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New doc says Scientologist power brokers forced Tom Cruise's split from Nicole Kidman

"I was to facilitate the breakup with Nicole Kidman," says former Scientology leader.

By Matt Bradwell
New doc says Scientologist power brokers forced Tom Cruise's split from Nicole Kidman
Tom Cruise and then-wife Nicole Kidman in 1999. jr/jr/Jim Ruymen UPI | License Photo

PARK CITY, Utah, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A new documentary produced by HBO asserts the Church of Scientology consciously coordinated Tom Cruise's 2001 divorce from Nicole Kidman, and Cruise went as far as to wiretap Kidman's phone calls as the breakup played out.

According to Going Clear: Scientology & The Prison of Belief, the Academy Award-winning actress was never more than peripherally connected to her husband's religion as Kidman's late father was a highly regarded psychologist in her native Australia. Mental health practitioners were held in very low regard by Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and that attitude has become culturally embedded in Scientology for some believers. Negative views about her father's career, coupled with the fledgling religion's investment in Cruise as spokesman led to Kidman being labeled a "PTS," short for "Potential Trouble Source" and defined as "a person who is in some way connected to and being adversely affected by a suppressive person."

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The documentary, directed by Alex Gibney, asserts Kidman discouraged Cruise from over-involvement in Scientology between 1992 and 2001, and during the filming of Stanley Kubrik's Eyes Wide Shut actively distanced himself from the faith. According to Gibney, Scientology leader David Miscavige tapped then-second-in-command Marty Rathbun to manipulate Cruise into divorcing Kidman.

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"I was to facilitate the breakup with Nicole Kidman," Rathbun says in the documentary.

Rathbun says he went as far as to wiretap Kidman's phone -- apparently at Cruise's suggestion -- while Miscavige and those working toward his interests aggressively audited every detail of Cruise's life, exposing nonspecific sexual proclivities the church deemed "perverted" and leading to the "re-education" of Cruise and Kidman's children Connor and Isabella.

The Church of Scientology responded by placing a full-page ad in The New York Times comparing HBO's documentary to Rolling Stone's since-discredited University of Virginia campus rape story.

"HBO is planning to air a documentary about the Church of Scientology, and like Rolling Stone, HBO is not confirming facts central to its film," the ad, originally run on Jan. 16, claims.

"Mr. Gibney's film has been in the works in secret for two years. He and HBO never bothered to tell the Church it was even being made until recently."

In an email statement to UPI, the church reiterated its objections to the film.

"Gibney's sources are the usual collection of obsessive, disgruntled former church members kicked out as long as 30 years ago for malfeasance, who have a documented history of making up lies about the church for money," the statement said.

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Both Cruise and Kidman refused to be interviewed for Going Clear. Rathbun cut ties with the church in 2004.

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