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Tom Cruise is one of Hollywood’s wealthiest and most successful actors (his estimated net worth is a cool $600 million!) but there’s a real shady side to the "Top Gun" superstar. In addition to a number of disturbing things many choose to ignore about his life today, Cruise has also made plenty of headlines with his tumultuous love life. To date, he’s been married and divorced three times, has dated a slew of celebs, and, well, what his exes have to say about him isn’t always the most flattering.
Case in point: The actor’s first wife, Mimi Rogers, didn’t mince words when she announced she was sick and tired of being asked about her ex. In 1995, she told People she was "waiting for the moment when I don’t have to talk about that [blankety-blank] name anymore." Then, in 2006, she told Today she was still getting questions about Cruise, despite being happily married to producer Chris Ciaffa. "I’ve had two kids since then, I can barely remember my own name let alone be remembering something almost seventeen years ago," she quipped. It’s clear Rogers never really pined over Cruise after their divorce, and that may be because she knew it was for the best. Here’s the real reason why Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers called it quits.
Their different stories on how they met
Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers first got together between 1985 and 1986. The young "Top Gun" actor confirmed they were an item in a Rolling Stone interview published that June. A whirlwind romance ensued and they married within a year, but while they agreed they loved each other, they couldn’t get on the same page with their meet cute. According to Cruise, they met at a dinner party in 1985 and, as he told the mag, she wasn’t immediately available. "She was dating a friend, and, uh, I thought she was extremely bright," he said.
However, that’s not how Rogers remembered it. Speaking with an Us Weekly reporter in 1987, she echoed the fact that they met at a dinner party, but she told the outlet she was single and that mutual friends pushed them together. "I wasn’t seeing anybody, he wasn’t seeing anybody, and they thought, ‘These people should be going out with somebody. Let’s see if they want to go out with each other,’" she recalled (via the South Florida Sun Sentinel). "And we said, ‘Aw, what the heck. Okay.’"
According to Rogers, it just felt right and they were soon talking of marriage, despite their age difference (she was 32 and he was 24 when they tied the knot) and Cruise’s exploding popularity. Noting that he was "famous, but not crazy famous" when they first met, Rogers shared, "When I saw ‘Top Gun’ the first time, I knew what we were in for."
Tom Cruise didn’t initially want to get married
Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers married on May 9, 1987, in what she called a "very small, very private, and completely normal" ceremony (per Us Weekly, via the South Florida Sun Sentinel). According to People, the Unitarian nuptials took place in upstate New York with fellow actor Emilio Estévez serving as best man. As the outlet reported, the couple was so adamant about keeping it private that even Cruise’s publicist wasn’t aware of the wedding. Rogers, who was previously married to Scientology counselor Jim Rogers, per the Chicago Tribune, loved the idea of marriage. She told the outlet in 1988, "There’s a lot of contentment and security [in marriage]. I highly recommend it.”
However, Cruise wasn’t so sure. The actor spoke with Rolling Stone in 1986, less than a year before saying "I do," and confessed he wasn’t sure he’d ever walk down the aisle. "I don’t know if I could get married," he said. "Right now, in my present state of mind, I don’t believe so. I need a lot of space for myself and my work," he explained. Rogers clearly changed his mind, but he again spoke of his uncertainty about marriage with Rolling Stone in 1990. Recalling his parents’ divorce when he was 12, the actor shared, "My worries were ‘Jesus, am I going to be faithful? Does marriage work as a concept?’ I really never thought it could," he admitted.
Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers appeared to be going strong
Following their 1987 wedding, a 32-year-old Mimi Rogers and 24-year-old Tom Cruise appeared to be going strong. As she told the Chicago Tribune in 1988, they were living in lower Manhattan and focusing on their careers and each other, and doing their best to live a normal life. ”We go to the movies, we go out to dinner, and we never, never have a problem,” she told the mag. ”We’re not real provocative. We don’t inspire cloak-and-dagger tactics.”
As for Cruise, despite his initial trepidations regarding marriage, he also seemed to enjoy being a husband. The star told Rolling Stone in 1990 that he and Rogers always visited each other on set and offered unconditional support to one another. "I couldn’t imagine being without her or being alone," he gushed. He even gave her credit for his emotional "Born on the Fourth of July" performance, saying, "I wouldn’t have been able to make it through ‘Born,’ I don’t think, without her being there."
What’s more, when asked about his romantic past, Cruise told the mag he had never been in love before Rogers and that meeting her changed everything. "Since I’ve been with her, it’s opened me up a lot. I think it’s helped me be a better actor," he said. It also made him a better man. Confessing he had been lonely and angry as a single guy, he enthused, "I care about my wife more than anything in the world. She’s my best friend. I just really like being with her, you know? I love her."
Fame was an issue — sort of
Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers announced their divorce on January 16, 1990, per Entertainment Weekly, and speculation about the reason was rampant. Perhaps fame was an issue. Recalling her first brush with Cruise’s superstardom, Rogers told the Chicago Tribune that attending the 1986 premiere of ”The Color of Money" as his girlfriend was wild. ”There were 10 million photographers, all going mad, pushing and shoving, trying to get a picture of Tom and Paul Newman and Marty Scorsese," she said. "I was just madly trying to get out of the way.”
She did have specific concerns. Just three months after their wedding, she told Us Weekly (via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel), "If there was anything that I was fearful would happen, it would be hearing somebody say, ‘Gosh, we’re really interested in Mimi for this movie and, man, Tom would really be great in the lead.’" She was adamant that her career stay separate from her husband’s and believed she deserved to be treated as an actor in her own right. "Even the thought of having to deal with it is humiliating," she said of co-starring with Cruise.
It’s a sentiment the actor reiterated in 1995, telling People that when you’re with an A-lister, "You cease to be an individual." Even so, Rogers later told The Telegraph in 2001, "The stardom wasn’t really a problem. What did annoy me was the age thing. Some of the tabloids brought it up all the time, and exaggerated the gap between Tom and me."
Religion brought them together, then drove them apart
Tom Cruise may be the most well-known Scientologist in the world, but it was actually Mimi Rogers who introduced him to the religion. As The Hollywood Reporter noted, Rogers’ father was an avid member and so was she. According to The Daily Beast, she shared her religion with Cruise and brought him to his first meetings at a Scientology center in Hollywood. However, the church played a role in their demise as a couple, according to Marty Rathbun. Vanity Fair dubbed Rathbun "Scientology’s former inspector general and No. 2." He confessed to helping break up Rogers and Cruise, and later, Cruise and Nicole Kidman. "Both women got cold on [Scientology head David] Miscavige. He was integral to the breakup of the marriages." Indeed, it was reported that Rogers has since left Scientology.
However, as Rogers tells it, it was a different religion that drove them apart. Speaking with Playboy in 1993 (via E! News), she said, "Tom was seriously thinking of becoming a monk. At least for that period of time, it looked as though marriage wouldn’t fit into his overall spiritual need." She also quipped, "He thought he had to be celibate to maintain the purity of his instrument," cheekily adding: "My instrument needed tuning." (Per The Telegraph, Rogers felt that her words were not correctly interpreted in that Playboy interview.)
Rolling Stone previously reported that Cruise had attended a Catholic seminary during high school but didn’t take the path seriously. "Even at that age, I was too interested in ladies," he said.
Did Tom Cruise outgrow his first wife?
Fame, religion, age — these were all blamed for Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers’ divorce, but according to two authors who wrote unauthorized biographies about Cruise, none of those were the true cause of the split. Wensley Clarkson, who wrote "Tom Cruise: Unauthorized," told Entertainment Weekly that he believes they simply matured in different directions. "I think he outgrew her," Clarkson speculated.
Andrew Morton, who penned "Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography," made a similar case, quoting an interview with Talk magazine in which Cruise shared, "It was just two people who weren’t meant to work and it wasn’t what I wanted for my life. I think you just go on different paths, but it wasn’t Mimi’s fault. … It’s just the way it is." Morton also cited a statement made by the couple after their split in which they appeared to imply they had tried their best but it just wasn’t meant to be. "While there have been positive aspects to our marriage, there were some issues which could not be resolved even after working on them for a period of time," they said in a joint release.
That notion appears to be in keeping with what Cruise told Barbara Walters in 1992 when he didn’t blame the age difference for his split from Rogers. Rather, he’d learned he wanted something else out of a relationship, but there were no hard feelings. "I wish her well," he shared. "I wish her great success and happiness."
Nicole Kidman’s alleged role in Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers’ divorce
Tom Cruise met his second wife, Nicole Kidman, on the set of 1990’s "Days of Thunder" while he was still married to Mimi Rogers. They were instantly drawn to each other and weren’t shy about telling Vanity Fair in 1995 it was a sexual connection. "I thought he was the sexiest man I’d ever seen in my life, so it started on lust," Kidman gushed while Cruise added, "Instant lust, that’s what I felt. I thought she was amazingly sexy and stunning."
According to Andrew Morton’s "Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography," that connection was the catalyst for Cruise leaving Rogers. "On December 9, 1989, with filming for ‘Days of Thunder’ in full swing, Tom’s lawyers quietly filed a suit for his legal separation from Mimi," Morton wrote. However, the public didn’t learn about the split until over a month later, and that was on purpose. As journalist Richard Corliss, who interviewed Cruise at the time, explained in Morton’s book, "His marriage to Mimi Rogers was a fiction he wanted to maintain — at least until the magazine profiles attending the release of ‘Born on the Fourth of July’ were published."
In the end, Cruise’s divorce from Rogers was finalized in February 1990, per Us Weekly, and he married Kidman in December 1990. As he told Vanity Fair, he had zero doubts. "I knew she was it for me," he enthused, adding, "I thought, ‘This is the person to be able to share all of who I am with, and her with me.’"