When news broke two weeks ago that Katie Holmes had filed for divorce from Tom Cruise, it was greeted with the metaphorical sound of millions of hands rubbing together in celebrity-gossip anticipation.
“Here we go,” thought many who have been afflicted at least briefly with TomKat curiosity, which, if we’re being honest with ourselves, is probably most of us. “Now we’re going to find out what’s really going on in that marriage, and hear about the weird Scientology-oriented things Cruise does in his spare time, and get to read scandalous court documents that are supposed to be confidential but will somehow wind up on TMZ so we can peruse them on our mobile phones during our lunch hours. Man, this is going to be great.”
Then something shocking happened. Eleven days after the news broke, just as everyone was gearing up for the fireworks, boom went the dynamite: Holmes and Cruise signed off on the split in record time, leaving in their wake a joint statement about keeping family matters private and a small puff of smoke a la the Road Runner. (“We’re divorced now. Meep meep!”)
Everyone who had been hoping these proceedings would finally confirm that Holmes has been living the equivalent of a Lifetime Original Movie entitled, “Mother, May I Sleep With That Guy From ‘Top Gun’ Who Went Nuts on Oprah’s Couch?” was left with only dreams of the sordid blogosphere fodder that might have sustained them until at least the holiday season.
Of course, there’s still plenty of media fodder to be milked from this story. (Look at me! I’m tugging on udders right now.)
Since the finalizing of the split, stories have circulated about how Suri Cruise’s custody arrangement will work, and how Tom Cruise appeared wedding ring-less on a movie set, and how Scientology was either a major factor or no factor at all in the divorce. Oh, and there’s also been my personal favorite, the L.A. Times piece about how Katie Holmes used a secret second cell hone to orchestrate divorce plans without Cruise knowing. This information has only confirmed the Holmes narrative that many have happily bought into:that the former star of “Dawson’s Creek” is a stone-cold ninja who handles her divorce business like Stringer Bell from “The Wire.”
Is any of this true? Who knows? As the hundreds of comments that have been posted in Celebritology on this matter indicate, everyone has a theory about this divorce. But so far, all the Us and People magazine stories and their equivalents have provided are tidbits from unnamed sources at best, and rampant speculation at worst.
The fact is that we probably won’t ever know for sure what was really happening in that marriage or what occurred in the brief days pre- settlement signing. As his divorces from previous wives Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman proved, when Tom Cruise and an ex-spouse agree to keep quiet, they generally keep quiet.
And perhaps that’s what frustrates Hollywood news junkies more than anything else about this high-profile relationship’s demise: that in this, an era when the Internet has ensured that pretty much everything is our beeswax, we are forced to accept that this is none of our beeswax.
Cruise and Holmes acted with astonishing speed to make sure that the real details of their story would remain in the vault, to put this in Seinfeldian terms. At least so far, they’ve succeeded.
On one hand, you have to give them credit for maintaining dignity and confidentiality. On the other ... look, is it so wrong to daydream that one day, they might do a total 180 and participate in a joint AMA on Reddit?