did not give them a list of the allegations he was purporting in his documentary, and in turn, they were not able to properly respond. "The Church has documented evidence that those featured in Gibney’s film regurgitating their stale, discredited allegations are admitted perjurers, admitted liars and professional anti-Scientologists whose living depends on the filing of false claims," the statement read.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Gibney argued that he did request interviews with the church leaders, but he was either rejected by the church or asked to follow their orders that he described as "unreasonable conditions."