Celeb News

Nicole Kidman shares rare insight on being married to Tom Cruise at 23

Nicole explains how she was "protected" during her marriage.

By Anita Lyons

Last week, Aussie starlet Nicole Kidman opened up about her marriage to Tom Cruise in New York magazine, causing a flurry of headlines around the world.

Since the pair split in 2001, the the Oscar-winning actress had stayed tight lipped about her first marriage, however, was quite candid during this particular interview, saying that she was spared from all-too common instances of sexual harassment due to Cruise's star power.

"Being married to Tom Cruise at 22 is something I'm always reluctant to talk about, because I'm married now to the man who is my great love [Keith Urban], and it almost feels disrespectful," she said.

"That said, I got married very young, but it definitely wasn't power for me — it was protection," the star added. "I married for love, but being married to an extremely powerful man kept me from being sexually harassed. I would work, but I was still very much cocooned. So when I came out of it at 32, 33, it's almost like I had to grow up."

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise split in 2001 after eleven years together. *(Source: Getty)*
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise split in 2001 after eleven years together. (Source: Getty)
Nicole on *TODAY* talking about her marriage to Tom Cruise. *(Image: NBC)*
Nicole on TODAY talking about her marriage to Tom Cruise. (Image: NBC)

On a visit to the US show TODAY to promote her new film Boy Erased this week, the actress opened up further about the comments she made in the interview.

"Because I was married at 23 years old, I wasn't going to parties or I wasn't going out a lot," she said. "I was pretty much at home. I had my first child at 25 and I was a married — I was in a family. So my sense of being in the world was — I was working, or I was at home," she said.

Host of Today, Savannah Guthrie, then asked the 51-year-old: "Do you think people were afraid to mess with you, because he was so powerful?"

"When I say 'protection' there is almost like a barrier," Nicole explained.

"A lot of women don't have that. A lot of people in the world don't have that. But I also don't like discussing exes and all of that ... I feel it's almost disrespectful ... to Tom and disrespectful to Keith. So I try to stay in the here and now."

"Am I able to be listened to at times? Yes," she said. "Am I able to instigate change? Sometimes. In regards to my own industry, can I get films made? Not all the time. Sometimes, and on a particular budget. So do I feel like I have power in the sense of dominance or controlling things? Not at all."

"When I say 'protection' there is almost like a barrier. A lot of women don't have that." *(Image: Getty)*
"When I say 'protection' there is almost like a barrier. A lot of women don't have that." (Image: Getty)

The Hollywood power couple first met on the set of their 1990 movie Days of Thunder and after a whirlwind romance, Nicole became Tom's second wife (he was first married to actress Mimi Rogers).

Nicole and Tom went on to adopt two children, Bella, now 25 and Connor, now 22 after suffering the heartbreak of multiple miscarriages.

Fast forward almost 11 years and the pair split in a shock divorce with rumours abounding that the break-up was down to Cruise's devotion to Scientology.

Tom went on to marry Katie Holmes in 2006 (they too divorced, with the marriage lasting only six years this time) while Nicole found happiness with Australian country singer star Keith Urban, whom she married 12 years ago.