First, Rielle and John, and now Katie and Tom.
Yes, as in Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. People magazine broke the news Friday that Katie has filed for divorce in New York. The quips soon spun.
She The People writer Bonnie Goldstein wrote in an e-mail, “The prenup must be ready to expire.”
Washington Post reporter and STP colleague Karen Tumulty tweeted, “BREAKING: Oprah’s couch being called as a character witness in the Tom and Katie divorce.”
It seems like Tom and Katie were married forever. In fact, it’s only been five years. As STP editor Melinda Henneberger said, “If we think that, imagine how she feels.”
Katie and Tom never seemed quite right as a couple. Then again, Tom never seems right with anyone.
Tom’s courtship of Katie, who once was a rising TV and film star, began in the mid-2000s when she was about 26 and he 42. He was the older divorced movie star, 16 years older with two high-profile marriages under his belt and millions of dollars in the bank. In the 1980s, he had married a slightly older woman, actress Mimi Rogers, who rumor has it, introduced him to Scientology. He soon moved on from Mimi, though.
At the height of his career, he met the flaming red-haired Australian Nicole Kidman on a movie set. She was young and impressionable, and
they quickly fell in love. It seemed like the perfect fairy-tale romance. They adopted two children. They starred in movies. They showed us too much in the kinky “Eyes Wide Shut,” which may have been the real start of Tom’s weirdness. Alas, Nicole and Tom ended in a nasty divorce.
He then fell in love with the Spanish beauty Penelope Cruz. Their faces were splashed everywhere. As soon as they parted company, he met Katie Holmes.
His love affairs, at first, always seemed like scenes from sappy romance novels made for celebrity magazine covers. But dark rumors circulated: that he was a control freak dedicated to Scientology; that he tried to pull his adopted children with Kidman, a Catholic, into the religion. He publicly criticized actress Brooke Shields for taking the antidepressant drug Paxil in her battle with postpartum depression.He was clearly married to
Scientology. In 2008, a video emerged on Youtube of a giddy Tom talking about the religion that affirmed, for some, the gossip.
Katie fell into it all. She certainly fit perfectly into the fairy-tale scenario, which almost seemed a replay of his love affair with Nicole.
Holmes was a cute-as-a-button, wide-eyed innocent starlet who got her start on the teenage drama “Dawson’s Creek.” Boys loved her. Girls wanted to be her. She had said in interviews that she had grown up fantasizing about marrying Tom after seeing him in “Risky Business” and “Top Gun.”
She was ripe for the picking, as we say in the South, by Tom.
And, boy, did Tom do a number on her.
A month after the news emerged that the pair was dating, Tom appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” where he went a bit batty. He declared his love for Katie and jumped up and down on Oprah’s couch. The world may have spun off its axis for a second. It really was that jarring.
Soon after, he proposed to Katie late at night on the Eiffel Tower. It seemed as if Tom had been reading too many Danielle Steele romances.
Less than six months later, a baby was on the way, and soon a wedding. No ordinary wedding, of course. The couple married in a Scientology ceremony in the lavish 15th-century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy, with Hollywood royalty attending.
Katie became, like many political wives, the doe-eyed spouse gazing at the “Mission Impossible” superstar at red carpet premieres. Her acting career languished. Frankly, it was disturbing to watch.
Tom is about to turn 50. Katie is 33. Maybe Tom is having a mid-life crisis and needs yet a younger woman. Maybe Katie has matured and seen the light like so many women eventually do. The latest gossip, according to celeb news Web site TMZ, is that Katie wants sole custody of their daughter, Suri. The drama begins.
We spectators who watch from the outside can only hope that Katie ends up on a television couch before Tom does.
Suzi Parker is an Arkansas-based political and cultural journalist and author of “Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt.” Follow her on Twitter at @SuziParker