Sad reality of Tom Cruise and daughter Suri’s relationship

Suri Cruise was once the most famous baby in America.

The arrival of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ daughter on April 18, 2006, sparked a global frenzy for the first glimpse of the A-list infant.

But it wasn’t until five months after her birth that she made her debut — on the cover of Vanity Fair, wrapped in the arms of her doting parents, in glossy photos taken by photographer to the stars, Annie Leibovitz.

Now she turns 18 this week and faces a choice: Whether to return to the level of fame she had as a kid — when there were blogs devoted to her fashion — or maintain the carefully-guarded life Holmes has built for her since she blindsided Cruise by filing for divorce.

The dark-haired teen has grown up in Manhattan largely shielded from the spotlight by her loving and highly protective mum, 45, far removed from her 60-year-old father’s Church of Scientology.

As Page Six revealed last year, Suri is estranged from her famous father and the pair have no relationship.

An industry source told us this week that the Mission: Impossible star has not seen Suri since 2012. “Katie has safeguarded Suri and she’s a devoted mum,” the source said.

“This is a girl who is a private citizen. She hasn’t lived her life in public.”

Holmes told Glamour magazine in 2023 that she likes to “protect” Suri from the public eye “because she was so visible at a young age.”

“I’m very grateful to be a parent, to be her parent. She’s an incredible person. She’s my heart,” she added.

Being the only daughter of a protective single parent is a stark contrast to how Suri’s life began, of course.

“My whole life I always wanted to be a father,” Cruise gushed to VF back in 2006.

“I always said to myself that my children would be able to depend on me and I would always be there for them and love them — that I’d never make a promise to my kids that I couldn’t keep.

“I’m not one of those people who believe you can spoil a child with too much love. You can never give a child too much love. There’s just no way.”

He already had two adopted children, Bella, now 31, and Connor, now 29, from his marriage to Nicole Kidman and after her Vanity Fair debut was happy to parade Suri for the paparazzi.

Cruise had famously declared their romance by jumping up and down on Oprah Winfrey’s couch in May 2005, yelling “I’m in love!”

But when Suri was just 6, Holmes filed for divorce after six years of marriage with the help of her dad, Martin Holmes, a fierce lawyer, and through a secret plan that entailed using burner phones.

Cruise was taken completely by surprise by the filing while he was on the set of Oblivion in Iceland in June 2012.

He and Suri were last seen together at Disney World in the summer of 2012.

In November 2013, during a deposition in his $US50 million court battle against a pair of tabloid magazines, the Top Gun star admitted that Holmes had filed for divorce “to protect Suri from Scientology,” court documents revealed.

Despite not having a relationship; as per their divorce agreement, Cruise, who has an estimated $US600 million fortune, agreed to pay Holmes $US400,000 a year until Suri turns 18 as well as future “medical, dental, insurance, education, college and other extra-curricular costs”.

Scientology lies at the heart of the question over Suri’s future.

Holmes, who rose to fame in the TV hit, Dawson’s Creek, is believed to have signed multiple nondisclosure documents that will prevent her from ever talking about her marriage to Cruise — and her time inside Scientology.

But when Suri turns 18, NY state declares that she is at the age of majority, when an individual is legally considered an adult.

That would allow her to speak about her father, his beliefs and their rift.

Tony Ortega, who has covered Scientology in depth for decades, told Page Six, “Suri would have been too young to sign any agreement, but she will now be free to talk if she wants to and it’s going to be really interesting if she has something to say.”

We have reached out to reps for Cruise, Holmes and the Church of Scientology.

“Part of why Katie left when she did when Suri was 6 was that Katie would have seen Isabella and Connor going through Scientology,” said Ortega.

Cruise is of course Scientology’s most famous follower and seen as one of its most powerful figures, possibly second only to its leader, David Miscavige.

That power has led Ortega and former Scientologists to question what action Miscavige and other top Scientologists may have taken against Holmes and her daughter.

Regular members who quit are declared “suppressive persons (SP)” and those who stay in Scientology are told to completely cut them off.

“We don’t know for sure if Katie was ever declared an SP,” Ortega said.

“If you are a regular church member you could be told to disconnect from your wife and daughter, but because Tom is a celebrity — he’s the top celebrity — he gets to ignore all this stuff.

“Your average member would be kicked out, but David Miscavige can’t do that with Tom.”

Both Mike Rinder and Jeff Augustine, two high-profile former Scientologists, agreed with this claim.

Augustine is married to Karen de la Carriere, who was one of the highest-ranking church leaders until she left in 2010 and told Page Six, “The situation with Suri is a larger story about Scientology and the subject of how they make people no longer useful to them or threats to them non-persons.

“It’s like they cease to exist and that’s what happened to Suri.”

Back in August 2020, Leah Remini — one of the most famous celebrities to leave and speak out against Scientology — told us that she believed Cruise, who now lives mainly in the UK, was waiting until Suri is older so he could indoctrinate her into Scientology.

Remini, who attended Cruise and Holmes’ November 2006 Italian wedding at the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle, said, “I’m sure his master plan is to wait until Suri gets older so that he can lure her into Scientology and away from her mother.”

Suri has tiptoed very gently into her parents’ showbusiness world while attending her exclusive Manhattan day school, singing Blue Moon in the opening credits of Holmes’ 2022 movie, Alone Together.

“I always want the highest level of talent,” Holmes said. “So I asked her! She’s very, very talented. She said she would do it and she recorded it, and I let her do her thing.”

Suri also sang in the film Rare Objects, which Holmes also directed.

Holmes will this year return to Broadway in a revival of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town.

She has not remarried but had a six-year romance with actor Jamie Foxx which she kept under the radar before their split in August 2019 and went on to have a brief fling with Nolita restaurateur Emilio Vitolo Jr. in 2021.

Holmes is careful not to speak out too much about her daughter, who is now preparing for college, once saying, “She came out very strong — she’s always been a strong personality.”

But she is now getting ready for her daughter to leave the nest.

“You want them to stay with you forever, but they’re these amazing beings, and you have to do everything you can to give them what they need — and then they’re going to go,” she told Town & Country in 2017.

“And that’s going to be very, very sad for me.”

As for the future, former Scientology spokesperson Mike Rinder, who has not seen his own two eldest children since he quit the organisation, told Page Six, “Suri is not a Scientologist and never will be … she deserves love and sympathy.”

This story originally appeared on Page Six and is republished here with permission.