Tom Cruise will go to any lengths to defend Scientology, even if it means ruffling feathers with his movie studio of choice. Page Six has an excerpt from the upcoming book Leading Lady, about former Paramount Pictures CEO Sherry Lansing, which cites an incident in 2003 when the actor let his devotion interfere with his working relationship.
Cruise’s production company previously had an exclusive deal with Paramount, home to the Mission: Impossiblefranchise, and according to author Stephen Galloway, the action star attempted to intervene in the divorce of studio executive John Goldwyn, when Scientology came into play.
Goldwyn was the studio’s president of production at the time and was divorcing his Scientologist wife, Colleen Camp. Goldwyn, who came out as gay during the split, was fighting for sole custody of their daughter and mentioned the religion in his divorce papers.
“Only once did Cruise’s beliefs affect his professional relationships: during a confrontation with Goldwyn,” Galloway writes.
Goldwyn recalled the incident to Page Six on Wednesday, saying he had stated in the court papers that he believed Scientology was “being applied to alienate the affection” of his child. Colleen Camp, an actress, ultimately handed the divorce papers to Cruise via Scientology leaders. Cruise then called for an urgent meeting with Lansing and Goldwyn.
“Tom got very upset because he thought I was launching a campaign against Scientology, and he felt I was persecuting him for his religion,” Goldwyn revealed. “Tom was rabid about it and said, ‘It’s because of people like you that I have to ride in a bulletproof car and why I cannot practice my faith openly.’”
The tense situation — escalated by Cruise’s ties to the studio — was alleviated by Lansing.
“Sherry was amazing as an executive and a friend. She stepped in and saved the situation by saying, ‘I’ve known John for years, and he isn’t a bigot. This is about his daughter,’” Goldwyn said, noting, “Tom immediately calmed down.”
Cruise then switched from actor mode to lawyer mode, asking if Goldwyn had made his wife a settlement offer.
“‘Hold tight,’” Goldwyn recalls Cruise saying. “Within 24 hours we were done. Tom Cruise was responsible for bringing my divorce to a close. It is a great Hollywood story.”
Apparently this Hollywood story also has a happy ending. Goldwyn noted that he and Cruise remained friendly, and the actor even had him and his partner, Jeff Klein, over after his divorce with Camp was settled.