Katie Holmes has never been able to say what happened to her. But we're starting to find out.

In the past week, the news cycle has been filled with images of an 18-year-old Suri Cruise celebrating her high school prom. It seems like just yesterday we saw the cherubic-faced infant daughter of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise make her debut to the world on the cover of Vanity Fair in 2006. 

But now here we are almost two decades later and Suri is moving into an exciting time in her life as she prepares to head to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania later this year. 

These major milestones will no doubt be a proud moment for her mum Katie Holmes who has privately raised her daughter in New York City. It is, however, hard not to miss the subtext of a missing key figure from these milestones: her father, Tom Cruise.

It has long been rumoured that Cruise has been estranged from his youngest daughter's life for some time now and it looks like that separation has run deep through her formative teen years. According to reports from Page Six her LaGuardia High School graduation pamphlet listed her name as "Suri Noelle" inferring that she no longer goes by her father's last name — at least publicly. 

It's the latest indication that the father and daughter have a fractious relationship (if they even have one at all) with the pair last seen together publically in 2012 on a day out to Disney World. By all accounts it's Katie Holmes who has been raising her daughter solo for most of her life and if we dig deeper that has entirely been by design.

For a very long time the circumstances around Katie and Tom's separation and subsequent divorce have been merely rumours. But as the years go on we're now starting to piece together a story that speaks to a marriage fraught with secrecy, private Scientology practices and a woman seemingly trying to protect her daughter from what has been called a controversial religion.


Listen to more of the fallout from Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise's story on The Spill. 

Tom and Katie's divorce.

In 2005 Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise made headlines when they began dating. He was the seasoned Hollywood A-lister, and she was a beloved TV actress — together they immediately became a celebrity power couple and the public was hooked.

As interest in their relationship grew, the pair weren't shy about letting their feelings known. In a now infamous interview with Oprah Winfrey, Cruise was so overcome with excitement about his new girlfriend he jumped up and down on the set couch during filming.

"I'm in love," he exclaimed at the time in 2005. "I'm in love and it's one of those things where you want to be cool, like, ‘Yeah I like her,' that's not how I feel. I wanted to meet this person, and I met her and she's extraordinary."

Tom Cruise declaring his love for Katie Holmes to Oprah Winfrey. Image: The Oprah Winfrey Show.


At the same time Holmes began opening up about being so invested in her new relationship she had started the process to convert to Cruise's beloved religion of Scientology.

"You know, it’s really exciting," she told W Magazine in 2005. "I just started auditing and I’m taking some courses and I really like it. I feel like it’s really helping."

In June 2005 Cruise proposed to Katie and less than a year later they welcomed their first and only child together, Suri, in April, 2006. Seven months later the pair were married in a lavish ceremony at the Odescalchi Castle in Italy. Holmes' sister Nancy Blaylock stood by her side as maid of honour and the leader of Scientology David Miscavige took up the post as Cruise's best man.

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise in 2012, shortly before their divorce. Image: Getty.


However, after the gloss of their wedding faded away it didn't take long for the tabloids to begin running stories about Cruise's alleged controlling behaviour. 

It was rumoured that Cruise began to dictate his wife's acting career and steered her away from projects that did not align with Scientology's core value beliefs. Despite vehement denial from both Cruise and Holmes, her projects dropped off and her once bustling career floated into the background.

Then, after seven years of marriage, Holmes filed for divorce from Cruise in a move that apparently came as a shock to her husband.


"This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family," said Holmes' rep at the time in 2012. "Katie’s primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter’s best interest."

Cruise alluded to the shock split in 2013 during an interview with a German TV station

"To be 50 and to have experiences and to think you have a grip on everything, and then it hits you — this is it, what life can do to you," he said. "Life is a tragicomedy. You need to have a sense of humour."

The breakdown of their marriage certainly didn't come as a surprise to the public and the reasoning behind Holmes' decision started to come to the surface. It was always inferred that Holmes walked away from the relationship in order to protect their daughter from Scientology. 

When quizzed about this during a lawsuit against a media company, Cruise was asked if his ex-wife had divorced him to remove their daughter from the contentious church.

"Did she say that? That was one of the assertions, yes," he responded at the time in 2013.

Once their divorce was settled Holmes gained full custody of Suri.

So where did it all go wrong? Were the rumours of his controlling behaviour true? Did Holmes work in secret to escape the clutches of the Scientology world? For a very long time, we only had clues to go by, but now we might be seeing the full picture years after the divorce was settled.


Taking hints from Leah Remini.

It's no secret that the Church of Scientology has always been shrouded in mystery and controversy. While it remains a big player in protecting those in the inner circle, we've often become privy to some problematic practices thanks to some whistleblowers who have come forward with their tales from inside the religious ranks.

Probably the most notable former member of the Scientology church has been actress Leah Remini who has been incredibly vocal about spilling secrets David Miscavige would certainly rather she didn't.

After being a member of the church since she was eight years old, Remini publically denounced her involvement with Scientology in 2013 after saying she wanted to protect the wellbeing of her young daughter. Not long after she filed a missing persons report after alleging that David Miscavige's wife Shelly had not been seen since 2007.

In the years since she hasn't been shy about coming forward with allegations of abuse she says she suffered while being involved in the "cult" for over 35 years. In 2023 she formalised these allegations by filing a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology by claiming she had been "stalked, surveilled, harassed, threatened and intimidated" by members.

In 2017 Remini went on The Adam Corolla Show to open up about how she viewed Holmes' relationship with Cruise and her abrupt exit from the church.

"I had no idea the pressure she was under," she said. "I had no idea she was aware of what was really going on. I had no idea that she was trying to save her daughter."


So when rumours started swirling that Holmes' had secretly been planning to jump ship, Remini said she believes she made a deal that would disallow her to speak ill of senior Scientologists — which would include Cruise. Remini believes Holmes did this in order to gain full custody of her daughter.

What really happened behind closed doors.

The details around Holmes, Cruise and their relationship have always been shrouded in secrecy but perhaps now that the dust has settled we can read between the lines.

In 2016 Radar Online ran a report that claimed to reveal juicy details from their divorce agreement which supports the argument that Holmes took a deal to protect her daughter. Their sources claimed that Holmes would be forever suppressed from talking about Cruise, Scientology or date anyone publicly until 2017 in order to gain full custody.

It has also been rumoured that Holmes orchestrated an incredible stealth mission to pull of her shock divorce from Cruise with the help of her attorney father, Martin. According to reports at the time, it has been alleged that Martin came to town to help "save" his daughter by getting her a new phone and email address in order to protect her from the church in the wake of the divorce.

"When new cell phones arrived, then nobody could reach her," a source told Page Six in 2012. "Her old best friends from last week don’t have her new number, no e-mail. She’s unreachable."

They were extreme measures but ones they felt necessary.

In the 14 years since her swift exit from a marriage and religion that wasn't serving her, Holmes has often remained tight-lipped. Whether that's to honour a legally binding contract or whether she'd prefer to forget about a dark time in her life, it's clear she had tried her best to move on and protect her daughter.


Suri Cruise and Katie Holmes in 2017. Image: Getty.

In 2022 she made a very rare comment about the period of her life following the very public divorce from Cruise which saw her move across the country away from the Scientology mecca of Los Angeles and relocate to New York City.


"That time was intense," she said in an interview with InStyle magazine. "It was a lot of attention, and I had a little child on top of it. We had some funny moments out and about in public. So many people I didn’t know became my friends and helped us out, and that’s what I love about the city (New York)."

Jenna Miscavige Hill, the niece of David Miscavige, left the church in 2005 and issued a statement in support of Holmes and her protection of Suri.

“My experience in growing up in Scientology is that it is both mentally and at times physically abusive,” Jenna said in her statement. “I was allowed to see my parents only once a week at best — sometimes not for years. We got a lousy education from unqualified teachers, forced labor, long hours, forced confessions, being held in rooms, not to mention the mental anguish of trying to figure out all of the conflicting information they force upon you as a young child.

"As a mother myself, I offer my support to Katie and wish for her all the strength she will need to do what is best for her and her daughter.”

We may never know what really went on during Holmes' marriage to Cruise or what the final straw was that made her usher her daughter away from that world. Holmes might never speak publicly about her situation, but parts of her story are starting to be told. 

Feature Image: Getty.

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