Tom Cruise's Former Publicist Advised 'Cooling It' With Scientology Talk

on December 12 2013 10:10 PM
Tom Cruise
Actor Tom Cruise arrives on stage at the annual shareholders meeting for Walmart in Fayetteville, Arkansas June 7, 2013. Reuters

Practically everyone who pays attention to pop culture knows that Tom Cruise can be quite vocal about the Church of Scientology. Many would also say that he probably shouldn’t be. At least that’s what his former publicist Pat Kingsley mentioned during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. The 81-year-old PR legend hasn’t given an interview in years, but she explained that there was a time when she told the “Oblivion” actor to cool it with the religious talk.

"I did have that conversation with Tom, about cooling it," Kingsley said. "'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."

The two got together after he finished “A Few Good Men” in the early 1990s and clicked instantly. "We talked constantly,” she said about their phone calls after 11 p.m. “He was an insomniac. I liked the fact that he was so much fun. 

Kingsley and Cruise didn’t really have discrepancies concerning how much he talked about his religion right up until they went their separate ways in 2004. She said the Scientology reps tried to step in once, but she promptly put them in their place.

"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,'" she recalls. "And they did."

The two were very close, Kingsley said, and after working together for nearly 15 years, they could practically finish each other’s sentences. "We never really had a disagreement about direction or any particular interview,” she said. “The trust became pretty complete on both sides." The PR legend said she new the end of their professional relationship was coming, and when he came to her office to fire her, everyone stayed calm. Even though the Scientologist fired her, she only had fond things to say about him. "He was so thoughtful. He remembered birthdays, my daughter's birthday,” Kingsley said. “He came to her wedding; she was registered somewhere for the china, and he bought out everything." She even told a story about how he once took her on a private plane ride around Santa Monica.

Even though they no longer work together -- because Cruise wanted to be more involved in the decision-making process in his life, she said -- Kingsley only had wonderful things to say about the actor: "Tom Cruise was a prince.”

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