Paramount Cuts Ties With Tom Cruise

HOLLYWOOD (August 23, 2006) — Paramount Pictures is terminating its 14-year relationship with Tom Cruise’s production company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Paramount cut ties with Cruise due to the actor’s “…controversial and sometimes odd public behavior…,” the Journal reported.

Cruise, the star of Paramount hits like “Mission: Impossible,” “Top Gun” and “Days of Thunder” has based his Cruise/Wagner production company on the Paramount lot since 1992.

However, in the past year, Cruise’s star has fallen in the wake of a series of public incidents in which he stumped for his faith in the Church of Scientology; severely criticized the use of antidepressant drugs; and engaged in sometimes offbeat behavior, such as jumping up and down on Oprah Winfrey’s couch to proclaim his love for actress Katie Holmes the Journal added.

Sumner Redstone believes that Cruise’s behavior hurt the box office of his most recent film, ?M:i:III.’ Now, Mr. Redstone said he wants to sever the studio’s connection to its biggest star.

“As much as we like him personally, we thought it was wrong to renew his deal,” Redstone said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “His recent conduct has not been acceptable to Paramount.”

“M:i:III,” which is still in theaters, has taken in almost $390 million worldwide.

Cruise’s “War of the Worlds” (also a Paramount film) made $591 million at the box office.

After being contacted by the Wall Street Journal, Cruise’s representatives presented a different version of events.

They said that Tom’s production company had decided to set up an independent operation financed by two top hedge funds, which they declined to name. Paula Wagner, Mr. Cruise’s partner in the company, said such an arrangement represented a new business model for top actors prominent enough to take advantage of the flood of money coming into Hollywood from Wall Street.

“This is a dream of Tom and mine,” Wagner said. She challenged Redstone’s assertion that Tom’s behavior had cost the studio ticket sales, pointing out that the star’s movies have made the studio a huge amount of money.

Of course, it was right here on Access Hollywood in May 2005 that Tom’s controversial conduct began, as Access’ Billy Bush toured a Scientology center with Tom where Tom spoke passionately about his beliefs.

“I don’t care what people say, I know what Scientology is,” Tom insisted.

“It works for you,” Billy noted.

“Billy, let me just tell you, it is extraordinary what it has done,” Tom added.

But when Billy asked Tom about Brooke Shields taking an anti-depressant to treat post- artum depression, his response was extreme.

“Look at her life,” Tom said. “Here is a woman – and I care about Brooke Shields because I think she is incredibly talented – (but) you look at where has her career gone? It has helped her. When someone says it has helped them, it is to cope. It didn’t cure anything. There is no science. There is nothing that can cure them whatsoever.”

Tom was asked if he meant drugs had cost Shields her career.

“Well, you look at people,” he said, trailing off….”Look – is she happy? Is she really happy?”

Tom went on to say, “What you can do with vitamins and exercise to help a woman through that, to help someone through that, all right. She doesn’t know what these drugs are and for her to promote it is irresponsible. And I wish her well in life. (But) it is irresponsible to do that.”

For more from Tom during his Access interview that started it all, click on the links on the right!

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