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Tom Cruise's Publicist Was Fired After Telling Star To Stop Scientology Talk

Tom Cruise's former publicist, Pat Kingsley, has finally opened up about the role Scientology played in her firing in 2004.

Kingsley, now 81, says her first disagreement came with members of the controversial religion.

"It was taken care of very early in the game. I felt that they were involved in a story that I was doing on Tom, and I said: 'It's not your story, it's Tom's. You have to step aside.' And they did."

But seeing Cruise's outspoken support for Scientology grow as the years went on, Kingsley says she tried to warn the actor.

"I did have that conversation with Tom, about cooling it. I told him 'Scientology is fine. You want to do a tour for Scientology? Do a tour for Scientology. But Warner Bros. is sponsoring this tour.' That was for 2003's The Last Samurai."

"He didn't say yes or no, except he did not discuss Scientology on that European tour."

"His assistant called and made an appointment for Tom to come into my office. He had never been to my office before," recalls Kingsley.

"And he came in, had a few minutes of chitchat, and he said, ‘I want you to know I've decided to make a change.' I said: ‘I knew that was going to happen today. I guess I'll probably take a pretty big hit with the media.' And he said, ‘Well, we've all had those hits, haven't we?'"

"I said, ‘Yeah. I'll be OK.' And then I said, ‘A lot of people have worked on your behalf that you're not aware of, and I'd like to have you say hello to them.' So I took him around, and he saw everybody and even went to see the mailman, just as cordial as could be."

Even so, Kingsley remembers her nearly fourteen years working with Cruise fondly.

"We could almost finish each other's sentence," she says. "We never really had a disagreement about direction or any particular interview. The trust became pretty complete on both sides. We talked constantly. He was an insomniac."

"I liked the fact that he was so much fun. And he was so thoughtful. He remembered birthdays, my daughter's birthday. He came to her wedding; she was registered somewhere for the china, and he bought out everything. Tom Cruise was a prince."

But as Cruise wanted to be "more personally involved" with his publicity, she sensed their rapport was falling apart until she was fired.

December 13, 2013 |

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