Emma Cowing: Katie’s quick split with Tom is an inspiration
ON THE day Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise reached their divorce settlement back in 2001, the former Mrs Cruise was photographed in the car park outside her lawyer’s office looking like someone who had just crawled on to dry land after breaking out of Alcatraz using a teaspoon and bar of soap.
Arms stretched out, face pointed towards heaven, an ecstatic smile on her face, it was the look of a woman who was finally free.
I was always suspicious about that picture. It was too candid, too lucky, for the photographer to have captured on a whim. It looked instead like a set-up shot arranged by a woman who had been publicly humiliated by her husband’s decision to divorce her; the paparazzi equivalent of the girl in the playground who sticks her tongue out at the boy who doesn’t want to play kiss-chase any more.
There was no such photograph of Katie Holmes this week, following the announcement that she and Cruise had come to a lightning-quick divorce settlement which includes Holmes being given sole custody of their daughter Suri. Although she was pictured with Suri around the time of the statement, a soft smile playing round her lips, wedding finger bare, it was altogether more subtle than Kidman’s sledgehammer approach.
Then again, since the initial announcement that Holmes was filing for divorce, that has been very much her modus operandi. Rumours have swirled that Holmes had a plan in place for months, secretly renting a new apartment and making all sorts of arrangements in advance in order to blindside her husband with her shock announcement.
Now, with the settlement already made and more details leaking out, the depth of her planning and organisation is becoming clear: she has got her way with every single demand.
According to one source: “Katie insisted that Suri’s nanny and bodyguards always accompany her when she visits Tom… This will ensure a smooth and easy transition for Suri when she is with Tom.” Talk about tough love. Any ex-wife who calls the shots to this extent in a relationship with a man as powerful as Cruise must also have been able to promise her ex-husband that acquiescing to her demands would also ensure, well, a smooth and easy transition for him too.
Indeed, one of the most interesting elements of the agreement is that it includes details on what either Cruise or Holmes are allowed to tell their daughter regarding religion and religious beliefs, including Scientology.
According to one source, “under terms of the settlement, Suri isn’t permitted to be exposed to anything Scientology-related, and this includes going to any Scientology churches, parties, etc”.
If true, this suggests that Holmes may have had serious concerns about Scientology, Cruise’s religion and one in which he is heavily involved in. So heavily, in fact, that when he married Holmes, the head of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, was his best man.
The Church has many critics, including ex-members who say it is oppressive and cult-like, and Holmes’s determination to extricate her daughter from it shows a strength of will clearly driven by an overwhelming desire to do the very best by her daughter.
But perhaps Holmes’ ultimate legacy will be one of inspiration. All marriages are yo-yos, swinging up and down during different phases of life. But when a marriage becomes an unhappy trap, and it is time to get out, sometimes a little push is needed. In today’s celebrity-saturated world, Holmes’ behaviour will undoubtedly act as an inspiration to other women out there trapped in unhappy marriages.
Holmes may have the expensive lawyers and the money to make life easier, but the fundamental truth remains the same: walking out is hard to do. That Holmes did it at all is impressive.
Of course, many would argue that she should never have got herself into the situation in the first place, and that the marriage was always doomed to fail. But we are all wise after the fact, and love is an extraordinarily powerful thing, particularly to a young and infatuated woman.
Holmes, instead, deserves our respect. For getting out, for getting what she wanted and getting the best for her little girl.
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