Inside Tom Cruise’s Relationship With Kids Isabella, Connor and Suri

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Tom Cruise has been a movie star for decades, but the three-time divorcé keeps his family world as dad to son Connor and daughters Isabella and Suri extremely private.

Tom Cruise is known for a lot of things, but gabbing about his kids isn’t one of them.

Naturally that has something to do with the fact that son Connor Cruise and daughter Isabella Cruise with ex-wife Nicole Kidman, as well as daughter Suri Cruise with ex-wife Katie Holmes, are leading relatively private lives outside of show business—though they can’t help being famous-by-association thanks to their movie star parents.

But you can’t deny Tom’s enigmatic ways, the Mission: Impossible star being so impressively out there—jumping off cliffs, riding motorcycles, sending his friends coconut cake every year—and yet increasingly private.

Though he rhapsodized about fatherhood when all of his children were little, his inclination to share exponentially decreased as the spotlight grew ever brighter (and he notched his third divorce in 2012).

So, any rare sighting of him spending time in public with his now grown children tends to be an event.

Such was the case when Tom was snapped in a group pic that included Isabella, 31, and Connor, 29, at a Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game last December, though it took until recently for the Internet to notice the photo on NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks Instagram.

“Wow, look who stopped by my office before our @tblightning game tonight! @tomcruise,” the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker captioned the Dec. 27 post. “I was a little star struck but played it cool and He said he was too!”

Little did Derrick know he was doing the social media equivalent of lighting a long fuse, classic M:I-style.

Tom Cruise, Connor Cruise, Bella Cruise, Derrick Brooks, 2023Derrick Brooks/Instagram

It was the first time the 61-year-old actor had been seen with Connor and Isabella at a public event since a 2009 Los Angeles Galaxy game (the three were informally snapped by paparazzi with Suri in Central Park in 2010), though public outings with his son have been a bit more frequent.

As for his youngest child, how much time Tom spends with now-18-year-old Suri has been a subject of speculation ever since he and Katie divorced in 2012 after less than six years of marriage.

“My whole life I always wanted to be a father,” Tom told Vanity Fair for the October 2006 cover story that introduced Suri to the world at 3 months old. “I always said to myself that my children would be able to depend on me and I would always be there for them and love them—that I’d never make a promise to my kids that I couldn’t keep. I’m not one of those people who believe you can spoil a child with too much love. You can never give a child too much love. There’s just no way.”

Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, 2006Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

While they were together, he and Katie were frequently spotted out with their daughter, and there are countless pap pics of them trying to get from a car into a building and back again to prove it.

But they didn’t let the ever-present photographers stop them from living their life: The family went to amusement parks, attended Galaxy games (they were Beverly Hills neighbors with David and Victoria Beckham when the English football star crossed the pond to give soccer a shot in the arm in 2007) and were at the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami Gardens along with then-15-year-old Connor.

But Suri was 6 when Tom and Katie split up. She’s lived with her mom in New York for years, while her dad is based in Florida these days when not globetrotting for work—which he so often is.

In the ensuing years, Tom has never gone the route of giving a big interview about fatherhood, or made some other flagrantly public gesture to counter the narrative that they didn’t have a relationship.

In a Playboy interview published in June 2012, a month before he and Katie announced they were divorcing, Tom said that, while he preferred not to waste time dealing with the stranger rumors and other swipes at his character that shadowed his wildly successful career, he had his limits.

“You start with a letter saying, ‘OK, you know it’s not true. Apologize,'” he said. “There is a point with a lot of things when you just go, ‘You know what? I don’t want to waste my time with this. I’m busy. I’d rather spend this time with my kids and my wife, at home or on our movies, creating a life together. If you have kids, it is the most important thing to create good times.”

Tom Cruise, Connor Cruise, Isabella Cruise, 2009Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

But, he added, “with certain ones you have to go, ‘OK, you crossed a line, and now you have the attention of my lawyers.’ When it involves your kids, with these guys you have to go, ‘Here’s the line, and anytime you cross it…’ But there are lots of times when you just have to say, ‘Please don’t cross that line. Be decent. Let’s not do this.'”

And he did push back against what he viewed to be an egregious take, filing a $50 million defamation lawsuit against Bauer Media’s In Touch and Life & Style for reporting in 2012 that he had “abandoned” Suri.

Sitting down for a deposition in the case on Sept. 9, 2013, Tom acknowledged not seeing his child for at least 100 days while filming the action thriller Edge of Tomorrow in London, but denied ever being out of touch.

Tom Cruise, 2024Dave Benett/Getty Images

“You have to work at it,” he said, sharing that he called her every day, per court documents obtained by E! News. “I’ve gotten very good at it. I tell wonderful stories. I also find that, you know, Suri is a very happy child, and confident, and has a good sense of herself.”

Tom continued, “Things change and there’s different agreements, like in any divorce, where you work out a schedule. It’s just a different set of circumstances. It certainly does not mean that I’ve abandoned my daughter.”

The lawsuit was settled that December and dismissed with prejudice, meaning it couldn’t be refiled. A spokeswoman for both publications said it was never their intent “to communicate that Tom Cruise had cut off all ties and abandoned his daughter, Suri, and regret if anyone drew that inference from anything they published.”

And so began the next era of Tom Cruise, silent movie star (so to speak). In work-centric interviews and on the red carpet, he’s as charming as ever, but his kids fall into the no-ask zone.

Yet as any person with or without social media knows: Just because it isn’t in a photo for the world to see, that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Keep reading for all the details on Tom’s family:

Marriage to Nicole Kidman

Tom Cruise was in the process of divorcing first wife Mimi Rogers when he met Nicole Kidman making the racing movie Days of Thunder in early 1990. He proposed to the Australian actress once he was officially single and they tied the knot that year on Christmas Eve.

“It was that special connection when you recognize your soul mate,” Tom told Vanity Fair in 1994. “She is a person who understands. It was as if a whole new life had started for me.”

They announced their divorce in February 2001 with a press release citing the “difficulties inherent of diverging careers which constantly keep them apart.” Though it’s unclear if Nicole agreed with that rationale.

“I’m starting to understand now [why we broke up],” she told Vanity Fair toward the end of 2002. “At the time I didn’t.”

Her ex, meanwhile, had told the publication earlier that year, “She knows why, and I know why. She’s the mother of my children, and I wish her well. And I think that you just move on. And I don’t say that lightly. I don’t say that with anything.”

Isabella Cruise

Tom and Nicole adopted their eldest child, Isabella, when she was born on Dec. 22, 1992.

Admittedly “scared to death” the first time he changed a diaper, Tom told VF in 1994 that he and Nicole “talked about children from time to time, but there was always the work. But then we went, When is it ever going to be the right time? That’s how the conversation started. You’re lying in bed at night and you’re trying to sleep, so you roll over and you go, What would happen if we had this in our life?… One of the things that Nic and I talk about is that now suddenly we’re a family.”

Nicole said they definitely planned on having more kids, whether by birth or adoption, preferably both.

“Isabella was meant for us,” she told the magazine. “I think when things come into your life at a certain time you have to take them. It’s destiny.”

She later revealed to VF in 2007 that they decided to adopt after she lost a pregnancy. “From the minute Tom and I were married, I wanted to have babies,” she said. “And we lost a baby early on, so that was really very traumatic. And that’s when we would adopt Bella.”

“There’s a complicated background to that,” she added, “given that I never speak much about many things. One day maybe that story will be told.”

Isabella Cruise

Isabella, an artist and graduate of London’s Delamar Academy of Make-Up and Hair, lives in England with husband Max Parker.

It raised a few eyebrows when the bride’s parents didn’t attend the couple’s 2015 wedding at the Dorchester hotel in London.

“Of course, they’re my parents,” she fired back at Daily Mail Online when the newlywed was asked if she spoke to Tom and Nicole. “Anyone who says otherwise is full of s–t.”

Moreover, only a few close friends attended and the groom’s parents weren’t there, either, his mom Beverly Parker telling the Mail they stayed away to avoid “a media circus.” Calling the pair “lovely,” she said, “I’m very pleased for them both and they’re very happy.”

Max told the publication that “you could say” his wife had foregone the spotlight, but it was “more of a weird situation for everyone else” than it was for them.

Meanwhile, sources told People that Tom approved of Max, was OK with not being there and he paid for the wedding, while Nicole was just glad her daughter seemed happy.

Connor Cruise

Connor rounded out the family when he was adopted at birth on Jan. 17, 1995. He’s a musician and DJ, and reportedly lives in Miami.

Nicole married Keith Urban in 2006 and they share daughters Sunday Rose, born July 7, 2008, and Faith Margaret, born via gestational surrogate Dec. 28, 2010.

Reflecting on how Connor and Isabella chose to live with their dad after the divorce, she told HELLO!, “I’d love them to live with us, but what can you do?” (They did attend the Kidman-Urban nuptials in Australia.)

Talking to Now to Love in 2014, Nicole called Isabella and Connor “generous, kind and hardworking,” all “traits that I love to see in my children.”

Several years later she acknowledged that both of her older kids were practicing Scientologists, like their father, but—contrary to rumors that religion had driven a wedge between them—that was neither here nor there.

“They are adults,” the Oscar winner told Australia’s Who in 2018. “They are able to make their own decisions. They have made choices to be Scientologists and as a mother, it’s my job to love them.”

And, like his sister, Connor has never said a cross word about his mom.

“I love my mum,” he told Australia’s Woman’s Day in 2014 while in town to deejay at a festival. “I don’t care what people say, I know that me and mum are solid. I love her a lot. My family means everything.”

He also loved music, he added, “but the family comes before everything else.”

Marriage to Katie Holmes

Tom was in a sharing mood when he started dating the Dawson’s Creek alum in 2005, boisterously telling Oprah Winfrey and her sofa that he was in love with the actress.

“Here’s the thing, you can’t think about it in terms of what people are going to do or say,” he told MTV News that June of the PR perils of wearing his heart on his sleeve. “It’s ‘I want to share my life with this woman. This woman is exceptional, she’s special, she’s extraordinary and I have great respect for her.’ It’s someone who’s saying ‘I’ve got nothing to hide, I’m happy.’ I’m happy, man!”

The Top Gun star proposed atop the Eiffel Tower in June 2005, reportedly within eight weeks of their first date.

Their lavish Nov. 18, 2006, nuptials were held at the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy. Suri, Connor and Bella were in attendance, along with the likes of the Beckhams, Jennifer Lopez and then-husband Marc AnthonyWill Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and Brooke Shields and spouse Chris Henchy.

Suri Cruise

Tom and Katie’s daughter was born April 18, 2006.

The October 2006 cover of Vanity Fair, first revealed on the CBS Evening News Sept. 5, introduced Suri to the world. The portrait by Annie Leibovitz featured the 3-month-old tucked into her dad’s leather aviator jacket, an homage to Linda McCartney‘s famous shot of Paul McCartney with their baby daughter Mary from his 1970 album McCartney.

“She’s a glorious girl,” Katie told the magazine. “She’s the miracle of our life.”

Tom shared that they found the name in a baby book sent to them by friends and just loved it. “We later found out that it meant ‘red rose,’ and that was just a bonus,” he added. “Suri—it was perfect.”

The article noted that the family, including Conor and Bella, were all gathered cozily at Tom’s house in Telluride (which he sold in 2021 for $39.5 million).

“It’s really special to see them holding their little sister,” Katie said. “To hear them talk about all of the fun things they are going to do together.” Added Tom, “It’s very moving to me too. I look at those moments of watching Bella and Connor grow up and you get a sense of what kind of people they are going to be as adults.”

Katie filed for divorce in June 2012, her attorney saying in a statement her “primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter’s best interest.”

Tom’s rep told E! News that he “is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children.”

The proceedings were settled relatively quickly, with both sides agreeing on Suri living primarily with her mom while her dad got generous visitation rights. Katie started splitting time between New York and L.A. and resettled Suri on the East Coast for school.

The Batman Begins actress set about giving her kid the most normal life possible, ferrying her to school and gymnastics like any other Manhattan mom. While the paparazzi never stopped clicking away, Katie shared only a handful of glimpses of Suri on social media over the years. But they also were seen at sporting events and have made many a pilgrimage to Broadway to catch a show.

“My child is the most important person to me, and her upbringing is paramount to my work right now,” she told Town & Country in 2017. “It’s very important that I’m present and she has a stable, innocent childhood. I feel so blessed to do what I do, but there’s nothing in the world better than watching your child succeed.”

At the same time, she said, “Every day, kids get a little further away from you. That’s a positive thing. They should be becoming more independent, but it’s heartbreaking.”

Suri may not have caught the acting bug yet, but she did sing the cover of “Blue Moon” that opens Alone Together, the rom-com her mom was inspired to write during the pandemic and then also starred in and directed. Suri also provided a vocal for her movie Rare Objects.

“I hope she always does something on my films,” Katie told Glamour in March 2023. “I always ask her. But both of those experiences came out of the same sense of what I love about our industry, which is, you have these projects and you become a family with people. And it’s this safe, beautiful, creative space.”

With Suri about to turn 17 at the time, she noted, “What has been really important for me with my daughter, because she was so visible at a young age, is I really like to protect her. I’m very grateful to be a parent, to be her parent. She’s an incredible person.”

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