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Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 01/ 9/2008

Risky Business: Chronicling Cruise

By Liz Kelly

(St. Martin's Press)

Ah, the celebrity biography -- usually a quick, dirty read (unless the author is Tina Brown, in which case forget the "quick" bit) designed to reinforce our preconceived notions about the mythology of celebrity without actually bolstering that myth with fact. Which is, coincidentally, the perfect formula for maximum book sales, a spot on the bestseller list and a sit down with Larry King.

It would appear that the latest entrant into the genre promises more of the same. Despite a scathing early review from Entertainment Weekly ("a 323-page air sandwich"), Andrew Morton's unauthorized biography of that enigmatic couch-jumping box office battleaxe Tom Cruise hit the radar this week with all the force of a pre-release PR blitz.

And, on queue, Cruise is reportedly considering a $100 million lawsuit against Morton and his publisher. Cha-ching!

Set to hit shelves next week, Morton's book (if the name sounds familiar, it's because of Morton's splashy entrance into the celeb-chronicling genre 15 years ago with his secretly authorized take on Princess Diana) hits all of the usual Cruise hot buttons and adds a few more.

Below, I've listed a few of the more eyebrow-raising "revelations" from Morton's book. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to rank each item's relative believability.

(* "Rosemary's Baby")

By Liz Kelly  | January 9, 2008; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, TomKat  
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Heh. Just watched the Rosemary's Baby clip (thanks Liz!), and was reminded again how much I dislike Mia Farrow as an actress, though I love that movie and the book.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | January 9, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Ok, I couldn't give a rat's arse if Suri Cruise is the devil spawn of L. Ron Hubbard, but I would like to take the opportunity to say I never liked Tom Cruise. Long before he decided to show his crazy. For an actor who has the range of a gnat, he takes himself way too seriously and his attempts to win an Oscar are just comical.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Really? You guys think they'd put Cruise that in charge of the church? He's way not smart enough to run a scam that complex.

Posted by: Em | January 9, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised Morton would go after Cruise without even the appearance of factual evidence - from what I've read, everything is anecdotal. No biggie for other stars, but Scientology is notorious for going after anyone who gives them bad press, be it from crummy writers or excellent reporters (a Time magazine reporter from the mid-90s ran an eye-opening personal sidebar to his expose, if anyone remembers). More interesting to me than this book is how Cruise will handle the immediate fallout and how Scientology will go after Morton in the long run. I'm saving my money for Andrew Morton's "How Scientology Ruined My Life."

Posted by: rachelt | January 9, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Liz, great polls too. You be hard pressed to find so many far-reaching questions about another star.

Posted by: rachelt | January 9, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Morton has always struck me as skeezy. Which might mean publicity addict Cruise is behind unauthorized blather book, it's more random publicity and the source is sketchy enough that studio bosses won't withhold cash..ahem! black choppers, gotta run.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Tom Cruise is one of those people whom others make assumptions about based on little or no information -- kinda like Peter Sellers in "Being There."

Limited talent -- the rich man's Andrew McCarthy (two facial expressions: bug-eyed stare and toothy grin). Scientology must've paid for whatever Academy Award nominations he's gotten, because how else to explain the accolades?

I feel sorry for his ex/current wives, sorrier for Suri, and sorriest that Andrew Morton couldn't have found a better subject to write about.

There's just no there there.

Posted by: td | January 9, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

There are really more than 30 people (as of 1:30) who think this book is a must read. I demand a recount.

Posted by: MGC | January 9, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I bet there's no lawsuit cause that would mean they'd have expose $cientology & it's teachings & insanity to the public even more & they're not exactly fond of people knowing how their "religion" actually works.

Posted by: Bored @ home | January 9, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Believable- he's "really into his church"...on Inside the Actor's Studio, he said he was an alter boy and he also worked to pay his own private catholic school tuition (while in high school no less)! He's prone to be biggy. That's acutally admirable.
Unbelievable- The rosemary's baby bit (I first thought they were inferring that suri was spoiled, lol) TC is an older guy so if he and Katie had to use fertility WHAT! how many couples do that...also no biggy!
The rest- garden variety player hatred.

Posted by: Sorta cruise fan | January 9, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree, this book is a must read... for comical value at least.

Posted by: To MGC | January 9, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

You missed the biggest Tom Cruise $cientology scandal of them all.

Tom Cruise is gay. A closet case.

$cientology knows all about it. It is part of their "rundown" for you to spill all the beans about yourself.

$cientology has been using this against him to keep him in the cult.

$cientology is a dangerous, criminal cult which is so bad, they even broke into the IRS once. They are NOT a religion, they are a criminal conspiracy.

Tom Cruise and the rest of the $cientology celebrities are idiots. And that includes Will Smith, who is now a $cientology cultist. What a moron.

Posted by: TomIII | January 9, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

$cientologist John Travolta is also a closet case who was blackmailed by the cult.

He's out of the closet now, one of the tabloids photographed him kissing his boyfriend.

And he just played a drag role. Big macho straight guys never do that.

Posted by: TomIII | January 9, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

do you think scientolgy will do to andrew morton what they tried to do to cartmen, kyle and the rest of the south park kiddies? (demand comedy central never show the episode again.) and andrew morton doesn't even have a matt and trey to fight back for free speech and stuff. he's a goner.

Posted by: melissamac1 | January 9, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm rethinking my earlier comments.

If Tom promises to pay me back the cable bill for the month I blew a few hours watching "Eyes Wide Shut," I'll never say another bad thing about him.

Posted by: td | January 9, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I read in one of the UK gossip sheets that Andrew Morton sold his flat in London and moved to an undisclosed location. Smart man!

Posted by: OB | January 9, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"I feel sorry for his ex/current wives, sorrier for Suri, and sorriest that Andrew Morton couldn't have found a better subject to write about.

There's just no there there."

I think that's totally true that there's little to nothing between those ears. However, I do think it's important for someone (preferably a reasonably competent writer/researcher)to delve into this, because Cruise has a lot of power while at the same time believing a lot of wacko stuff. He has the power and resources to hurt a lot of people, and, since he's made the debunking of psychiatry his biggest hobby-horse, he's in a position to do damage to a lot of people who suffer from various forms of mental illness.

I don't think we can afford to dismiss people like him who are essentially nuts, manipulatable, manipulative, and obscenely rich. They can do a lot of dirt, ruin a lot of lives, before they're stopped.

As to the potential lawsuit, I'm sure the publisher factored that into the whole scheme.

Posted by: magpie | January 9, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"And he just played a drag role. Big macho straight guys never do that."

Secure ones do.

Think: Joe Namath in pantyhose; Tom Hanks in that silly sitcom; Dustin Hoffman in "Tootsie": Robin Williams in "Mrs. Doubtfire."

Unless your point is that all actors are sissies, then your conclusion is flawed.

Posted by: magpie | January 9, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

What is it about Scientology that attracts all of these actors and actresses? Is it that they are easily persuaded? They are sought after for their money? They want something to validate their lives?
Please someone tell me

Posted by: jEN | January 9, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I think the author is taking aim at church to discredit it. Tom is just a mean. what a shame!!

Posted by: mian | January 9, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Suri is Tom's spawn, but his contribution was delivered via a turkey baster. I don't think this fella sleeps with women.
And if he ever gets an Oscar, I will boil and eat my own head.

Posted by: POS | January 9, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorta Cruise Fan said, "TC is an older guy so if he and Katie had to use fertility WHAT! how many couples do that..."

Use 'fertility services' to impregnate an actress you were rumored to be with while filming a movie with her? We all thought the relationship was a publicity stunt until she turned up pregnant. Some of us still think it was a publicity stunt--albeit one that got way out of hand.

Tom isn't that old that he would be infertile. Some claim he might be gay, but gay guys can be plenty fertile.

Oh, who knows...maybe those crazy kids really love each other or something.

And anyway, wasn't Lafayette Robert (L Ron to you and me) pretty drugged up or seabound most of the time to ever bother with a sperm sample? He fathered four kids. I doubt he wanted more.

Posted by: MoCoSnarky | January 9, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"What is it about Scientology that attracts all of these actors and actresses? Is it that they are easily persuaded? They are sought after for their money? They want something to validate their lives?"

Most actors and actresses are monumentally insecure and some aren't very smart. Easily persuaded, easily led sheep. As someone once said, a fool and his money are soon parted.

Andrew Morton may be skeevy, but he's also brave. The last guy who bothered Cruise showed up dead.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 9, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Wait, you mean the Beckhams aren't in the church already?

Posted by: Angela | January 9, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I hope it sells zero copies. I'm even sorry I stopped to write about it. What a waste of time and energy. What has this man done to deserve such a vile characterization? I'd sue, too, if I were Cruise.

Posted by: Bella | January 9, 2008 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I think Beckman (as one US sports announcer on ESPN once called him) and Tombat are a match made in celeb heaven - two vacuous one trick ponies (Tombat the smile; certainly can't act, and Becks the dead-ball kicker;certainly can't play football). Let's not mention the two less-than-talented trophy wives.

Can you say a new dynastty of Baldwins and Wilsons?

Posted by: TroubleBoy | January 9, 2008 11:00 PM | Report abuse

And people were making fun of me the other day for pitching far-fetched Cruise related theories. Mine have nothing on this one.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 10, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

this is once again offered up for your review....

Posted by: jim albertson | January 10, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

To Celebritology: It's on cue, not on queue!

Sorry to point that out, but I'm compulsive...

Posted by: Patty | January 14, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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