If you’re a fan of going to the movies, odds are you’ve seen at least one Tom Cruise project. The "Mission: Impossible" star is absurdly famous around the world. As a result, many parts of his life have played out in very public ways on very public stages.
Cruise is also a dad to three children. He shares his oldest, Isabella and Connor, with ex-wife Nicole Kidman, and his youngest, Suri, with ex-wife Katie Holmes. While it’s clear that Cruise has a great relationship with Isabella and Connor, and both children are active members of his Scientology faith (per The U.S. Sun), it’s less clear what kind of relationship — if any — that he has with Suri. In fact, when Holmes and Cruise divorced, he affirmed that Holmes’ desire to keep Suri out of the Scientology faith was a factor in their split (per HuffPost).
The last public photos of Cruise and Suri date all the way back to 2012, when the two were snapped visiting Disneyland (per Yahoo!). Here’s a look into Tom Cruise’s relationship with Suri and where it stands today.
Tom Cruise was so excited about Katie’s pregnancy that he bought a sonogram machine
Like a lot of expectant parents, Tom Cruise was ecstatic about the impending arrival of his third child, Suri Cruise. In fact, he was so excited about Suri that he reportedly bought his own ultrasound machine so that he could see her every day. Cruise told Barbara Walters about the purchase, which can cost up to $200,000 (per BBC News). He seemed to understand that the purchase was on the lavish end, as he reassured people that the machine would be donated to a hospital after Katie Holmes gave birth.
However, not everyone thought the act was a great idea. In fact, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine issued a statement condemning the act, noting that the buy bordered on abusing the equipment. President Lennard Greenbaum, MD, said, in part, that "Tom Cruise’s recent purchase of an ultrasound machine for personal use at home is both inappropriate and in violation of FDA rules addressing the sale of medical equipment."
Tom Cruise described his daughter Suri’s birth as ‘spiritual’
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes welcomed Suri Cruise on April 18, 2006. From all accounts, and especially from Cruise’s, Suri’s arrival into the world was fairly extraordinary. In fact, only a few days after her birth, Cruise described the experience to "20/20" and still seemed in awe of everything he witnessed (via ABC News). He said, "It was everything that we wanted it to be. … It was spiritual. It was powerful. It was indescribable."
Plenty of outlets shared news of Suri’s birth, as public interest in the newborn was quite high. CBS News noted that Suri weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and clocked in at 20 inches long. A representative for Cruise and Holmes also shared information about her name, noting that Suri has Hebrew origins and can mean "princess," as well as Persian roots, which could give her name the meaning "red rose."
Notably, Cruise and Holmes were also able to leave their home to head to the hospital in private, which was quite a feat considering the vast amount of attention they were receiving at the time.
Tom Cruise and Suri Cruise appeared to have a good relationship until 2012
In 2004, a then-engaged Katie Holmes admitted to Seventeen that she had once fantasized about marrying Tom Cruise (per HuffPost). Fast-forward a few years, and Holmes found herself walking away from the very marriage she once said she wanted.
From all appearances, Tom Cruise and daughter Suri had a solid parent-child relationship up until 2012. That was the year that Katie Holmes filed for divorce in a move that apparently surprised Cruise. While speaking to German TV network ProSieben (via CBS News), he admitted that he didn’t see the divorce coming at all, saying, "I didn’t expect it." He added, "Life is a tragicomedy. You need to have a sense of humor."
It seems that after he recovered from the shock of his wife of six years wanting a divorce, he bounced back pretty quickly. InStyle noted that the two were able to work through their divorce pretty quickly, with a settlement being reached after only 11 days.
He admitted that Katie Holmes left him to ‘protect’ Suri from Scientology
While Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have been pretty quiet when it comes for the exact hows and whys of their divorce, when pushed, Cruise definitely let something slip: One of big reasons Holmes said she wanted a divorce was reportedly to "protect" their daughter, Suri, from Cruise’s religion, Scientology. The admission came out during his deposition during a libel lawsuit he filed against a tabloid. When asked if Holmes felt she had to protect Suri by leaving the relationship, as reported by HuffPost, he first replied that the question was "offensive" and that "there is no need to protect my daughter from my religion," before saying, "Did she say that? That was one of the assertions, yes."
On top of that, Cruise also admitted that Suri was no longer a practicing member of the religion (per TMZ). While HuffPost asserts this means Suri has now been deemed a "suppressive person" in the eyes of the Church of Scientology, there have been no public statements made to that effect. Notably, "suppressive" people are often, if not always, "cut off" from those that are still active members of Scientology.
Tom Cruise was not awarded custody of Suri
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes hammered out the details of their divorce settlement in 11 days (per InStyle), which is pretty remarkable. Surprisingly to many, Cruise was not awarded custody of the pair’s daughter, Suri Cruise, at all, and instead walked away from the discussions with visitation rights only. In fact, Tom Cruise was told he can visit with Suri up to 10 days a month, according to Us Weekly.
Cruise also committed to a fairly hefty sum for child support, and TMZ reported that he pays over $33,000 a month for Suri’s care. While that’s noting to sniff at, it’s a far cry from the sum a judge could have probably ordered him to pay if the divorce had gone to court, especially as his overall net worth is believed to be approximately $600 million (per Celebrity Net Worth). Cruise is also in charge of covering any necessary expenses Suri might rack up, including medical and dental insurance, schooling, and college, and he also funds extracurricular activities (per TMZ).
It sounds like Tom Cruise doesn’t always see Suri in person
Even though the custody agreement struck between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes makes it clear that he can see their daughter, Suri Cruise, for 10 days a month, it seems like he hasn’t been able to make that happen. On top of that, a source apparently close to the situation told Us Weekly that this seems to be a deliberate choice that Cruise is making. The source told the publication, "Every person is allowed to see their child if they wanted to. He chooses not to because she is not a Scientologist."
Outspoken critic of Scientology Tony Ortega spoke to Us Weekly about what might be going on behind closed doors, explaining that it’s possible Holmes signed a document agreeing not to speak badly of the religion in order to get full custody. Ortega added that Holmes only had one objective: to take care of Suri. He said, "She wanted to get away and she wanted to get Suri."
In 2013, Tom Cruise admitted he hadn’t seen Suri Cruise for 100 days
Things only got messier for Tom Cruise in the year after his divorce was finalized. In 2013, he admitted that he hadn’t seen his youngest child for at least 100 days, explaining that his prolonged absence was due to his filming schedule.
According to People, Cruise said in a deposition hearing for her lawsuit again Bauer Publishing that it was "impossible" for him to see Suri during that time, and on top of that, he claimed that the then 7-year-old seemed just fine without him. After sharing that he’s "very good" at talking to his daughter on the phone, Cruise added, "I also find that, you know, Suri is a very happy child, and confident, and has a good sense of herself."
He further explained that, though he missed Suri’s first day of school, that was because his daughter didn’t ask him to be there herself.
How long has it been since he’s seen his daughter in person?
While Tom Cruise might have been able to explain why he didn’t see Suri Cruise for 100 days, he then reportedly missed out on seeing his daughter in person for over 1,000 days. In 2016, In Touch Weekly reported that Cruise had not seen or exchanged words with Suri in over two and a half years. A source allegedly close to the situation told the publication that the pair had been using video chat and text messaging to stay in touch but that it had slowed down, before adding that Suri no longer really bought her father’s explanations for why he was missing. The source said, "He uses his film commitments as an excuse, but the truth is that doesn’t hold much weight with Suri anymore."
As in the past, some believe that Cruise’s religion is the reason why he keeps missing out on his daughter’s life. The same source told In Touch as much, noting, "He’s disconnected from Katie, and then de facto from Suri, because of her connection to Katie. He hasn’t seen her since she was 7."
A friend reportedly said Tom Cruise never meant to ‘be estranged’ from Suri
Despite Tom Cruise’s reportedly prolonged period of estrangement from Suri, an alleged friend of his has stated that the actor never meant to be so far removed from his daughter. While speaking to Hollywood Life in 2019, the friend explained that, even though Cruise isn’t with Suri on important days like her birthday, he’s always planning for them. The friend said, "Tom does plan to send Suri a gift and call her on her birthday."
The friend added that Cruise has a lot of love for Suri, and that being this distant from his daughter wasn’t something he anticipated when he and Katie Holmes welcomed Suri to the world. The friend explained, "Tom never intended to be estranged from his daughter when he decided to have a family with Katie and looks forward to repairing the relationship one day."
While it’s unclear when Cruise will ever reconnect with his daughter, assuming the reports about their estrangement are true, one thing that is certainly true is that the path getting to this point has been long, winding, and, truth be told, quite confusing. Perhaps the two will grow closer when Suri is an adult.